WASHINGTON, D.C. —
“VOA is part of the sound track from my childhood. Each morning and night my father would listen to its Urdu and Pashto programming – visiting [the VOA staff] was like meeting someone from the past,” says Pakistani film maker Naeem Safi.
Safi and a group of 11 musicians and artists from Pakistan came to VOA on February 27th. They were in the U.S. as part of the State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program.
“I’m doing my part, putting the positive face of Pakistan in front of the whole world. Stay firm. Stay Positive. Do Positive,” says Asif Sinan, one of the musical performers who was part of the group of artists and translators who traveled to New York, Washington D.C, San Diego and Houston.
“We welcome such visits to VOA because it gives us a chance to showcase our work and talent, as well as understand our audience better,” says VOA Urdu Service Chief Faiz Rehman, who met with the group and watched as they were interviewed by Sana Mirza, the host of the popular VOA Urdu TV program Sana. A Pakistani
, which airs on Pakistan’s AAJ News cable channel.
“The visit to the VOA was a great experience,” said musician Toheed Ahmad Ans. “The way that Sana Mirza interviewed us was wonderful and we felt at home. In my opinion, it was no less than a great honor to have the opportunity to perform at the Voice of America,” Ans said. He runs a music school funded by charity and donations in Lahore with the aim of promoting peace and tolerance through classical and Sufi music.
Asif Sinan introduces both jazz and eastern classical guitar to young Pakistanis. He has collaborated with American jazz musicians as well as Indian pop and classical artists. He uses his music to create discussion on active civic engagement. To listen to Asif Sinan’s music, go to http://www.youtube.com/user/AsifSinan