Trending this week: COVID-19
With the lockdown in Pakistan easing up, this past week saw various Pakistani celebrities urging fans to take extra measures and stay safe from the global pandemic that has engulfed the world. Additionally, the beauty industry also held a press conference in a bid to reopen salons as they had implemented strict SOPs and business needed to return to normal. On Friday, Coke Studio released a special rendition in these difficult times.
On the international front, renowned Canadian singer Bryan Adams came under fire for making a racist coronavirus remark
against Chinese people. Instep gives you a lowdown…
Actor Sanam Saeed recently took to social media and expressed her disappointment with the public for crowding markets for Eid shopping. “Will we go back to our old ways without showing any change?” she questioned in a tweet. “Please ehtiyaat say bahir jaain (be extra careful when going out). This is another crucial time since everyone is rushing out together at once. Maybe try celebrating Eid differently this year?” wrote the Cake actress.
As Eid approaches, members of Pakistan Hairdressers and Beauticians Association (PHABA) – which includes Saeeda Mandviwalla, CEO and Creative Artistic Director Toni&Guy (South Pakistan), ace stylist Nabila and Depilex owner, Masarrat Misbah - came together for a press conference. They demanded that beauty salons should be reopened under standard operating procedures (SOPs). While they spoke about the precautionary methods that would be put into place, they requested government of Sindh to address their concerns and appealed that the beauty salons and hairdressers should at least be allowed to function for a limited period of time.
SARS-CoV-2, better known as coronavirus (Covid-19) has affected millions of people around the world and is spreading far too quickly in Pakistan. At a time like this, a mammoth production like Coke Studio 13 has been cancelled. However, a special Coke Studio 12 rendition by Atif Aslam, produced by Zulfiqar Jabbar Khan aka Xulfi, was released this week.
Titled ‘Asma-Ul-Husna’, the Hamd features Atif Aslam reciting the “99 attributes of Allah” with a video, running over 3 minutes, directed by Asim Raza.
According to a press statement, the release comes “at an unprecedented time of crisis with the whole world gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic and the fear, anxiety and uncertainty it has brought with it. Pakistan’s frontline workers, from doctors, nurses, security personnel, and janitorial staff continuously risk their lives to help serve those affected.”
“The recitation borrows 24 voices from across the country to build a large vocal acapella personality and to further enhance the grandeur of the acapella, Melvin Arthur, a virtuoso musician from Quetta Pakistan, worked on crafting the choir arrangement using vocals from around the world. The track also demonstrates a unique arrangement of duffs as their grand ensemble reverberates in a large space. The whole composition finally comes together seamlessly in the vocals of Atif Aslam reciting the powerful verses.”
As for the timing of this release, noted the press statement further, "Indeed, the release comes at an unprecedented time of crisis with the whole world gripped by the COVID-19 pandemic and the fear, anxiety and uncertainty it has brought with it. Pakistan’s frontline workers, from doctors, nurses, security personnel, and janitorial staff continuously risk their lives to help serve those affected.
In these testing circumstances, the release of ‘Asma-Ul-Husna’ is an ode to the unwavering human spirit, an expression of spiritual healing and nourishment, and a reassurance of better times ahead. The recitation ends poignantly with ‘Al-Saboor’ that translates as possessor of enduring patience, conveying a message of calm and endurance.”
Earlier this week, Canadian singer Bryan Adams came under fire for his racist comments, which appeared to blame the ongoing coronavirus pandemic on China and its citizens and suggested that they should go vegan. After receiving severe backlash, the ‘Summer of 69’ hit-maker apologized on his official Twitter and Instagram handles. He wrote, “No excuse, I just wanted to have a rant about the horrible animal cruelty in these wet-markets being the possible source of the virus, and promote veganism.” He added, “I have love for all people and my thoughts are with everyone dealing with this pandemic around the world.”