It is not easy for world musicians to enter Britain. So Scotland is lucky to be hearing the remarkable music of the Sufi band that survived the Taliban – and overcame obstacles to getting a visa. And we are luckier still to get the chance to hear them on our own doorstep. Thanks to Swietlica, the Ahmad Sham Sufi Qawali Group will take a detour to play at Fort Community Centre on Monday 25 May at 6.30 pm. It’s free but money raised from home-baking and books will go to help victims of war in Afghanistan.
Last year the group raised £7000 for widows and children disabled by war, donated with the help of the British Council. But something else comes from a tour like this. As with the Reel Iraq events now happening in Edinburgh, listening to Ahmad Sham Sufi Qawali Group gives us a rare chance to learn about a rich culture that has survived war and oppression.
“The music is really amazing,” says Kasia Raszewska, one of the Swietlica organisers who have somehow managed to bring the group to Leith during a festival tour that has moved from London, through Glasgow, Dumfries and Galloway to finish in Edinburgh on Tuesday 26 May at the Roxy Theatre.
On Swietlica’s behalf Leith Open Space sent out an SOS for Persian speakers to help the musicians communicate with their audience (if you can speak Persian please get in touch! ).
Best of all, come and hear them play at Fort Community Centre on Monday at 6.30pm.