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Pakistani Musicians Making Their Mark

Arooj Aftab Photo: Natasha Jahangir

Significant parts of Pakistan’s governance and security structure may be crumbling before our very eyes, but the country’s musical arts are anything but dead. Those lucky enough to have been exposed to the creative energy of Pakistani musicians know of the contributions from Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, Farida Khanum, and others. Now, even those outside of South Asia and the world music scene are being exposed to the sounds of the region. Often combined with western influences, and deriving from Sufi traditions, musicians and music from Pakistan are growing in popularity inside and outside South Asia. Continue reading

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Senegal: Conversation in a University

In January 2009, several UW-Madison professors visited Senegal, where a Muslim majority and a Christian minority peacefully coexist. The group stopped at Gaston Berger University in Saint Louis where they talked to Senegalese friends about the country’s religious tolerance.

In the first video clip below, three Senegalese professors explain to the UW-Madison group several reasons for the peaceful relations between the country’s religions. First, there is the culture of Teranga or hospitality, a deeply engrained Senegalese value taught at home and in school, said Badara Sall, one of the Senegalese professors who teaches English at the university. When you encounter a person who doesn’t share your religious belief, added Khadidiatou Diallo, another English professor, you don’t see that person as an enemy, but as a brother who at least shares the same culture. Continue reading