By Mudassir Raja
The biggest musical event is ready to rock Doha with an international music sensation from India gracing Qatar for the first time. Local and expatriate community fans of A R Rahman are excited to listen to the Oscar winning musician during his debut performance in Doha.
A R Rahman will perform this Friday when at the Khalifa International Stadium, the first FIFA World Cup 2022 stadium to be delivered. Rahman, along with his troupe of more than 80 performers will entertain thousands of people in the stadium that has a capacity of 40, 000 people. The event will take place in conjunction with the Qatar-India 2019 Year of Culture.
The musical festival is being organised by Katara Studios in collaboration with the Supreme Committee for Delivery & Legacy and as part of the culture year. It is intended to promote mutual understanding, recognition and appreciation between the two countries.
A R Rahman, who shot to international fame with the 2009 Hollywood production, Slumdog Millionaire, was already a celebrated musical icon in his home country, India. He is credited for revolutionising the Indian film music industry, thanks to his genius East-West mash-up that gained him international recognition.
In addition to two Grammy and Oscar awards each, Rahman also boasts of a Bafta, a Golden Globe as well as a slew of awards in India, including six National Film Awards, 15 Filmfare Awards and 17 Filmfare Awards South.
There is a large diaspora of Indian expatriates living in Qatar for many decades.
All and sundry are excited to listen to the acclaimed musician and singer. They all are geared up to reach at the stadium with their families and friends on March 22.
They see it a big and rare opportunity to listen live to A R Rahman in Qatar.
Mohamed Sabih Bukhari, also known as MS Bukhari, is a long time resident of Doha, a well known businessman and community leader. Talking to Community, he said: “The concert will really boost the celebrations of Qatar-India cultural year. The cultural and trade ties between the two countries are very old. The people of Qatar are big fans of Indian music and Bollywood films. The concert of A R Rahman will enable both the locals and expatriate communities to listen to the music sensation live.
“A R Rahman is a very rare amalgamation of diverse Indian culture. Broadly speaking, India culture can be divided into South and North India. This guy is equally popular among all Indians. He hails from South India but his music innovations has equally been cherished by the people living in the north of the country.
“An overwhelming majority of Indians living in Qatar are from the southern parts. They all are going to love the concert.
His sensational music is a kind of boosts cultural ties between the south and the west in India. He is a unifying voice.”
About having the concert in the stadium, Bukhari said: “I have been living in Qatar for about 32 years. I have so far not heard of any music event of such big scale. It is going to be huge. I hope the stadium is going to be full on Friday. I will go with my family. I will not miss the opportunity. Many of Qatari friends have shown their interest in attending the music gala.”
Anuradha Nagesh Rao works as an administrator. She has been living in Qatar for 22 years. She said: “It is a rare opportunity for us Indians living in Qatar to attend the live music by A R Rahman. Even in India you do not get much chance to listen him live. It is going to be a music feast for the expatriates.
“He is an icon not just because he is a successful musician. He comes from a very humble background. His hard work and dedication has ushered in success and fame for him. A majority of people get inspired by his success story. Attending the concert is also like paying tribute to his phenomenal achievements.”
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