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Ustad Mahwash

Ustad Mahwash

Ustad Farida Mahwash was born to a conservative family in Afghanistan. Her mother was teacher of Quran and therefore religion influenced her upbringing.


Total Songs in this album:9

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Gule Sibam

Total Songs in this Album:11

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Her interest in music, because of this factor, was suppressed for years as the society of that time looked upon female singers and musicians with contempt. Upon completion of her studies, Farida accepted a position in the Kabul Radio Station. She was discovered here by the director of the radio station who was impressed by her voice and therefore encouraged Farida to pursue singing as a career.   Farida took music and singing lessons under the scholarship of Ustad Mohammad Hashem Cheshti. 

He was an established maestro and put the protégé to rigorous training. Most of the lessons were based on classical Indian music that serve to train most singers of Afghanistan up until today. In 1977, Farida was conferred the title of Maestra by Ustad Sarahang, a controversial honor that had up until this point been reserved only for men. In 1977 she received the title of Ustad (Master). This new, high-fidelity recording honours those who made the radio a focal point for life in Afghanistan from 1940 on, when it broadcast a blend of Indian, Persian & Afghan music. In 2003 the BBC granted Mahwash the Asia/Pacific Award of World Music. She remains a very potent vocalist and is beautifully accompanied on an album of passionate yet refined, very haunting music.

After the political turmoil of late 70s and early 80s that extended into the 90s, Farida was forced to leave Afghanistan in 1991. She moved to Pakistan where she took refuge from the two warring sides of the time, each of whom warned her to sing for their cause or else face assassination. Worn and exhausted, she applied for asylum abroad. Her plight was recognized by UNHCR who granted her political asylum in the United States.
Source: Ustad Mahwash offecial Website