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Home » Culture and History, Photoblog, Uzbekistan

Out of government’s favor, loved by people

Written by on Thursday, 27 January 2011
Culture and History, Photoblog, Uzbekistan
5 Comments

The 9th Annual Daniel Pearl Music Days concert, hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent and featuring Yulduz Usmonova, was one of the highlights of last year’s cultural life in Tashkent. Yulduz, probably the most popular Uzbek singer of our time, currently resides in Turkey and spreads the beauty of the national music and culture of our country. Her performance at the concert was amazing. She rocked the show!

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Even though admission to the concert was free, I’m sure Yulduz’s crazy popularity wouldn’t have left a single ticket available whatever the cost. More than 300 people came to enjoy her old songs as well as new ones from the recently released “Tik-Tak” album.

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A few words about Daniel Pearl. He was an American journalist, Chief of the Wall Street Journal’s South Asia Bureau, kidnapped and brutally killed on February 2002 while reporting in Pakistan on alleged links between “shoe bomber” Richard Reid and al Qaeda.

According to former Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf’s memoirs, on January 23, 2002, while on his way to what he thought was an interview with Sheikh Mubarak Ali Gilani at the Village Restaurant in downtown Karachi, Pearl was kidnapped by a militant group calling itself The National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty near the Metropole Hotel.

After his death, The Daniel Pearl Foundation was started by his family and friends to continue the journalist’s mission and to address what they consider to be the root causes of his death in the spirit, style, and principles that shaped Pearl’s work and character. Daniel Pearl World Music Days have been held worldwide since 2002. More than 4,900 musical performances have been held in 103 countries, dedicated to and inspired by the legacy of Daniel not only as a journalist but also as a musician.

Daniel was a talented musician who joined musical groups in every community he visited. He firmly believed in the power of music to unite people and spread a message of hope, and to unite people against the culture of violence.

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Concerts from the eight previous years included performances by Elton John, Herbie Hancock, Tania Libertad, Itzhak Perlman, Theodore Bikel, Salman Ahmad and many others.

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This year, Yulduz Usmanova became the ‘face’ of the Daniel Pearl World Music Days in Uzbekistan, along with her band and local dancing group ‘Sappho,’ which performs traditional Uzbek dances in amazingly stylish national attire.

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Yulduz bravely used the concert to address different issues such as Uzbeks’ difficulties in the country and around the world, her pop career, and current relations with the government. The latter point was expressed through veiled messages such as:

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“I have always had difficulties, ever since my singing career began, when [media] authorities didn’t want to air my concerts because they didn’t like my songs. But I never feel sorry for what I did in my life: I’ll sing till my last breath, will do it for you, my fans, and nobody will be able to silence me!”

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neweurasia presents its own photo report of the concert. It should be noted that this is the first time pictures taken at a Yulduz Usmanova public concert in Uzbekistan in the last few recent years are being published. We want to thank the U.S. Embassy in Tashkent for their support in providing accreditation to our blogger and for providing a great opportunity to take amazing shots of the beautiful show put on by the beloved daughter of Uzbekistan. We hope this will help her fans to expand their Yulduz photo-collections.

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Photo courtesy neweurasia & U.S. Embassy in Tashkent.

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