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In memory of Nazia Hassan

September 29, 2003 19:57 IST

Nazia HassanPakistani-born pop singer Nazia Hassan will be remembered this coming Thursday at a House of Commons function to be attended by leading members of the British Asian community, the high commissioners of Pakistan and Bangladesh and India's deputy high commissioner.

Nazia, who died three years ago of lung cancer, took the sub-continent by storm with her debut song Aap jaisa koi meri zindagi mein aaye in the popular Hindi film, Qurbani, in 1980.

Aap jaisa, which had an upbeat blend of East and West, remained number one for over a year and was billed as the first authentic Asian pop song.

Her next hit was Disco Deewane, an album she recorded with brother Zoheb in association with composer Biddu in 1981. Their next album Boom Boom, once again recorded in collaboration with Biddu, was released in 1984 and went on to become another huge success.

Nazia's mother, Muniza, told rediff.com that Thursday's ceremony will help launch a foundation that will work towards fulfilling 'Nazia's cherished dream of providing homes and creating support systems for children in need.'

The Nazia Hassan Foundation will also sponsor awards in recognition of individuals who promote greater harmony between cultures, says a spokesperson.

'The winners of the awards are men and women who have excelled in their respective fields, while promoting a greater harmony and fusion between the East and the West. These are men and women who are an embodiment of the triumphant convergence of culture -- the transference of ideas, teachings and values from one part of the globe to another, with these outstanding individuals as the vessel.

'The receivers of the awards will be selected from all fields ranging from music and the arts to science, sport, business, engineering, humanities and charitable work, politics, etc. There is no set scale of measure, but the efforts of the individual under consideration must be seen to meet the key criteria of promoting harmony and fusion.

'The world today is desperately seeking ways to overcome the perceived divisions, barriers and differences between East and West, that can too often lead to problems or misunderstandings. The Nazia Hassan Foundation seeks to promote harmony in place of division and create positive fusion between different cultures, traditions and beliefs.

'Over time, the charity aims to facilitate awareness and participation that, in turn, will send ripples of greater understanding, harmony and co-operation through people and communities around the world.'

Leading members of the South Asian community in London, including Lord Swaraj Paul, Baronness Uddin, Baronness Flather and Labour MP Mohammed Sarwar are expected to participate in the function.

Shyam Bhatia in London
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