At such a distressing time, when we see that even the most peaceful of Muslims, Sufis, are not safe in Pakistan, when at least 62 people are killed and further 102 injured after a suicide bomb blast took place at the Shah Noorani Shrine in Balochistan’s Lasbela District right where the dhamaal (Sufi ritual) was being performed on Saturday evening, this came as a breath of fresh air. 

It was rejuvenating to see an attempt being made to revive Sufi music with a modern twist at the Goethe-Institut, by the German Consulate General Karachi and The Goethe-Institut Pakistan in Karachi. The event was called “Sufi-Step. Pakistan meets Germany: Viktor Marek and Ashraf Sharif Khan in concert” – a fusion concert with the melodic beauty Sufi music of Ashraf Sharif Khan combined with the rhythmic beats of Viktor Mater, which aimed to transcend boundaries and spread the true message Sufism (which is love) through music.

The concert is a part of a series of 17 events, including musical concerts, exhibitions, spelling competitions, workshops and lectures launched by the German Consulate General Karachi and the Goethe-Institut Pakistan to promote German culture, language, and tradition in Pakistan. The two month series of events called ‘German Weeks’ was launched on October 3 and will end on December 13.

Viktor Marek , who is also known as “The carpet”, is a German musician and the manager of the “Golden Poodle Club” in Hamburg, Germany. Viktor is a master of the intricate in music: from blinking drum computers and samplers, he can make music in no time. On the other hand, Ashraf Sharif Khan is the son of the Asian sitar master Ustad Muhammad Sharif Khan Poonchwala. His music combines an astounding technical proficiency with an accomplished artist's striving for perfection in musical expression. 

The Viktor Marek-Ashraf Sharif Khan sound is uber divine mixed with the modern, a fusion of traditional Pakistani Sufi music combined with the modern beat music technique that provided an unforgettable musical experience to Pakistani music fans, earlier in Lahore on 9th November and in Karachi on 13th November. According to Stefan Winkler, the Director of Goethe-Institut Pakistan, “The aim of our events is to bring these two great nations of Pakistan and Germany closer by promoting art and culture between them, thus strengthening the cultural bond they have".