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Ahmad Zahir Biography

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 Ahmad Zahir

 

Ahmad Zahir


Ahmad Zahir years before his death

Background information

Birth name

Ahmad Zahir

Born

14 June 1946(1946-06-14)
Laghman, Afghanistan

Died

14 June 1979(1979-06-14) (aged 33)
Salang, Parwan Province, Afghanistan

Genres

Rock, pop

Occupations

Singer, songwriter, composer

Instruments

Harmonium, piano, accordion, Farfisa, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, combo organ

Years active

1967–1979

Labels

Afghan Music, Aj Musik, EMI, Music Center

 

Ahmad Shirpacha Zahir (Persian: احمد ظاهر‎ – Aḥmad Zāhir; 14 June 1946 – 14 June 1979) was a singer, songwriter, and composer from Afghanistan. He is widely considered an icon of Afghan music and is sometimes called the "King of Afghan music". His songs are mostly in Persian and based on well-recognized Persian poems, although a few are in Pashto and English. Zahir composed and performed rock and pop music, in a similar style to Elvis Presley. Today, he is regarded as one of the greatest persons in Afghan culture and history.

 

Contents

  • 1 Biography
  • 2 Death
  • 3 Discography
    • 3.1 Afghan music albums
    • 3.2 Ariana music albums
    • 3.3 Music center albums
    • 3.4 Private albums
    • 3.5 Other discography information
  • 4 References
  • 5 External links

 

Biography

 

Zahir was born on 14 June 1946 (Jauza 24, 1325 of the Jalali calendar) in Laghman, Afghanistan. His father, Abdul Zahir, was a royal court doctor, minister of health, Prime Minister of Afghanistan between 1971 and 1972, speaker of the parliament and an influential figure in King Zahir Shah's era who helped write the 1964 Constitution of Afghanistan. Zahir grew up in Kabul and belonged to the Pashtun ethnic background.[2][4][5]

 

Zahir attended Habibia High School in Kabul in the early 1960s. He sang and played the accordion in a band mainly consisting of his friends and classmates including Omar Sultan on guitar, Farid Zaland on congas and Kabir Howaida on piano. The band later became known as the amateur band of Habibia High School and performed in local concerts during celebratory occasions like Nowruz, Eid ul-Fitr, and Afghan Independence Day.

 

He later attended and graduated from Daru' l-Malimeen ("Teachers' College") in Kabul, then continued his higher education for two more years in India to get a degree as an English instructor. Eventually, however, he decided that music was his true calling. Zahir began his solo career composing songs based on well-recognized Persian poems. His first recorded song, "Gar Kuni Yak Nizara", was his own composition, sung in the pilu raga. He continued writing and recording songs such as "Azeezam Ba Yaadat", "Ahista-ahista", "Akhir Ay Darya", "Hama Yaranam", "Agar Sabza Boodam", "Guftam Ke Mekhwaham Tura", "Shabe Ze Shabha" and "Parween-e Man".[6]

 

Zahir worked with mentors such as Ismail Azami (saxophonist), Nangalai (trumpeter), Abdullah Etemadi (drummer), and other musicians including Salim Sarmast, Naynawaz, Taranasaz, and Mas'hour Jamal. He recorded over 22 albums in the 1970s. His songs were noted for their mellifluous tone, poetic style, compelling depth, and passionate emotional evocation.[citation needed] His lyrics covered a wide range of subjects. Many of his songs contained autobiographical elements or political criticism of Afghanistan's government.[7] As a result many of his recordings were destroyed by the government.

 

The Zahir professionally was on the scene of Afghan Music for only 10 years at the most; however, Zahir managed to record more than 30 albums. This was and is unheard of in any music industry around the world. All of these albums were successful and widely accepted (to this date) by everyone. The kings managed to complete these recordings almost 40 years ago with almost no technology of today's world, and all was done in live recordings. It is said the kings recorded his Arian Music Album 1 in one day, that had more than 12 songs. Zahir only recorded two music videos during his career.

 

Death

 

Zahir died on 14 June 1979, on his 33rd birthday. There are many mixed views from critics for why he was killed, but according to his son Rishad Zahir, Zahir "was assassinated by the order of a communist general[verification needed] named Daud Taroon, who used one of Zahir's best friends as an accomplice to carry out his orders". Zahir's political stance was at odds with the Marxist government of the timewho claimed that he had died in a car accident. Other critics state that he was shot twice by someone, who then crashed Zahir's car on a wall, and put him inside the vehicle, pretending that he had a car accident.

 

A large crowd of mourners attended Zahir's funeral in Kabul, clogging the city streets and bringing daily activities to a halt.

 

After his death Zahir became a national hero and his image was mythologized by the Afghan people.[8] Because of his privileged family background, Zahir helped to establish music as a more respected profession which in turn led to the founding of The Kabul Music School in 1974.

 

Discography

 

Afghan music albums

 

  • Vol. 1 – Dilak am (1973)
  • Vol. 2 – Bahar (1973)
  • Vol. 3 – Shab ha ye zulmane (1974)
  • Vol. 4 – Mother (1974)
  • Vol. 5 – Awara (1975)
  • Vol. 6 – Ghulam-e Qamar (1975)
  • Vol. 7 – Sultan Qalbaam (1976)
  • Vol. 8 – Az Ghamat Hy Nazaneen (1976)
  • Vol. 9 – Gulbadaan (1971)
  • Vol. 10 – Yaare Bewafa (1977)
  • Vol. 11 – Lylee (1977)
  • Vol. 12 – Ahmad Zahir and Jila (1978)
  • Vol. 13 – Ahange Zindagee (1978)
  • Vol. 14 – Shab-e Hijraan (1979) (posthumous release)

 

Note: Audio cassette versions of many of Zahir's Afghan Music albums are missing some songs that are present on the original vinyl records.

 

Ariana music albums

 

  • Vol. 1 – Daard-e Dil (1972)
  • Vol. 2 – Mosum-e Gul (1977)

 

Note: The original Ariana Music record albums contain many hidden tracks.

 

Music center albums

 

  • Vol. 1 – Ashiq rooyat Mon (1973)
  • Vol. 2 – Neshe Gashdum (1976)
  • Vol. 3 – Lylee Jaan (1977)
  • Vol. 4 – Ahmad Zahir Ba Sitara Haa (1977)
  • Vol. 5 – To Baamanee (1978)

 

Private albums

 

  • Shamali
  • Hindi Songs
  • Afghanistan Songs
  • Agar Bahar Byayad
  • Ahmad Zahir & Nainawaaz
  • Almase-Sharq
  • Gulhaayi-Jawedan
  • Gulhayi Nafaramoshshuda
  • Khateraha
  • Khudaat-Medani Guleman
  • Laily-Laily-Jan
  • Raaze-Penhan
  • Soorodhayie-Jawedan
  • Yaad-Mandaha
  • Zindani

 

Other discography information

 

  • He has over 10 private recording albums from 1965–1978.
  • He only recorded 2 music videos in Radio Kabul TV: "Laylee Jaan" in 1976 and "Khuda Buwat Yarret" in 1977.
  • Zahir recorded several songs in Radio Kabul and Radio Afghanistan studios which later came out as albums. Eight of these albums have been released.

 

 

 

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