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  Ustad Naynawaz
Ustad Fazel Ahmad Zeria NaynawazFazel Ahmad Zekrya Naynawaz

By: Amir Khisraw Zekrya - His son

Fazel Ahmad Zekrya, also known as “Nainawaz” (نينواز), is the legendary Afghan singer, composer and poet who remained a keen student of art and mysticism throughout his life. The son of Faiz Muhammad Khan Zekrya, Afghanistan’s famous statesman, poet and writer, Nainawaz was born in 1935 in the province of Yakatoot Afghanistan from the marriage of Faiz Muhammad and Bibi Gul Benazir.

In his early teens, Nainawaz taught himself how to play the accordion and then mastered it under the mentorship of Farokh Afendi from Turkey. He wrote poems and then composed melodies to match the poetic cores. Nainawaz was a passionate artist. His artistry revolutionized Afghan music while giving it a new dimension. Nainawaz grasped mystical rhythms and expressed them beautifully. Most of his compositions awakened spiritual and nostalgic feelings. The great Sufi poet Rumi gave us similar mystical expressions in his “Song of the Nai” “Song of the Reed” and it was not accidental that Fazel Ahmad Zekrya became known as “Nainawaz”.

In searching for an understanding of God and the mystical aspects of our universe, the Quran teaches us to look for God’s signs and to “Know thyself that you may know your Creator”. In the midst of all mankind there are few geniuses who are both attuned to the mysticism of nature and have the ability to comprehend universal truths, and even fewer who can express these truths to the rest of us. Great artists express these truths on the canvas of their art; the poet in his poems, the musician in his music. Nainawaz, “The Reed Player”, was one of these geniuses. His phenomenal talent in music alone made him unique and immortal.

No teacher can instruct artists on how to let the refined feelings of their heart fly on the wings of their music and voice. Delving deep into his core, Nainawaz brought out the most pleasing and sincere feelings of his heart. In addition to his extraordinary musical talent, Nainawaz was a literary man, a patriot, in love with his county, people and harmony. In reading literary passages, his voice would vibrate with such emotion that it would enchant the hearts of his audience.

As one of the founders of the Afghani Fine Arts group, Hunarhai Zeba, he revolutionized Afghan music while adding a distinctly modern pop element. During the same period, Nainawaz produced countless hit compositions rendered by the golden voices of many renowned Afghan artists such as the legendary Ahmad Zahir, Ahmad Wali, Mahwash, Saarbon, Delnawaz, Akbar Ramish, Awalmeer and many other beloved voices.

Although in the constant company of intellectual patriots, it was Fazel’s devoted and pious mother who instilled in him spiritual consciousness and the love of God. From his only wife Aliea Ahmad Zekrya, who was the cornerstone of all his accomplishments, he has a daughter, Sahar Zekrya Aman, wife of the famous artist, Ehsan Aman, and a son, Amir Khisraw Zekrya, married to Ghezal Zekrya. Nainawaz always retained a special place for his family in his heart.

Nainawaz‘s life was tragically extinguished by the communist regime during 29th day of Ramadan, August 5th, 1979. While the scar of his martyrdom will forever remain sore, his inspiring and joyful music will always resonate in the hearts of future generations. As a star, he will shine in the sky of his beloved Afghanistan throughout eternity.

Rumi says: “After death don’t search for my tomb on earth. In the bosom of learned people lies my tomb.”

Also visit his website for a three part biographical documentary on Nainawaz @ www.nainwaz.com,

Listen to: Setara e Bakht e Eshq Baaz Ah

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