Dubai: A Dubai-based teacher-student duo have collaborated over a dance video to promote peace among Indians and Pakistanis across the globe.
‘Dance for Peace 2020’ is being released on Thursday, ahead of the 74th Independence Day of both countries being celebrated over the weekend.
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The idea was conceptualised by Desiree Francis, a former Pakistani radio presenter and marketer in Dubai. She has been closely related to Indo-Pak peace projects since 2008, with Dance For Peace being the second of its type initiative in Dubai.
“Due to the COVID-19 scenario, I was a little apprehensive about the idea. However, when I approached my dance teacher Akshay for this, he was all up for the idea and suggested ways to do it, limiting the number of people and keeping social distancing and other safety protocols in mind,” Francis said.
Akshay Dhoke is the co-founder and head choreographer of The Buzz Dance Studio (TBDS) in Dubai. Along with his partner Preeti Gadkary, he took up the cause of Dance for Peace the moment it was discussed with them. “We welcome children and adults of all nationalities at our dance school. Music and dance for us is about an emotional connection that we aim to build in our students with the art. We don’t support any form of discrimination and inculcate values of kindness and tolerance, which I believe, is a must for any artist,” Gadkary said.
Aman Ki Asha is a campaign jointly started by two leading media houses, The Jang Group of Pakistan and The Times of India in India. The campaign aims for peace and development of diplomatic and cultural relations between the two nations in South Asia. It was established in January 2010.
Aaghaz-e-Dosti was started in 2012 and it encourages volunteers to work for peace, particularly through peace education in both countries.
The initiative’s team also comprised editors Rocky Panesar and Sohail Khan of Super Dancer and The Kapil Sharma Show fame from Mumbai, India, along with Majo Joy (performer), Abul Basar (vlogger), Jasmine Saroia (make-up), Ishan Modi and Sarfaraz Ahmed (support team) and Lenu Thomas (digital artist).
Khan said, “I joined hands with Desiree aka DJ Dez on this because as an Indian, I am very loyal to my country but that in no way means that I should be unpleasant in my dealing with people of any other country. Respect for other human beings is important.”