The 64th death anniversary of Ustad Qasim Afghan was celebrated with the unveiling of a book and a documentary about this renown Afghan musician.
According to the ECO Cultural Institute, quoting Tolo News, the book and video documentary "Memoirs of Ustad Qasim" have been compiled and edited by his grandson, Vahid Ghasemi.
Ustad Qasim Afghan was an Afghan musician, composer, and singer. He is generally considered by musicologists to be one of the more prominent Afghan musicians of the 20th century. Qasim was of Kashmiri descent and was born Qasem Jo in the Gozar Barana district of the Afghan capital Kabul during the late 1870s. He was descended from a musical lineage, as his father, Satar Ju, was also a musician. Qasim's father emigrated from his native Kashmir to Afghanistan to provide his musical services to the country's monarchy.
Qasim attended a madrassa which specialized solely in religious studies; thus he learned music theory as well as Urdu through his musician father. Qasim learned to play musical instruments such as the sitar and tabla. He also learned many languages, including Dari from his mother, Pashto from his teacher, Urdu from his father, and Arabic from the religious school he attended.
During Qasim's life, Afghanistan was ruled by a monarchy. From the age of 20 onward, Qasim provided his musical services to various Afghan sovereigns, including King Abdur Rahman Khan, who was known as the "Bismarck of Afghanistan" and who made him the royal court's singer. Qasim often used the stage name "Kassim Afghan" and other such pseudonyms incorporating the word "Afghan", to pay tribute to the country in which he was born.
Through his prominence and influence, Qasim ultimately became known as the "Father of Afghan Music" and the "Founder of Afghan classical music". Music that Qasim composed in 1919 became used in a mujaheddin battle song which in turn became used in the national anthem of Afghanistan from 1992 to 2006.