Pakistani pop stars Zeb and Haniya visit families in flood ravaged communities. Copyright:WFP/Amjad Jamal
After meeting with families hit by this summer’s monsoon flooding, Pakistan’s celebrated pop duo Zeb and Haniya called on their fans to support the WFP food operation shielding millions of people from hunger. The two promised to take the message with them on their upcoming world tour.
ISLAMABAD—Two of the biggest names in Pakistan’s burgeoning pop-rock music scene, Zeb and Haniya, took time out from their concert schedule to meet with victims of the flooding in their native Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.
“We had been planning to get involved in one way or another to help people affected by the floods and were happy to oblige when WFP asked us to help them raise awareness,” said Zeb after visiting a food distribution near Nowshera in northwestern Pakistan. “It was very insightful to see what WFP is doing to help people rebuild.”
Helping families rebuild
Zebunnisa Humayun Bangash and Haniya Aslam were both raised in Pakistan’s mountainous northwest, the first area to be submerged by the floodwaters.
Their ability to speak with the people they met in Pashto helped them get a better understanding of the difficulties they faced in rebuilding their lives.
After the food distribution, Zeb and Haniya went to a site where WFP is providing people with food rations and cash in exchange for work to rebuild the roads and drainage ditches destroyed during the floods.
“It was satisfying to see so many people reclaiming their lives,” said Haniya. “But it was clear that there are still many challenges ahead and we need to continue supporting them.”
A warm reception
The two singers met with a warm reception throughout their visit, both as international celebrities with a huge following among Pakistan’s expatriate population, and native-born locals doing their part to help.
During a press conference with WFP Pakistan Country Director Wolfgang Herbinger, the two pop stars pledged to help spread awareness and raise funds during their upcoming world tour.
Zeb and Haniya, are a pop rock music group based in Islamabad. They sing in several languages including Pashto, Persian and Turkish and have garnered a large following in several countries. The two began their musical career as undergraduate students in the United States. In 2009, they rose to international fame by winning Best Live Act at the MTV Music Awards.