Ep. 08 — It Goes Both Ways
Jessica Ripper is a white American with blonde hair, blue eyes and a home in Northern California. Yet, to many in Pakistan, she’s an Islamic-gospel musician who plays the tabla.
In the 700-year-old Sufi-singing tradition of Qawwali, she’s a female trailblazer shattering century-old glass ceilings from Sufi shrine to Sufi shrine. And everywhere else, she’s a statistical anomaly, a bizarre outlier.
Did fate direct Ripper to her path as one of the world’s only white female western qawwali players? Or was it chance and opportunity?
You be the judge.
[06:35] Shahzad Bashir
Side note: They’re working on a documentary project about qawwali music. See here.
[08:40] On Ripper’s conversion to Islam.
[09:00] “Allah Hu” by Fanna-Fi-Allah
[13:00] Rahat Fateh Ali Khan
[13:25] More on Dildar Hussain
[13:25] “Tanam Farsuda Jan Para” by Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan Party
[14:20] Nusrat’s obituary in The New York Times
[16:09] Yassir Chadly
[18:20] A neat infographic of what Islam looks like.
[18:25] Additional reading on Sufism and the current state of Islam
[19:00] Some online dialogue about music in Islam
[19:45] Background on 2010 Lahore Bombing
[20:50] Tabla played by Jessica Ripper
[21:45] The Urs of Baba Farid
[21:50] On Baba Farid
[28:03] “Ya Mustafa” by Fanna-Fi-Allah performed at the Urs of Baba Farid
[30:05] Riffat Sultana
[30:10] Ustad Salamat Ali Khan
[36:00] Abidah Parveen with members of Fanna-Fi-Allah
The project that started this story: