Four days after the deadly bomb blast, the dancer/activist was seen dancing at the shrine. - Photo credits: Waheed Ali
Four days after the deadly bomb blast, the dancer/activist was seen dancing at the shrine. - Photo credits: Waheed Ali

Last week, nearly 85 people were killed and over 300 injured in a suicide bomb explosion at Lal Shahbaz Qalandar's dargah in Sehwan Thursday evening.

A day after the attack, devotees gathered at the shrine to resume dhammal in defiance of not only the attackers but also the police. "This is no place for the police," said Haja Shah, one of the shrine's caretakers, with tears in his eyes. "This is our place."

Sunday afternoon, dancer/activist Sheema Kermani showed consolidatory with the victims and people of Sehwan by dancing at the shrine.

She shared with Images: "The message is basically of love and peace. I feel that to counter hatred and death, dance and music and other related arts work as therapy and as a bridge."

"The purpose of the performing arts is to 'uplift humanity' - to make us better human beings, to create an atmosphere of harmony and togetherness. The land of Sindh has always reverberated with the sound of the drums, the beat of the dancing feet and the poetry of these great Sufi saints who taught us all this - and I did the dhammal with all of us in my mind and my heart - along with the sorrow for those who were killed one has the hope that life will go on with beauty and love. This was my message and my dance!"

Kermani added that her dance invited other women to join her as well.

"The response of the crowd was amazing, other local women got up and started doing the dhammal along with me - even when we were singing and dancing on the road leading to the shrine the shopkeepers were throwing rose petals on us - I think we helped to revive a feeling of joy and strength in the continuity of dhammal and music and song."

Her colleague Waheed Ali told us the reason of the visit to Sehwan. "We keep visiting various shrines and cultural places as such that promote peace and the arts but to go to Sehwan at this time was more important than ever. We went to show solidarity, to remind the locals that they've not been forgotten."

Sheema Kermani performs at Lal Shahbaz Qalandar's shrine just days after the bomb blast - Photo credits: Waheed Ali
Sheema Kermani performs at Lal Shahbaz Qalandar's shrine just days after the bomb blast - Photo credits: Waheed Ali

"Our message was that we are not afraid and we will continue to dance; we are still standing here," he added.


An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Waheed Ali as Sheema Kermani's employee. He is in fact the activist's colleague. The error is regretted.

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