PESHAWAR: Famous American singer and guitarist Timothy Todd Shea entertained a jam-packed Nishtar Hall during a musical concert organised by the Directorate of Youth Khyber Pakhtunkhwa on New Year’s Eve. The winners of the National Youth Carnival singing competitors and Pashto singer and Rabab master Shahid Malang also enthralled the spectators with their lively performance.The American artist was in Peshawar as part of his charity tour for his Comprehensive Disaster Response Services charity organisation that he had founded in 2005 to help the earthquake affected people of the northern region of Pakistan. Starting his musical career soon after the world-changing event of 9/11, Timothy Todd Shea devoted his life for charity and services to the humanity after successfully recovering from cocaine addiction.Shea became addicted to a new kind of high – disaster relief. In the past 13 years, Shea has found himself at the centres of world’s worst natural disasters. ‘If every American could spend one week in Pakistan, they would never have a problem with Pakistan. I have assembled American and Pakistani musicians in an initiative called Sonic Peacemakers to offer a different perspective and to share what is universal’He helped raise funds through his musical performances for the victims of the devastating boxing-day tsunami in Asia in 2004, Hurricane Katrina in August and the killer earthquake Pakistan in October, 2005, the earthquake in Haiti and the Pakistan floods in 2010, and the earthquake and tsunami in Japan in 2011.The kind-hearted guitarist claimed to have never met a Muslim before 9/11 and he knew nothing about Islam and Pakistan. “I was totally ignorant of what was happening in the world. I didn’t know about the hatred out there. My life was about drugs and music,” Shea said while adding, “It’s hard to care if you just don’t know.”The CDRS aims at providing quick, efficient and compassionate medical and humanitarian relief and disaster recovery operations to the people living in the disaster affected areas of Pakistan. The charity also focuses on mother and child health and assistance to special patients. The charity has also benefited flood affected and internally displaced persons in Pakistan. Starting his musical career soon after the world-changing event of 9/11, Timothy Todd Shea devoted his life for charity and services to the humanity after successfully recovering from cocaine addictionThe charity organisation provides primary healthcare to nearly 200,000 Kashmiris, as well as other Pakistanis affected by disaster. CDRS employs more than 80 people across its nine medical centres, and has treated nearly 500,000 patients since 2006.Recalling his days before visiting Pakistan for the first time, Shea said that his friends tried to stop him from doing so as they saw Pakistan as a dangerous place for the Westerners.“People would tell me you’re nuts for going over there; you’re going into the belly of the beast,” Shea added.However, he said things were completely different than what his friends thought about Pakistan. “The people I met here were good, decent human beings, who happened to be Muslim,” he added.“If every American could spend one week in Pakistan, they would never have a problem with Pakistan,” he remarked.Shea added that he was using music to promote understanding between different people. “I have assembled American and Pakistani musicians in an initiative called Sonic Peacemakers to offer a different perspective and to share what is universal,” Shea expressed.The 45 years old, bearded and red haired bulky singer also sang “Dil dil Pakistan” besides interacting with the cheering spectators. He along with Shahid Malang compelled the audience on their toes and received thundering applauses on their performance on Guitar and Rabab, a famous Pashto musical instrument.“I love to visit Peshawar as the people of Peshawar and whole of Pakistan are so sweet, near and dear to me,” Shea expressed.Shea is in constant motion, ready to meet anyone who can help him procure medicines, raise funds or promote understanding, his guitar and a plastic shopping bag of essentials in tow.The winners of NYC recently held in the city also presented live performance during the event.Expressing his views, NYC Director General Asfandyar Khattak said that the aim and objective of the event was to provide international platform for the youth who got position in the youth carnival to prove their skills.“We have already chalked out a plan to have more and more activities for the youth and inviting Todd Shea is aimed at to give our youth a chance to performance side-by-side with internationally famed singer,” he added.Published in Daily Times, January 2nd 2018.