Alamgir: A Pop Singer With Failed Kidneys

Posted on October 10, 2008
Filed Under >Cemendtaur, Health & Disease, Music, Pakistanis Abroad, People
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A.H. Cemendtaur

Being a perennial skeptical about email money appeals, a message about Alamgir’s health and plea to wire transfer money to a bank account made me decide to check the veracity of the news.

I looked up Alamgir’s telephone number in Georgia and called him up. Luck was with me, I was able to talk directly to Alamgir in quite detail. Here is what I gathered from our telephone conversation.

In 2004, Alamgir was diagnosed with failing kidneys. At that time his kidneys were operating at 50% of their capacity. The kidneys kept deteriorating in their performance and by now they are almost useless. Alamgir needs a kidney transplant, but till he finds new kidneys he would have to go through dialysis, the process of machine-cleaning the blood. For the dialysis to start he went through a surgery on Monday, October 6, at Gwinnett Medical Center, Lawrenceville. In that surgery Alamgir was fitted with a dialysis catheter.

Once the surgical wound is dried up, Alamgir’s dialysis through the catheter would start. Since Alamgir has permanent renal failure, he would go through another surgery in which he would be fitted with surgically created arteriovenous fistula, a preferred approach for dialysis. Surgically created arteriovenous fistula is apparently a more involved surgery and is hence delayed till the patient is in better health through dialysis made possible through catheter.

The main reason Alamgir landed in financial trouble is because he was not carrying any health insurance. Although he sounded fatigued Alamgir spoke with optimism.

He said many Pakistani doctors currently living in the US were studying at either Sindh or Dow Medical College when he was at the peak of his career. They were his friends and he was happy to see them coming to his help. Just a day ago he received a call from Ishrat-Ul-Ibad, Governor of Sindh, who extended his support to Alamgir especially if Alamgir would come to Pakistan for further treatment. Alamgir said he is consulting his doctors for the best approach to take. Currently he is being helped by his wife; Alamgir’s son is studying in Virginia .

So, yes the news about Alamgir’s ailment and the appeal for financial help are authentic. Money should be sent directly to Alamgir’s bank account as given in the email message.

32 Comments on “Alamgir: A Pop Singer With Failed Kidneys”

  1. Owais Mughal says:
    October 10th, 2008 12:56 pm

    A news item from Jang on Alamgir’s illness

  2. Owais Mughal says:
    October 10th, 2008 12:59 pm

    Following message is from Bilal Zuberi, which he had posted at another ATP post about Alamgir yesterday.
    Owais
    ————————-
    Owais, tried posting this earlier but it didn’t go through…you are right on Alamgir. Here’s a note from a friend organizing a fundraiser for Alamgir.
    Bilal
    ————————-

    Alamgir has been a true trail-blazer, the first musician and entertainer who came up on the stage and TV and belted out his own unique vibrant brand of music, which so many others have tried to follow, over the last 35 years. His passion and vibrancy, however, has remained unparalleled and he has truly enriched our lives with his songs and music. Its now our turn to help him, when he needs it most.

    I spoke to Alamgir a few days ago and also to his only offspring Aurangzeb in DC, who is in his last year at college. Alamgir was in his usual high spirits, although I could sense some nervousness betraying his facade. After all, he has to undergo two hernia surgeries on October 2, before the dialysis process can start two weeks after.

    The new date for the Boston benefit concert is November 15th. I am working on two possible avenues at Pine Manor College and MIT. The sound system has already been arranged to his satisfaction. I am confident that, InshaAllah, he would be fit enough to perform. As a backup though, we will switch on to the “sitting down ghazals/geet on a harmonium” format, if he is even slightly uncomfortable with his usual Alamgir stage format. He is receptive to this idea.

    While we pursue with our institutional vehicles of help, I personally feel that in the spirit of sharing and caring of this holy month, in addition to our prayers for his health and complete recovery, we should start to activate the process of Giving right now, so that he has some funds well before his surgery. Towards this end, I have managed to discreetly get his bank account details from his wife, which are as follows

    Alamgir Haq
    Suntrust Bank
    routing: 061000104
    account: 1000088362248

    Additionally, I have already started to collect contribution checks on his behalf and plan to courier him on 9/26/08. If you prefer, you can make out your contribution checks to Alamgir Haq and mail them to me at

    Siraj Khan
    10 Atherton Road
    Hudson MA 01749

    If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at 978-621-8030. We specially need volunteers to make up the crew for the Boston concert.

    I look forward to hearing from you and working together to support Alamgir.

  3. Allah Wasaya says:
    October 10th, 2008 1:52 pm

    Its a sad story that Alamgir is striken with this illness and my thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family. However I do not understand the need for the calls for financial help. I mean there are programs and policies in this country by virtue of which one can qualify for absolutely free medical treetment, as a matter of fact I personally know a gentleman who suffers from the same alement and gets all his treetments, dialysis and medication for free.

  4. Darwaish says:
    October 10th, 2008 2:20 pm

    I grew up listening to Alamgir’s music in mid 80s and warmly remember him for his lovely songs. I remember PTV used play his patriotic song or milli naghme which he sang with Benjaman Sisters for many years on 14th August and similar occasions. I don’t know how many of you remember him appearing in an episode of PTV classic Aangan Teerha where he sang a song with Shakeel, Bushra Ansari and I think Anwer Maqsood too.

    It is really sad to see him like that. I hope Sindh Government actually provide him help he needs and he recovers soon.

  5. AZRA says:
    October 10th, 2008 2:54 pm

    My prayers are with Alamgir today.

    So many of my memories of my youth are tied to his songs.

    Thank you for writing about this.

    May Allah give him good health. We are praying for him,

  6. Anwar says:
    October 10th, 2008 4:00 pm

    I have already circulated this link among a number of people I know… Will be glad to help him.
    I am not sure about the visitation situation as he is only an hour away…
    Best wishes.

  7. Shiraz says:
    October 10th, 2008 6:08 pm

    Will send this to my Alumni and post it on Pakistanis in North American group on Flickr as well.

    thanks,
    Shiraz

  8. Ramiz says:
    October 10th, 2008 6:19 pm

    He is equally a good Ghazal singer.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SHqIWVdqYbg

  9. Sherbano says:
    October 10th, 2008 7:26 pm

    Thank you for this post, ATP!

    I’m sharing this information because all Pakistanis need to know and be proud of this organization. More so I hope Alamgir would benefit from it.

    SIUT, incorporated in Texas, was founded by Dr. Syed Adibul Hassan Rizvi, ex-professor Dow Medical College. They are providing free treatment to patients of kidney failure, cancer, and Heart diseases. Please check the website and spread the word and support.
    http://www.siutna.org/

  10. October 11th, 2008 2:18 am

    I met him very briefly once and found him to be so humble. I was 16 or 17 then and he was one of the few signers of the time who was dancing on the stage, can’t forget mohammad ali shakie. …..but i pray for alamgirs health and his speedy recovery……ameen.

  11. Qausain Ali says:
    October 11th, 2008 3:29 am

    I also pray for alamgirs health and his speedy recovery

  12. ikhlaque chan says:
    October 11th, 2008 11:46 am

    In the past years it has been difficult to be a performing artist in Pakistan. Many of our talents have escaped our country to fullfill their dream. In other countries artists are promoted by the public, the government, the business comunity etc..

    In Pakistan its difficult for these young stars to even hold a open air concert where young girls and boys can listen to their idols, together….

    Just look at the Oslo Mela, a annual happening in downtown Oslo. Here, young pakistani boys and girls, mums and dads, aunties and uncles can listen and se their pakistani idols preform live in a safe environment.

    Simmilar thngs happens in all places around the world, where there is a big pakistani comunity.

    Now, I do not find it strange that our artists go abroad and even migrate… After all thats where they find the right arena among desi people.

  13. Salman says:
    October 11th, 2008 12:43 pm

    To Qausain Ali. I think what you have assertain about Alamgir is not correct. Alamgir he is as patriotic as anyone else. I’ve been living in US and and have seen Alamgir’s performance in a 14th. August festival and Alamgir was not on the list of performer when friend of mine contacting different artist and asking them to perform for 14th August independence day party and find everyone so expensive and so many Nukhra’s. Then we came to know about Almagir’s contact we was so humble and polite and was so excited to perform on idenpendence day and even cut down his fees since the occasion was ‘Idependence Day of Pakistan’. He came to the party and sang all of his patriotic songs as well as all the partiotic songs by other artists.

    My humblel request to everyone, please ….. please if you can’t do anything for him with your money atleast you can spend the currency of good words for Alamgir.

    I think we all need to pray for brother Qausain Ali as well since the disease that Alamgir has if very physical in nature but our brother need help in regards to his spritual healing. Ameen.

  14. October 11th, 2008 1:32 pm

    Great shock to hear illness of our legend Alamgir.I pray to Almighty Allah for his early recovery.Almighty Allah blessed him.Please publish detail as to where and how people who love him can help.

  15. Atif Ayub says:
    October 11th, 2008 7:58 pm

    Can you please send me Alamgir’s phone number at atifayub@hotmail.com. I may be able to help him out.

  16. Isloo says:
    October 12th, 2008 11:20 am

    @Qausain…. Do you think whosoever lives abroad is filthy rich? Is it easy to earn dollors, do they sprout on trees?

    One shouldn’t be so cynic about things, especially about one’s heroes. Alamgir was one of few artists who provided the people of Pakistan with reasons to smile during Zia’s martial law.

    To put things in perspective, pop singing was not as financially rewarding in 80s as it is now; rather, this art was like a white elephant, as it would take more than it would give. Abrar, Roy or others too would have left Pakistan had singing not been rewarding them.

  17. Ali Dada says:
    October 12th, 2008 6:09 pm

    May Allah SWT help this brother. I pray for Alamgir, Inshallah he will be 100% fit and healthy – Ameen.

    Truly sad, his appeal really hits one’s heart.

  18. Zia Ahmed says:
    October 14th, 2008 7:01 am

    May Allah give him good health (Aamin).

  19. Lubna Ayub says:
    October 26th, 2008 9:29 pm

    I am perturbed about Alamgir’s health issues and pray for his health and longevity. Besides being his fan, I also have some personal affiliations with him since my childhood……he started his singing pursuits at my father’s hotel at Tariq Road, Karachi in the early 1970s. Alamgir has on several occasions and in interviews acknowledged that.

    I vividly remember him singing in the hotel’s open area for an enthusiastic crowd which also sometimes included Mr. Rahman, a renowned film actor from then East Pakistan, and his three elegant daughters. I was a little child then but have fond memories and perhaps also some photos of those times.

    I believe that you are doing a great service to Pakistan by bringing forth such issues and happenings and i sincerely salute you for your commitment towards ATP. I wish to share with you this announcement about the availability of free renal treatment in Saudi Arabia and request you to please forward it to those who are affiliated with Alamgir’s medical matters. I sincerely pray to Allah subhanawatalah that something works out for the best.

    With sincere regards for you and your great team at the ATP,
    Duas and salaams,
    Lubna Ayub

    “Very Important! If you know any patient with Kidney failure who does not have the financial ability to secure medical care, please spread the following details:

    A prominent Saudi business man, Ma’an Al Sanea, has dominated the cost of 60 kidney transplant operations in a Saudi hospital in Dammam, covering all costs. The hospital until now has only received 4 cases! If you know a patient who is in need, let them contact the hospital at:
    Saad Specialist Hospital
    Dammam ? AL Khobar
    Telephone 00966 3 8826666 extension 4444 “

  20. Lubna Ayub says:
    October 26th, 2008 9:31 pm

    I am perturbed about Alamgir’s health issues and pray for his health and longevity. Besides being his fan, I also have some personal affiliations with him since my childhood……he started his singing pursuits at my father’s hotel at Tariq Road, Karachi in the early 1970s. Alamgir has on several occasions and in interviews acknowledged that.

    I vividly remember him singing in the hotel’s open area for an enthusiastic crowd which also sometimes included Mr. Rahman, a renowned film actor from then East Pakistan, and his three elegant daughters. I was a little child then but have fond memories and perhaps also some photos of those times.

    I believe that you are doing a great service to Pakistan by bringing forth such issues and happenings and i sincerely salute you for your commitment towards ATP. I wish to share with you this announcement about the availability of free renal treatment in Saudi Arabia and request you to please forward it to those who are affiliated with Alamgir’s medical matters. I sincerely pray to Allah subhanawatalah that something works out for the best.

    With sincere regards for you and your great team at the ATP,
    Duas and salaams,
    Lubna Ayub

    “Very Important! If you know any patient with Kidney failure who does not have the financial ability to secure medical care, please spread the following details:

    A prominent Saudi business man, Ma’an Al Sanea, has dominated the cost of 60 kidney transplant operations in a Saudi hospital in Dammam, covering all costs. The hospital until now has only received 4 cases! If you know a patient who is in need, let them contact the hospital at:
    Saad Specialist Hospital
    Dammam ? AL Khobar
    Telephone 00966 3 8826666 extension 4444 “

  21. Mani says:
    November 2nd, 2008 1:44 pm

    May Allah Bless him … hes a legendary singer … especially his national songs are very good…

  22. Aquib says:
    February 3rd, 2009 1:23 pm

    May Allah bless him with a quick recovery, Ameen!

  23. asiya siddiqui says:
    April 12th, 2009 1:13 pm

    I was shocked by the news and pray for Alamgir’s long life and health. All the memories of childhood and youth come into mind whenever Alamgir’s name is mentioned. He has a very humble personality and many people love him because of that.

  24. mansoor says:
    May 2nd, 2009 10:00 pm

    inshallah Alamgir will do alright so many are praying
    for this great star, i beleive he happens to be senior
    placidian in bangladesh chittagong where i had to leave in the
    middle of my graduation, if u were there in the late
    1960′s during ? u know, so i heard about the Star,
    May allah STL give him health and happiness
    Ameen

  25. May 5th, 2009 4:49 pm

    Inshallah he’ll be alright soon. May Allah give him a better health to spend healthy life.

  26. May 30th, 2009 3:43 pm

    Ghalia Shaukat,D/o Late Maulana Abdul Rahman Tahir Surti.

    Alamgir sahab, I am praying from the depth of my heart for your quick recovery….may God Almighty give you long and healthy life….Ameen. My brothers Najib,Anas,Ghazi and Nasir along with my sister Aliah are also praying for your quick recovery.I still remember all your beautiful songs and my kidz Gibran and Usman love you too…I have told them much about yrself, and your devotion to Pakistan…I still keep your cd inwhich I have all your Ptv, early 70-mid 80′s popular songs.You still and will ever live in our hearts.You are like an asset to us and for Pakistan.My best regds.to your wife Shela,and son Aurangzeb,(AZEE)…..I live in Murree and my cell no is:03219538628.Ptcl res:0513413078…I was in USA in 2007 -8 and saw you in youtube…tel your secretary to call me and then I will give you my brother Nasir’s ph.numbers of chicago …and will tell him to help you financialy as much as they can also will call Najib bhai….in UAE….would luv to hear fm you….and you also know that you were my ideal personality and I learned all your songs by heart in my youth…I hope you had not forgotton me…you will always alive in our heart….cause you are king of Pop in Pak.A legend….We all Salute to your courage and stemina to fight with your ailment.May God give you long and healthy life….Take care and bye….Ghalia.

  27. saddan says:
    July 28th, 2010 6:05 pm

    your are also remain in our heart as the pakistani people loving you,your song makes me cry makes me feel the breath of love-love you(a bangladeshi guy from your earliar age’s BAF SHAHEEN COLLEGE DHAKA)

  28. (PATTY) IJAZ HAIDER ASKARI says:
    November 26th, 2010 12:18 am

    ALAMGIR, THIS IS PATTY I PLAYED TABLA WITH YOU AND MAHNAZ IN A CONCERT AT PICKFAIR THEATRE IN LOS ANGELES CALIFORNIA IN 1980′S , I AM A MUSICIAN FROM PAKISTAN WHO PLAYED WITH AN AMERICAN BAND CALLED BAD RELIGION AS A DRUMMER ANYWAYS I WOULD LIKE TO DONATE MY KIDENEY TO YOU, LET ME KNOW WHAT I NEED TO DO? PATTY

  29. Kay says:
    January 23rd, 2011 6:16 pm

    Dear AH, Ghalia sahiba, Owais Mughal sahib et al, AOA.

    I can see that the last comment was posted here 2 months ago. Just wondering if any of you were able to get in touch with Alamgir and get latest update on his health and any support he still might need. If anybody has such information, could you kindly post it here or contact me by email on Kay2K [at] live [dot] co [dot] uk. Actually, I had raised some funds from my mates, which I wanted to send to Alamgir.

    Now one of my mates has been in contact with Alamgir through this website: http://www.alamgirfanclub.com/. However, since last couple of days he’s been a bit sceptical about the means of contacts there so he wanted for us to do a quick verification. Could any of you confirm that the money sent through that website will actually reach Alamgir?

    Looking forward to getting the latest info.

    -Kay

  30. Kay says:
    January 23rd, 2011 7:25 pm

    Hi again. Just a quick correction to my previous post. My email address for contact that I mention there is not ….[at] live [dot] co.uk. It is actually Kay2K [at] live [dot] com.

    On a second thought though, it would perhaps be best if those want to respond to my post do so here so that others could see it too. But correcting my email address anyway…

  31. Aslam Baig says:
    February 13th, 2011 5:35 am

    Karachi Club NY is holding a benefit show for Alamgir on March 19, 2011. He is still going through Dialysis and hoping to go to Pakistan in April and try t0 find a Donner.
    He has Medicare insurance they cover up to 80% of the bill and he pays 20%, i got some of his payed bills just to satisfy some of the critics.
    Transplant surgery in Pakistan or India might cost him about 30 Lacks.
    Anyone wants to help him through Karachi Club, can send checks payable Alamgir Haq and mail to
    2111 5th street, East Meadow NY 11554.
    or if want come to the event its $50 pp and $500 for the table 10. For more information you can contact

    Aslam Baig
    ambaig@yahoo.com
    (516) 647-4482

  32. Aslam Baig says:
    February 13th, 2011 5:53 am

    Sorry forgot to mention $50 included
    Appitizer
    Big Dinner and the show @
    Antun’s
    244 Old Country Road, Hicksville NY

    Aslam Baig
    ambaig@yahoo.com
    (516) 647-4482

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