By Mudassir Raja
Urdu poets from multiple countries enthralled hundreds of audience members at Katara Amphitheatre on Thursday night with ghazals and poems.
Majlis-e-Frogh-e-Urdu Adab (MFUA) Qatar, an organisation working for the promotion of Urdu literature and poetry, arranged the international poetry symposium. On the occasion, MFUA also gave away the 21st Aalmi Frogh-e-Urdu Adab Award to two recipients from India and Pakistan.
The mushaira was held at Katara’s open air theatre, under the patronage of the Ministry of Culture and Sports. A large number of Urdu-speaking people from Indian and Pakistani expatriate communities attended the gathering and appreciated the poets for presenting both fresh and acclaimed poetry.
The MFUA, before the start of the mushaira, gave away three awards. The Aalmi Frogh-e-Urdu Adab Awards for 2017 were given to Professor Dr Abdul Samad from India and Professor Fateh Muhammad Malik from Pakistan. A special award was also conferred on Dr Syed Taqi Abedi from Canada.
The three men were awarded in recognition of their outstanding and long-time services for the promotion of Urdu literature. Dr Abdul Samad was born in India on July 18, 1952. He is a well-known Urdu novel writer and a critic. Professor Fateh Malik was born in 1936 in Chakwal, Pakistan. He has been a college and university teacher all his life and is well-known and recognised in Pakistan as a critic and Urdu essay writer. As far as Dr Syed Taqi Abedi is concerned, he hails originally from India but has long been living in Canada. He is an accomplished Urdu poet and critic and is well-known in literary circles of Urdu-speaking people across the world.
The MFUA gave away gold medals and cash prizes to the three men of letters for their long and outstanding contributions to Urdu literature.
The mushaira that followed was also attended by representatives of embassies of India and Pakistan.
Poets who entertained the audience included Ghazal Ansari from the UK, Fakhara Anjum from Lahore, Raheem Rashid from Burewala in Pakistan, Vijay Tewari from Bhopal in India, Sabeel Saif from Karachi, Azzam Shakri from India, Syed Naveed Haider Hashmi from Quetta in Pakistan, Dr Mehtab Alam from Bhopal in India, Farhat Ahsas from New Delhi in India, Lata Heya from India, Arif Sharif from Lahore in Pakistan, Professor Shafey from Aligarh in India, and humorous poet Dr Inam-ul Haq Javaid from Pakistan.
In his welcome address, Mohammad Atiq, chairman of board of patrons of MFUA, said that he is very happy to announce that the Majlis has been conducting its annual mushaira for the last 23 years in Qatar. He said that the MFUA kept its tradition of honouring men of letters for their extraordinary contributions to the Urdu literature from across the world.
He said, “It is very good to see activities related to Urdu language and literature at the time when many languages around the world are heading towards extinction. It is also very good to see that people in good numbers come to listen to mushairas and encourage the poets for their work. The continuous encouragement and support to the literary figures will promote Urdu across the world.”
The majority of people, including families, kept sitting and listening to the poets till the very end. They enjoyed the poetry, the overall atmosphere and pleasant weather at the open air theatre.
The audience, a mix of all ages, appreciated all forms of Urdu poetry. They seemed to love the ghazals and poems. They enjoyed the variety of romantic, thought-provoking, and humorous verses that were presented, applauding in particular the poetry of Faakhra Anjum, Vijay Tewari, Naveed Haider, Lata Haya, Arif Sharif, Farhat Ahsas, Dr Taqi Abdedi, and Syed Khursheed Rizvi, president of MFUA.
The poetry of Dr Inam-ul Haq Javaid came as a comic relief — he made the audience laugh with his witty and amusing verses.
Syed Asif Ali, a businessman in Qatar from Pakistan, said, “It is good to hear excellent poets and their verses here. I really enjoyed the night. Having it in an open area was a unique but beautiful idea. People from both India and Pakistan are together to listen and appreciate Urdu poetry.”
He said, “I like Urdu poetry and I really enjoyed the atmosphere. Listening to poetry in your own language is always beautiful. The Urdu speaking community in Qatar takes grate interest in promoting the language.”
Muhammad Iran hails from Hyderabad India and works in Qatar with a government department. He said, “I try to go to every Urdu mushaira. I enjoy the poetry. It is good to see big poets.”
He added, “It is always nice when the Urdu speaking community in Qatar gets to go to such mushairas and enjoy top poets.”
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