By Mudassir Raja
Majlis-e-Frogh-e-Urdu Adab (MFUA), a prominent literary organisation, achieved a major milestone on Friday night when it successfully organised its 25th annual mushaira (poetic symposium) at City Centre Rotana Hotel.
The silver jubilee mushaira– keeping up with its tradition, attracted and enthralled Urdu lovers who were present in the hall in large numbers. The mushaira formally started by 9am continued till 2am. The audience remained glued to their seats throughout the session while listening to and appreciating the poetic thoughts and rhythmic recitations of the well-known poets from different countries.
It was an expression of the love that the expatriate communities from Pakistan and India living in Qatar carry for the Urdu language and literature. It keeps them connected with each other as well as their culture.
Mohammed Hasan al-Kuwari, Director of Publications & Translation Ministry of Culture and Sports, was the chief guest on the occasion. Al-Kuwari represented HE the minister on the occasion. The other prominent guest was Maqbool Khalfan, ex-general manager Doha Bank.
The mushaira was presided over by Amjad Islam Amjad, a well-known Urdu poet, playwright, and columnist from Pakistan. He attended the first mushaira organised by MFUA in 1994 and also the 25th one.
The poets from Pakistan were namely, Amjad Islam Amjad, Ambareen Haseeb Amber, Shaukat Fehmi, Dr Fartash Syed, Junaid Azar and Idrees Qureshi. The guest poets from India included; Charan Singh Bashar, Shakeel Azmi, Nusrat Zaheer Ahmed and Zubair Tabish. The other poets were Dr Syed Taqi Abedi, from Canada, Dr Nausha Asrar from USA, Sadaqat Tarmazi from Kuwait; and Qamar Riaz from Oman. The poets from Doha included Asif Shafi, Raza Hussain Raza and Sanwal Abbasi.
The mushaira was preceded by 23rd Aalmi Frogh-e-Urdu Adab Awards, the awards ceremony is also an annual feature of the literary group for the last 23 years. This year the awards were presented to Prof Dr Tehsin Firaqi, a reputed Urdu scholar, researcher and critic from Pakistan, and Fay Seen Ejaz, an eminent literary journalist, poet, creative fiction and travelogues writer, critic from India.
The organisers also launched two books on the occasion. The first book is Zard Mosam kay Gulab that is a translation of Qatari novel namely Maa-ul-Ward by Dr Noora Fraj, which is traslated by Obaid Tahir, Senior Producer and Announcer at Qatar Radio.
The second book is Qatar Ki Nakabandi. It is also a translation of an Arabic book by Al Jazeera TV on the unjust siege of Qatar. The book has been published by Ashraf Siddique, a noted member of the Pakistani expatriate community. Majlis also launched its annual magazine on the occassion.
Speaking on the occasion, Mohammed Hasan al-Kuwari said: “I am very pleased to be here with well-known Urdu literary figures. HE Salah bin Ghanem bin al-Ali, Minister of Culture and Sports, wished that he was here. He personally asked me to come here and represent him.
“On this occasion, I recall a sentence of Amir of Qatar His Highness Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani that he said during his speech at the UN General Assembly, which is that he is proud of the residents of Qatar as much as he is proud of the people of Qatar. Qatar has historic relations with Pakistan and India. The cultural influences of these countries are overwhelmingly visible in Qatar. Urdu has its influence not only in Qatar but also in other Gulf states. I am proud that I have friends who speak Urdu. I wish I knew Urdu and I would be able to listen and enjoy the creative works of the renowned poets tonight. I am also a poet and novelist.”
In his welcome address, Mohamed Atiq, Chairman MFUA, said: “It was in January 1994 when Malik Museeb-ur-Rehman, the founder of Majlis, urged me to patronise the literary group. We started organising the poetic symposiums same year. In 1996, we launched the award to celebrate and recognise the contributions of noted Urdu scholars. Different International literary circles of serious nature appreciated the launch of the annual award by Majlis. We have been offering the awards continuously for the last 23 years.
“I became dejected after the death of the founder of Majlis in 2006. I felt very lonely while running the affairs of the literary group. However, I felt myself responsible to further the mission of Museeb to promote Urdu literature. I am thankful to all members of Majlis whose support and contributions help the organisation continue its annual literary activities. Though it is difficult to organise international literary symposiums, we have been receiving all support from the Ministry of Culture and Sports, the Ministry of Interior Qatar and our sponsors.”
Speaking to Community, Riyaz Ahmed Bakali, a noted representative of the Pakistani community, said: “The interest of Urdu lovers is evident from the fact that the mushaira completed its 25th year in Qatar. The major reason behind the continuously successful organisation of the sessions is the keen interest and natural love shown by the expatriate community in literary activity. Further, it is possible due to the kind of facilities and support provided by Qatar for such literary sessions.”
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