Sadaf Raza’s latest poetry collection, “Write Me in Red”, talks about violence against women and aims to give voice to women who suffer in silence. The book was launched at an interactive session of Rotary Club Islamabad Metropolitan here on Saturday, said a press release.
Rotary Metropolitan President Ambassador (retd) Sultan Hayat introduced the writer as a rights activist and a fellow Rotarian. He said her first collection of poems “Like a Sleepwalker”, published in 2003, was well-reviewed by acclaimed South Asian writers.
“She talks boldly about issues that people in general are reluctant to talk about,” Hayat said.
Harris Khalique, a respected writer and poet, said the book “flows”. He said the haunting imagery and astounding similes capture the changing season of anguish in a woman’s life, but then the tone of personal suffering blends with hues of universal pain on an ever-expanding canvas. “The colours of her voice splash across the canvas of our being.”
While discussing the issue of violence against women, Harris categorically mentioned those women who have suffered violence and lost their lives. He mentioned women in Balochistan who were buried alive on the decision of a jirga, for the ‘crime’ of wanting to marry men of their choice.
He condemned practices like swara and vani before optimistically talking about the silent revolution which is seeping across urban centres. Using Swat as an example, he said “on one hand we see schools being blows up and girls being forcibly denied education, on the other hand we see more girls entering into colleges and universities, and assuming entrepreneurial roles.”
Raza said her book is not only a literary piece, but also an effort to reach out to the public on violence against women. She also said that its every woman’s right to live a life free of violence, and that womanhood needs to be celebrated. Later, she read and explained a few poems.
The session was attended by a number of dignitaries, former ambassadors and senior civil servants.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 17th, 2012.