An International ‘Eid Milan Mushaira’ was organised by the Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) over the weekend, a spokesperson shared on Sunday.
The mushaira was presided over by Dr Waheed Ahmed from Islamabad and moderated by Shehzad Baig with poets from all over the country and abroad presenting their poetry, remotely.
An official informed that Suraj Narain (Kohat), Mansoor Afaq (Lahore), Sabir Raza (Manchester) and Ghazanfar Hashmi (USA) were the chief guests while Dr Shaista Nuzhat (Lahore), Ejaz Kanwar Raja (Lahore), Saadullah Shah (Lahore), Kabir Athar (Rahim Yar Khan), Altaf Bukhari (USA), Mohsin Shakeel (Quetta), Ali Arman (UK), Shafqatullah Mushtaq (Bahawalnagar) and Arif Afzal Osmani were the guests of honor.
PAL Chairman Dr Yousuf Khushk, in his introductory remarks, thanked all the national and foreign poets for accepting the invitation and participating in the poetry recital. He said that, especially in the month of Ramazan, two international Hamdiya and Naatiya Mushairas were organised in which poets presented their poetry in Urdu language.
This was followed by Hamdiya and Naatiya poetry recitals in other languages like Punjabi, Sindhi, Pashto, Potohari, Seraiki, Balochi, Brahui, Hindko, Kashmiri, Khwar, Gojri Pahari, Wakhi, Sheena, Broshki, and Balti. Then came the International Women's Hamdiya and Naatiya Poetry and now PAL has organised an International Eid Millan Mushaira, he added.
Dr Khushk said that there is no doubt that the world has been facing Covid for the last one year and now we are facing the most dangerous wave of this epidemic. “People had never faced such an epidemic before. I pay tribute to the poets and writers who held pens in their hands in such depressing times wherein the whole society was in a state of extreme anxiety and played the role of a vanguard,” he maintained.
Read more: What I’m grateful for, this Eid
Through their poetry, essays and columns, they not only encouraged people but also instilled in them a desire to live, he said. “Our writers also encouraged doctors, volunteers and other social workers who rendered their services to the society. This role of writers has also been appreciated globally and is unforgettable,” he added.
Dr Khushk further stated that PAL has entered into agreements with many countries despite Covid, especially under the agreement reached with China whereby 100 Pakistani books will be translated into the Chinese language.
He said that the poetry received under ‘Omid Zeest Award’ will be published soon in which our senior and young writers have sent their creations in poems, ghazals and other genres. Hopefully this book will become a literary document.
Dr Waheed Ahmed, President of the mushaira, in his speech termed the event as success, saying that the present chairman has made PAL very dynamic. Despite Covid, holding publications and programmes is a sign of their love for their field, he maintained. After the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, the efforts of Dr Khushk have made the Pak-China Literary Corridor a great success.
Participants of the mushaira included Ashraf Yousufi (Faisalabad), Maqsood Wafa (Faisalabad), Azhar Farag (Bahawalpur), Faisal Hashmi (Khanewal), Rafiq Ahmad Khan (Hyderabad), Anjum Salimi (Faisalabad), Khalid Sajjad (Kuwait), Qamar Riaz ( Muscat), Dr Shafiq Asif (Sargodha), Saima Aftab (Lahore), Azra Naz (London), Astuti Agrawal (India), Shahid Zaman (Kohat), Saima Noorin Bukhari (Multan), Rabab Tabassum (Islamabad), Dr Arif Farhad (Islamabad), Manan Qadeer Manan (London), Neil Ahmed (Karachi), Neelam Malik (Lahore), Dr Shama Afroz (Karachi), Taslim Ikram (Islamabad), Ehsan Shah (Gilgit), Mian Aftab Ahmed (Faisalabad), Ramzi Atham (Karachi), Ejaz Ahmed (Doha), Haroon Adeel (Peshawar), Mubashir Saeed (Sahiwal), Shiraz Ghafoor (Dera Ghazi Khan), Hassan Masood (Mianwali), Mujaddid Al-Arz (Khairpur), Aqeel Shah (Islamabad), Sanaullah Zaheer (Faisalabad), Dr Shahid Ashraf (Faisalabad), Danish Aziz (Lahore), Mahmood Raza Syed (Faisalabad), Kashif Irfan (Islamabad), Irfan Arif (Jammu and Kashmir) and others.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 17th, 2021.