Poetry for peace: Khyber’s adabi jirga continues in Hamza Baba’s footsteps

Poets gather to recite work based on war, peace and development of the tribal belt.

Hidayat Khan/abuzar Afridi August 03, 2014

LANDI KOTAL: The Khyber Pashto Adabi Jirga held a ‘Peace Poetry Session’ mushaira in Landikotal on Sunday with at least 30 poets, of whom three were from Afghanistan and the rest from the agency.

Muntazir Shinwari and Afghan poet Sawab Khaksar presided over the session. Others who were in attendance include Shahid Intizar, Rehman Muntazir, Yar Husain Sahil, Abdur Rauf Ghafur Afridi, Islam Gharkab, and Nurul Wahab.

The poets recited ghazals and poems about peace and on-going wars. The body of work served as a collective call for the prosperity and development of Khyber Agency. The work of the poets also touched on the continuously evolving geo-political placement of the tribal belt.

Riaz Shah Afridi, the president of the adabi jirga, requested the government to construct an office for their society—one of the oldest in the region—so they can continue working towards the promotion of the literary arts. Their current office is located in Godown or Bhatai, Landikotal.

Khyber Agency has been home to a number of illustrious Pashto poets, including Hamza Khan Shinwari or Hamza Baba and Misri Khan Khatir, commonly known as Khatir Afridi. The agency has managed to maintain its tradition of mushairas, despite trying security conditions.

The Pashto Adabi Jirga is one of the oldest literary organisations in the agency. Its foundation was laid down by Hamza Baba in 1940 and still serves the Pashto poetry community with hundreds of writers associated with it.

A huge number of people were there to listen to the mushaira and showed their appreciation with their applause and requests for encores.

Published in The Express Tribune, August 4th,2014.


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