OVER 20 Urdu poets, writers and scholars from India and Pakistan attended the annual Aalmi Frogh-e-Urdu Adab awards ceremony and Aalmi Mushaira (international poetry symposium) over the weekend.
Organised by Majlis-e-Frogh-e-Urdu Adab, Qatar (MFUAQ) at the Sheraton, the event was presided over by the renowned Pakistani poet Ahmed Faraz.
Qatar National Council for Culture, Arts and Heritage director general Mubarak bin Nasser al-Khalifa was the chief guest, while Pakistani Ambassador Mohamed Asghar Afridi was among the distinguished guests.
Event manager, Shaukat Ali Naz delivered the opening speech. Managing committee member Furqan Paracha and local poet Fahim Uddin Syed read out introductory notes on the award-winners and their achievements.
MFUAQ’ board of patrons chairman Mohamed Atiq welcomed the audience and thanked al-Khalifa, Afridi and all who extended co-operation in holding the event.
He also recalled the services of MFUAQ’s founder the late Malik Museeb.
Al-Khalifa gave away the prizes and trophies to Mohamed Mansha Yad (Pakistan) and Prof Waris Alvi (India), who were picked by independent juries in India and Pakistan. He also released a colourful magazine on the occasion.
In his speech, al-Khalifa appreciated Atiq and his team members for organising the event and pledged his support to promote literary activities.
The awards were instituted by Majlis in 1996, to honour Urdu writers and scholars from Pakistan and India for their lifetime achievements and contribution in promotion of Urdu language and literature. It carries a cash prize of Rs300,000 equally shared by the two winners and a gold trophy for each.
The award ceremony was followed by an international poetic session conducted by Azm Behzad.
Poets from India included Sardar Panchi, Naeem Akhter Burhanpuri, Hafiz Abdul Mannan Tarzi, Popular Meeruti and Shayama Singh Saba.
From Pakistan, poets were Anwer Masood, Aslam Kaulsary, Azm Behzad, Saleem Kouser, Liaqat Ali Asim and Rehana Roohi.
Two UAE-based poets Zohra Serwat and Zahoor ul-Islam Javed also participated in the session while Mohamed Ali Siddiqui and Wadood Qureshi from Pakistan and Salahuddin from the UAE were attending as special guests.
Besides Naz, local poets participating included Shafiq Akhtar, Jalil Nozami and Sa’adat Ali Sa’adat.
Satco International, Bin Omran Group, Ali Bin Ali, NBK and Gentech were the co-sponsors of the event.
Last year, the organisation dedicated its annual Aalmi Mushaira to its founder Malik Museeb ur-Rehman, who died in April 2006. – RC