JEDDAH: The newly established, Gulf Urdu Council (GUC), a literary group for the promotion of Urdu in the Gulf states, held a grand mushaira in Jeddah on Thursday.
Well-known Urdu poets from the Gulf states were invited to display their poetic skills to the Urdu-speaking expatriate community in Jeddah.
The architect of the GUC event in Jeddah was Mahtab Qadr who came in for effusive praise for organizing a particularly enjoyable evening.
Professor Peerzada Qasim, renowned Pakistan literary figure and former vice chancellor of Karachi University, was the star attraction.
India’s Professor Irtiza Karim, director of the National Council for the Promotion of Urdu Language, was the chief guest while US-based poet Khalid Irfan was the guest of honor.
Mir Firasat Ali Khusrow moderated the session, which was attended by a large number of Urdu lovers from India and Pakistan; all were eager to listen to some of the greatest poets in the region.
The event began with the recitation of the Holy Qur’an by Qari Mohammed Noor.
Everyone’s heart gripped with emotions as a “naat” in praise of Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, was presented by Nawaz Janjua, who presented, in his unique style, the last portions of Allama Iqbal’s “Jawab-e-Shikwa.”
In his welcoming remarks, GUC Secretary Mahtab Qadr thanked all the poets for coming to Jeddah from all over the Gulf and for giving the Urdu-speaking community an opportunity to listen to good poetry.
Stressing the need to further boost the language in the Kingdom, he called on local literary groups in Jeddah to focus on talented young poets from the GCC and to invite them regularly to local functions.
Peerzada Qasim, who came especially from Karachi to attend the mushaira, enthralled the audience when he read both some old and more couplets in his unique melodic style. There was an outburst of praise and appreciation from the audience when he read his famous “Ik dia bujha huwa” ghazal at the special request of his fans.
Earlier, he applauded Mahtab Qadr and his team and the august members of the audience for sitting until midnight and making the event a grand success.
“GUC invited me to this festival by letter and I accepted the invitation immediately,” he said. He said that he was pleased to see both Indian and Pakistani poets presenting their poetry from a united platform, adding that Urdu can be promoted swiftly only through joint efforts which is exactly what the GUC is doing.
Mushaira coordinator Bader Ansari enthusiastically praised the high quality of the mushaira.
US-based poet Khalid Irfan entertained the audience with his humorous poetry in typical “Dilawar Figar style.” There were uproars of laughter during his sarcastic portrayal of corrupt politicians.
Senior poets from Jeddah, Naeem Bazidpuri and Aalami Urdu Markaz President Ather Nafees Abbasi presented classic couplets and received great appreciation from the audience. Bazidpuri in particular brought the house down with superior craft.
Others who presented their poetry included Sohail Saquib (Dammam), Nasir Burni (Yanbu), Dr. Ashfaq Nasir (Abha), Nadeem Mahir (Qatar), Sadaaqat Tirmizi (Kuwait), Mahtab Qadr (Jeddah), Firasat Ali Khusrow (Riyadh) and Faisal Tufail (Jeddah).
The candle-lighting ceremony was conducted by Tahseemul Haq Haqqi, welfare attaché at the Pakistani Consulate, and Ahmeduddin Owaisi, president, Bazm-e-Ittehad.
Awards were given to senior poets, including Peerzada Qasim (Qidwai Award), Khalid Irfan (Nazir Qidwai Award), Naeem Bazidpuri (Ahmed Jamaal Sadiq Award), Ashfaq Nasir (Ataullah Farooqi Award), Mir Firasat Ali Khusrow (Abdullah Abbas Nadwi Award), Sohail Saquib (Zaka Siddique Award), Athar Nafees Abbasi (Musliuddin Sadi Award), Nadim Mahir (Adnan Siddique Award), Sadaaqat Tirmizi (Baykas Nawaz Shariq Award), Ishham Syed (Abdullah Nazir Award), Nasir Burni (Itimaad Siddique Award), Mahtab Qadar (Shakeeb Arab Award), Altaf Shahryar (Zafar Mehdi Award) and Faisal Tufail (Prof. Noor Ahmed Award).