By Mudassir Raja
Pakistani community members recently organised a programme to celebrate Urdu poetry in connection with the Pakistan National Day celebrations at Al Banush Club in Mesaieed.
Prominent members of the community, families and children attended the programme in large numbers. The chief guest on the occasion was Syed Ahsan Raza Shah, Ambassador of Pakistan to Qatar. He was flanked by other officials of the embassy. The programme was organsied by Shaiqeen-e-Funn, a literary group of Pakistani community.
The event started with national anthems of Qatar and Pakistan. Following the national anthems, organisers and guests attended a cake-cutting ceremony, after which young children from the Pakistani schools performed different cultural tableaus.
The children clad in traditional and colourful national dresses presented songs and folk dances of Punjab, Sindh, Balauchistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and other areas of Pakistan. The children also presented different performances highlighting the struggle for the independence of Pakistan and paid rich tributes to the defence forces of the country. All and sundry present in the gathering were entertained by the energetic and rhythmic performances of the children.
The main charm of the programme was Alami Mushaira (International Poetry Symposium). The organisers had invited noted Urdu poets from Pakistan. Some Doha-based poets were also present on the occasion. The prominent poets were namely; Abbas Tabish from Lahore, Fakhira Batool from Islamabad, Shakeel Jazab from Lahore, Dr Fartash Syed from Lahore, Kunwar Imtiaz Ahmed from Lahore, Adnan Baig from Faisalabad, Athar Abbas from Sheikhupura, Sheraz Ghafoor from Dera Ghazi Khan and Nauman Abdul Majeed from Muscat, Oman. Abbas Tabish presided over the proceedings of the symposium and Dr Fartash Syed compered the proceedings.
The majority of poets presented their creative poetry highlighting the National Day and its significance. The poets invoked patriotism and human values of the audience through their heart-touching verses. They also shared romantic ghazals to amuse the gathering.
Speaking on the occasion, Pakistani ambassador Syed Ahsan Raza Shah said that he was very happy to see the enthusiasm and energy of the children. “They are our future and I am happy to see their keen interest in the celebration of our National Day.”
The ambassador also appreciated the families present to attend the event. “I am glad to see the number of women and children present here.
They look very keen to enjoy Urdu poetry and that is really encouraging.” He thanked the organisers and the Pakistani community in Mesaieed for arranging the event and making it a success.
The ambassador specially thanked the poets from Pakistan. “Abbas Tabish and Shakeel Jazib are here. I welcome you in Doha and thank you for sharing your soulful verses and encouraging messages.”
In his address Mohammad Atiq, Chairman Shaeqeen-e-Fun, said: “The literary group was founded by me and by Museeb-ur-Rehman 25 years ago in Doha. It was formed to promote Pakistani literature, culture, traditions, and nationalism. I congratulate the office-bearers and members of the group for its silver jubilee. We have regularly been organsing literary and music events on the eve of the Pakistan National Day. We have been inviting classical, semi classical, playback and folk singers for our programmes. Few of them were namely; Ustad Hamid Ali Khan, Ghulam Ali Khan, Rustum Fateh Ali Khan, Rafaqat Ali Khan, Abida Perveen, Sira Naseem, Iqbal Bano and others.
“We have also been organising lectures on the National Day. We have invited men of letters like Professor Abdullah and Professor Fateh Muhammad. We have also organised poetic symposiums for Pakistan’s different regional languages such as Punjabi, Sindhi, Balochi, Pashtu, and Siraeki.”
Nawaz Akram, President of Shaeqeen-e-Adab, in his welcome speech thanked the guests and audience for attending the programme. Talking to Community, Abrar Husasin, a noted community leader, said: “It is always good to have Urdu mushaira. This symposium is special because it is being held on the eve of our National Day. The poets have actually evoked strong nationalistic feelings through their verses. It is also good to see young children celebrating the day and enjoying the colourful activity.”
Fakhra Batool, a poetess from Islamabad, said: “For me it is always a pleasure to visit Qatar. The passion of literature and especially for the Urdu poetry is extraordinary among the Pakistani community here. I have visited many countries but I find Qatar very special as far as giving respect to the poets and appreciating their creativity goes.”
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