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Urdu Academy pays tribute to Ada Jafri

Urdu Academy 10-21-2012-AAA

By Abdus Sattar Ghazali

Urdu Academy of North America held its monthly literary event on October 21, 2012 at the Chandni Restaurant, Fremont/Newark. The event was dedicated to the life and work of prominent Urdu poet of sub-continent, Ada Jafri.

Jazib Qureshi, a prominent poet from Karachi who was visiting the Bay Area, presided over the event while Dr. Tahir Mahmood was MC of the program.Urdu Academy 10-21-2012-Podium2

Dr Tahir Mahmood presented a well researched maqala on the life and work of the celebrated poetess. Jazib Qureshi also read an extensive paper to highlight Ada Jafri’s contribution to the Urdu literature.

As usual a number of Urdu enthusiasts recited the poetry of Ada Jafri. Those were: Ahmar Shahwar, Asem Bajwa, Hatem Rani, Ishaq Nagpurwala, Jafar Shah, Naseer Humayun, Shahzad Basir, Shamsun Nahar, Shan Saigol, Tasadduq Attari and Talat Khan.

Picture shows from left: Arshad Rashid, Jazib Qureshi and Dr. Tahir Mahmood.

Ada Jafarey was born in Badayun, UP, India on August 22, 1926 and was named Aziz Jehan by her mother. Ada was born in a traditional society where women were not allowed to think and express independently, but she was bold enough to express herself without inhibitions. Her poetic quest, which now spans over seven decades, started when she wrote her first verse at the age of 9 years.

She published her first book Main Saaz Dhundtee Rahee in 1950. In addition to an autobiography and research work, Ada has published five collections of poetry. Ada Jafarey has been recognized as the First Lady of Urdu poetry for her contributions.

Ada Jafarey was awarded the Adamjee Award in 1967 for her second poetic collection Shehr e Dard. In recognition of her work, the Government of Pakistan awarded her the Tamgha e Imtiaz in 1981. She received the Baba e Urdu Award from the Pakistan Academy of Letters in 1994, and the Qaid e Azam Literary Award in 1997. She was also the recipient of the Hamdard Foundation of Pakistan’s Certificate of Merit. Urdu Academy 10-21-2012-Dr. Anshuman Chandra

The Government of Pakistan conferred upon her the Pride of Performance Award for Literature in 2002. Ada Jafarey was the recipient of the Kamal e Fan Award for life time achievement in literature by the Pakistan Academy of Letters in 2003. She is the first woman recipient of the award since the literary prize was established by the Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) in 1997.

Jazib Qureshi suggested that Ada Jafri may be recognized as the great poet of the 20th century as Wali Dakni, Mirza Ghalib and Allama Mohammad Iqbal are recognized a great Urdu poet of their century.

The second session of the literary evening was presided over by Naseer Humayun while Arshad Rashid was MC. In this session Urdu enthusiasts recited poems of their choice. Dr. Anshuman Chandra presented a ghazal of Tashie Zaheer on guitar to drew wide applaud. Unfortunately, Tashie Zaheer was not able to attend the event because of his illness and missed the beautiful composition of Dr. Chandra.

At the end Urdu Academy thanked Syed Sarwat, owner of Chandni Restaurant for patronizing the Urdu language by hosting the Urdu Academy literary event regularly.

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