Islamabad:Pakistan Academy of Letters on Thursday celebrated the poetic wisdom of Faiz Ahmad Faiz in a seminar marking the centenary celebration of the great poet recognised universally as the poet of the masses.
Meher Ghulam Farid Kathia, former state minister for education was the chief guest at the seminar while National Language Authority Chairman Iftikhar Arif presided over the session. Eminent literati Prof. Fateh Muhammad Malik, Agha Nasir, Ishfaq Saleem Mirza, Yousaf Hassan and Sarwat Mohyuddin shared their views on the life and works of Faiz.
Canada-based Pakistani literati and author of many books on Faiz Ahmad Faiz, Ishfaq Hussain, also presented his paper on Faiz. A special film on Faiz Ahmad Faiz was also screened on this occasion. Dr. Colonel Abdaal Bela, Acting Director General PAL, read out an article on Faiz by eminent scholar and the producer of the film Helen Goodway. Dr Ravish Nadeem conducted the proceedings of the seminar.
Speakers paid rich tribute to Faiz for his courage, ethics, and his immense contribution in Urdu poetry and literature. They expressed the view that the name of Faiz Ahmed Faiz is immortal in the annals of history now due to his contributions to the Urdu language and literature and the society in general.
PAL’s publication series initiated under the special instructions of President Asif Ali Zardari, a book titled “Faiz Ahmad Faiz in Beirut” was also launched on the occasion which covers the life and activities of Faiz Ahmad Faiz during his stay in Beirut as expatriate.
Ghulam Farid Khatia addressed Faiz as one of a few major poets in Urdu and the only poet after Iqbal who got universal recognition. He said that Faiz voiced the problems and miserable conditions of liberals and oppressed people from marginalized sections of society in his writings.
He said that during his involvement in progressive movement, Faiz not only made its pace fast, he also proved this opinion through his poetry that great literature can be produce under the umbrella of some specific ideology.
Iftikhar Arif said that after Iqbal, Faiz is the most dynamic literary personality who made great impact on our national literary history. He said that Faiz is the most popular poet and enjoyed the status of legend in his lifetime as progressive idealist and humanist poet nationally as well as internationally. Faiz presented specific ideology in his prose writings regarding life and poetry as well, he added. He said that though it has been over two decades that Faiz left us, yet he is more loved, strengthened, popular and relevant than before and after Iqbal, the number of written material on Faiz remains distinct and different in every respect.
Agha Nasir said that Faiz Ahmad Faiz was kind, soft hearted and coolheaded person. He was honoured as an intellectual and graceful person and he feels honoured to have met Faiz and gain his kindness and special attention. Ishfaq Saleem Mirza said that Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s life is versatile and multi-dimensional and it is not easy to cover a complete sketch of his life in one session. He said that Faiz brought forward the poetic traditions of Ghalib and Iqbal through his poetry.
Yousaf Hassan said that in the discipline of knowledge, Faiz preferred class struggle over enlightenment and in the area of art he gave preference to artistic and aesthetic characteristics, the combination that enriched his poetry with beauty and energy.
Ishfaq Hussain said that Faiz Ahmad Faiz personality has become a symbol of Pakistani literature and culture. With his remarkable contributions as a film producer, teacher, journalist, poet and intellectual, Faiz made great impact on his era, he added.
Sarwat Mohyuddin said that Faiz’s popularity and status in world literature could easily be assessed by the fact that everywhere in the world people love his poetry and programmes are being held to celebrate his 100th birthday. She said that Faiz’s message for the freedom fighters of Palestine and Africa is still honoured in Tunis, Jordan, Egypt and all other countries of the world with common history of struggle.
Helen Goodway in her article writes that the life and works of Faiz Ahmed Faiz were, and are known beyond the boundaries of the Urdu-speaking world. Faiz was recognised as a figure of political, as well as literary importance by the USSR. In 1962, he was awarded the Lenin International Peace Prize. Goodway informs through her article that there has been a fairly recent publication of a biography of Faiz in Russian by the great expositor of Faiz’s life and work Dr Ludmila Vassilyeva.
Faiz’s poetry has been translated into many different languages, notably into several languages of India, including Bengali, as well as German, Swedish and Russian.The news