Ottawa Celebrates “Hazaar Khawb Hein”

By Dr. Arshad Saeed

Left to right: High Commissioner Shahid Malik, Najmus Saqib, Begum Akhtar Jamal, Dr. Arshad Salim, Wali Alam Shaheen and Tariq Bobby

Ottawa, Canada: On June 1, 2006, Ottawa’s Centrepointe Theatre was packed to capacity with lovers of Urdu literature who had come to attend the launching of . Najm us Saqib’s recently published poetry compilation “Hazaar Khawb Hein”. The ceremony was organized by the Urdu Literary Society of Canada.

Najm us Saqib has been posted as Deputy High Commissioner in the High Commission for Pakistan, Ottawa for the last two years. His previous books viz. “Raitlay Khawbon Ki Rut” (1992) and “Dard Kay Jazeeray Tak” (2000) have already won acclaim from literary circles in Pakistan and India. “Hazaar Khawb Hein” is available at
The book launching ceremony was followed by a mushaira in which local poets from Toronto and Ottawa participated. Mr. Javed Somra, one of the organizers of this function, was the Master of Ceremony. Noted local singers Abdul Zakir and Hardeep Backshi composed and sang Saqib’s ghazals making the function a true cultural evening. High Commissioner of Pakistan Mr. Shahid Malik graced the occasion as the Chief Guest. Renowned prose writer Begum Akhtar Jamal presided over the function.

Javed Somra (left) and the author with guests at the function

Wali Alam Shaheen and Ashfaq Hussain presented critiques on “Hazaar Khawb Hein” and technically evaluated the book. They highlighted Saqib’s unique diction, command over language, amazing choice of subjects and the ease with which he composes munfarad shairy. A large number of Pakistani community members attended the function.
In his message, High Commissioner Shahid Malik paid rich tribute to Najm us Saqib’s “manifold qualities which he combines with great finesse and skill, both as a civil servant and a poet”. He termed “Hazaar Khawb Hein” as “an immensely captivating work”.
The High Commissioner stated that Ottawa could take justifiable pride in the fact that a collection of poetry by a Pakistani poet was being launched in the city. He also suggested that “Hazaar Khawb Hein” should be translated into English and/ French etc. for wider appreciation.
Selected verses from “Hazaar Khawb Hein”:

Harmony in Diversity
In the open skies, and inside homes,
In the deep ocean of thoughts , and
layers under layers of oblivion,
In the gardens of happiness, and
inside the ghettoes of sorrows,
In the wings of dove, and
inside suicide bombs,
Facing the insight, and inside veins,
In every shade of seasons,
No stone shall I leave unturned,
In search of that precious moment,
When hearts of cities, jungles and prairies,
Dance on the same tune, and
celebrate their differences.
How and from where the Sun will rise,
Ask me
For I have lived,
through the darkness of night,

Neither the end of night nor fate
Would eliminate the darkness
The Sun will rise only
through the realization of our dreams

I may have to sell off some of my books,
For my children are asking for toys.




Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
2004 . All Rights Reserved.