Urdu Markaz International Annual Function a Great Success
By Link Staff Reporter

From left: Naiyar Jahan, Nasreen Adaya and Nuzaira Azam
From left: Qazi Asad, Dr Khalid Ahmad and Prof. Mamiya Ken Faku
A section of the audience

Mushairas have become an integral part of the cultural life of the Urdu-speaking communities in the Western countries, including North America . These mushairas have helped people remain in touch with their mother tongue and even propagate Urdu education.
The seed of the mushaira tradition in the United States was planted by the Aligarh Alumni Association of Washington with Dr. Abdullah as the motivator. A collaboration of the Aligarh Association with the Urdu Markaz International has made mushairas the most sought-after annual function in all major cities of US and Canada.
The credit for this grand success goes to Begum Naiyar Jahan, founder of Urdu Markaz International of Los Angeles.  She along with her husband, Zihanat Hussain and many dedicated volunteers, can proudly say that in the last two decades all major poets of the Subcontinent, Middle East and Western countries have taken part in the Markaz mushaira.
Invited poets this year included Himayat Ali Shayer, Khwamakhwa Hyderabadi, Akhtar Shumaar, Zakia Ghazal, So Yamane Yaasir, Zafar Rizvi, and Syed Taqi Abedi. The mushaira was presided over by Himayat Ali Shayer and nizamat was done by Majeed Akhtar.
An important event of the Urdu Markaz International’s annual function is the recognition of Urdu poets and writers who are making impact in literature. Every year, the Markaz gives several awards under different categories. The Ahmad Adaya Urdu Markaz International Award — the biggest monetary award (US $5,000) for Urdu — is given to the most accomplished poet or prose writer from Northern America and European continents. Nuzaira Azam’s novel Khwab Badosh was judged the best Urdu book for the years 2005-2006. In addition to the cash award, Nuzaira Azam was also given a shield bearing inscriptions of her literary contributions. Her book deals with the hopes, trial and tribulations of new immigrants from the Subcontinent in the land of promise. A journalist by profession, Nuzaira Azam lives in Maryland, USA.
Professor So Yamane of Osaka University, Japan, was given the Qazi Shafi Mohammad Fakhr-e-Urdu International Award ($ US2,000 cash and a shield) for his services to Urdu language and literature.  The Hassan-e-Urdu International Award ($US2,000 and a shield) for research services about hamd o naat in Urdu was given to Dr. Syed Taqi Abedi of Canada .
Naiyar Jahan, Secretary-General of the Markaz, welcomed the poets, award winners, invited dignitaries, and the audience. 
Dr. Khalid Ahmad, president of the Markaz, thanked all participants and especially the family of late Mr. Ahmad Adaya, the benefactor of Ahamd Adaya Urdu Markaz International Award, and Mr. Qazi Asad for the Fakhre-Urdu and Hassan-e-Urdu awards.
A sumptuous dinner was served before the function started. More than 700 persons enjoyed the program, which was held on Saturday, December 1, 2007 at the Students Union Hall of the California State University at Fullerton, California.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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