Awards for Qamar Ali Abbasi and Hamida Chopra

A Pakistan Link Report


Pictures above: Glimpses of the award-cum-mushaira function. Qamar Ali Abbasi and
Mrs. Hamida Chopra are seen receiving their awards in the first row

Urdu Link’s leading columnist, Mr. Qamar Ali Abbasi, received the newly instituted Ali Tabatabai Raaz Award at an impressive ceremony at the Four Point Sheraton, Fullerton, on January 6, 2007.
The award was sponsored this year by the family of the late Brigadier Ali Tabatabai Raaz and presented to Mr. Abbasi by the Urdu Writers Society, Inc.
The late Brigadier Tabatabai, described as “our friend and a great poet” by the Urdu Writers Society, was highly respected in literary circles in Los Angeles, the US, and the Indo-Pak Subcontinent. In the words of Mr. Masroor Jawed, emcee, the late Brigadier Tabatabai is known in all places where Urdu is spoken.
The speakers on the occasion – Dr Azra Raza, Irfan Murtaza, Asif Syed, Consul General Syed Ibne Abbas, Haider Tabatabai, Neelofar Abbasi, and Qamar Ali Abbasi - spoke in chaste Urdu and paid glowing tributes to the late Brigadier. “Uncle Tabi nae Luckhnow ki tehzeeb ki yad taza kee,” remarked Dr Azra. “Pakistan Army aur America unkae mizaj ki nafasat na bigar sakae,” she proudly observed in a plaintive tone as she recalled the multifarious accomplishments of the distinguished poet.
Laila Tabatabai and Asad Tabatabai, in their ‘Tribute to Dada’, wrote, “Our grandfather’s literary talents were simply divine. His words exuded the purest eloquence, whether spoken with grace or written in fine script. The beauty of the verses took one’s breath away. The intricacies left one pondering their meaning for hours. The virtuosity of the poet inspired awe in all who had the privilege of knowing him…”
The speakers at the award ceremony looked very much like the entrancing characters of the fascinating world of Hijab Imtiaz Ali and Qurattul Ain Haider – sophisticated, bright and cultured. Even the English pronunciation was impeccable – clipped British accent at its best.
Accolades were also showered on Mr. Qamar Ali Abbasi, the recipient of the literary award. His accomplishments and contributions were enumerated and amply testified that he fully deserved the award. Mr. Abbasi has written 18 books for children, 23 travelogues (safar naemae), long historical stories, TV serials, columns, and radio and novel serials. “Urdu ki tareekh maen woh sab sae barae safarnamae likhna ewalae hain,” complimented the emcee.
To the delight of the audience, Mrs. Ayesha Murtaza, (American) wife of Mr. Irfan Murtaza who imparts dynamism to the strivings of the Urdu Writers Society, spoke in Urdu. Her address caused quite a stir. A few excerpts: “Qamar Ali Abbasi Sahib bainulaqwami shaksiat kae malik haen…Tamam karamfarmaon ka shukriya kae aapki inayat sae (Urdu Writers) Society roz baroz tarriqee kar rahee hae.” Her summation about the role of the Society was no exaggeration. The emcee, Mr.Masroor Jawaid, too testified earlier: “Los Angeles nae adab kae maidan maen New York ko bohat door chor diya.”
Another award given at the function was the Zafar Ali Mansuri Award instituted by Mr. Arif Mansuri, a leading Pakistani-American industrialist, whose patronage of literary groups in Southern California is well known. Mr. Mansuri has instituted the award in the name of his father. It was given to Mrs. Hamida Chopra who has played a leading role in the promotion of Urdu in the US. She teaches at the University of California Berkeley and is an academic of distinction.
Consul General Syed Ibne Abbas also addressed the gathering. The charismatic diplomat delivered a scintillating speech and lauded the role of the Urdu Writers Society and other associations in promoting the cause of Urdu in this part of the world.
The mushaira that followed the award ceremony was thoroughly enjoyed by the gathering. It was presided over by Hadi Raza Khan, advisor, Urdu Writers Society, whose winsome smile and affable nature makes him a popular and highly respected figure in the community. At the end of the mushaira, Dr Maher Tabatabai, daughter of the late Brig. Tabatabai, thanked the guests for their participation in the program. Her sister, Begum Tanwir Mirza, earlier presided over the award ceremony proceedings.


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Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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