Jashn-e-Faiz at ICC, Milpitas on July 11
By Ras H. Siddiqui
Urdu poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1911-1984) held many distinctions during his illustrious life (and many would claim after his death too). Born in Sialkot in British India, Faiz championed the cause of the poor and powerless through his pen, thus pitting himself against some very formidable forces, not only in Pakistan but on the world stage as well. Winner of the Lenin Peace Prize in 1962, the Nobel Committee chose to overlook his contribution to world literature. His being one of South Asia’s most famous “Reds” might have impacted their decision.
Faiz started his quest for change with the Anjuman Tarraqi Pasand Mussanafin-e-Hind or Progressive Writers' Movement in India before Partition. During his participation in this movement he shared his ideals with the likes of Saadat Hassan Manto ( Toba Tek Singh), fellow Sialkoti Rajinder Singh Bedi ( Ek Chadar Maili Si), Amrita Pritam (Pinjar) and (possibly) even earlier with Munshi Prem Chand (Shatranj ke Khiladi) amongst a host of others. The term “Progressive” may have different meanings today, but one thing that cannot be forgotten is the basic sense of humanity that these titans of South Asian Urdu and Hindi literature shared. Faiz married British-born Alys in 1941 in Srinagar at a ceremony presided over by Sheikh Abdullah. Two surviving daughters from the marriage, Salima and Moneeza ,are active in the arts and literature scene in Pakistan today.
Keepin this background in mind, it gives one great pleasure to announce that a “Jashn-e-Faiz” event will be held at the ICC in Milpitas, California on Sunday, July 11, 2010 from 3:30 PM to 6 PM during which honored guest, Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s daughter Moneeza Hashmi, will be present to listen to recite poetry and share information on Faiz Ghar ( http://www.faizghar.org/), a project started last year in Lahore.
Local Urdu language luminary Mrs. Hamida Banu-Chopra is busy arranging this program which is being sponsored by Computers and Structures Inc. Chalo Phir Say Muskuraiin (Let us smile again) says the event flyer. The venue is located at 525 Los Coches Street , Milpitas CA 95035. Telephone 408-934-1130.