Urdu Markaz International Organizes Grand Annual Mushaira
By Akhtar Mahmud Faruqui
Pictures by Anwar Khawaja and YKKB
Torrance, CA: The Urdu Markaz International organized its annual International Mushaira at the Momin Lodge Islamic Education and Research Center in Torrance on October 15.
Held on a grand scale with several legendary figures converging at the venue, the mushaira was a resounding success. The spacious hall bulging at the seams and teeming with literati and an electrified audience testified to the manifest love for Urdu in this part of North America. The charged assemblage had come from near and far. One family gleefully told Pakistan Link it had especially flown from Jamaica to hear Javed Akhtar, Iftikhar Arif et al.
The poets too had traveled long distances. They had dashed from three continents - North America, Europe and Asia - to be precise. Among them were several distinguished names: Javed Akhtar (India), Iftikhar Arif (Pakistan), Dr Inam ul Haq Javed (Pakistan), Nazeer Baqri (India), Bano Arshad (UK), Dr Syed Taqi Abdi (Canada), and Salman Ansari, Dr Qaisar Abbas, Zafar Abbas, Majeed Akhtar, Tabish Khanzada, Dr Abdullah, Abdur Rehman Siddiqui, Wasiul Hassan Naqqash from the United States.
The award winners this year included Javed Akhtar (Asar Lakhnavi Living Legend Award 2011), Dr Syed Taqi Abdi (Ahmad Adaya Urdu International Award 2011), Iftikhar Arif (Qazi Shafi Mohammad Fakhre Urdu International Award 2011), Dr Abdullah (Amna Haji Mohammad Husne Karkardagi Urdu International Award 2011), Syed Zafar Abbas (Urdu International Sitare Sahafat Award 2011) and Dr Noorus Saeed Akhtar (Urdu International Husne Karkardagi Award 2011).
Well-known patrons of Urdu - Dr Meher Tabatabai, Qaisar Madad, Dr Khalid Ahmad, Amina Adaya, Abubakr Vakil, Dr Shafiq Ahmad, Qazi Shafi Mohammad, and Uneza Akhtar - also graced the occasion with their presence.
The audience was visibly electrified and remained totally absorbed as the gifted shora presented their best poetical work. Dr Abdullah stood out as the emcee of the lively proceedings. He meticulously monitored the time and his admonitory remarks and peremptory tone reminded the gathering of a strict but well-meaning school principal.
Urdu Markaz International earned the gratitude of the enraptured community on the memorable evening. No other mushaira in North America has been held on such a grand scale or enjoyed to such a degree by the audience in the past. Thank you, Naiyar Apa, Zihanat Hussain Sahib et al.