Mississauga Library’s Mushaira Enthralls Urdu Lovers
By Mohammed Ayub Khan

Mississauga, Ontario: A mushaira organized by the Mississauga Library system on July 16, 2012 was deemed a success by the quality of the recited poetry as well as the large number of attendees. The free event which required prior registration was fully booked days before its scheduled date. The Noel Ryan Auditorium of the Mississauga’s central library was jampacked with Urdu lovers coming from across the Greater Toronto Area and some from as far as London, Ontario.

The mushaira was part of several initiatives taken by the library to promote the languages and culture of the city’s diverse population. It was organized by and was the brainchild of Mr. Ahtasham Rizvi (Librarian) and Mrs. Marian Kutarna (Manager of Arts and History Department at the Mississauga Library). The library has a good collection of Urdu books which are widely utilized by its patrons. Urdu is the fourth widely spoken language in Mississauga after English, French, and Chinese. Mississauga is the sixth most populous city in Canada.

Even though many mushairas are held on a regular basis throughout the region this one was unique due to its organization, punctuality, and the diversity of the poets cutting across the region, age, and gender divides. It was masterfully conducted by Asar Akbarabadi and Jawaid Danish. The event was host to both seasoned as well as budding poets .

Nadia Husain, a Canadian-born university student, won thunderous applause with her wonderful poem on Urdu in Canada and its relevance to her as a mother tongue. Zakia Ghazal, a prominent poet from Pakistan and now a resident of Canada, enthralled the audience with her distinct rhythmic style.

Other poets who recited at the symposium include Iftikhar Haider (senior poet), Rehman Khawar, Munif Ashar, Dennis Isaac, Nasreen Syed, Salman Athar, Darakhshan Siddiqui, Tariq Husain, Asma Warsi, Misbah Ansari, Mohammad Chishti and Nizamuddin Maqbool.

The mushaira was presided over by renowned Urdu scholar Dr. Taqi Abedi who enlightened the audience of the 250- year-old mushaira tradition and its relevance in today’s world. He congratulated the organizers for presenting the audience with a bouquet of poets cutting across the divides. He thanked the Mississauga Library system and expressed the hope that such events will be organized in the future. He also stressed the need of teaching Urdu to the younger generation.



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