Sixth Annual Independence Day Mushaira in Washington
By Dr Zafar Iqbal


“Poets have played a significant r ole in our struggle for freedom and their contribution shall remain in our heart forever,” said Ambassador Arun K. Singh, Deputy Chief of Missions, Embassy of India. He was addressing a gathering assembled at the Universities at Shady Grove Auditorium in Gaithersburg, Maryland for the 6th Annual Independence Day Mushaira-Kavi Sammelan and release of two recently published books of poetry.

He praised the efforts of the organizers for arranging an event which brought poets and audience of Urdu and Hindi languages under one roof. “I would like to especially recognize the efforts of Abdullah ji and Zafar Iqbal sahib, who have been actively engaged in bringing our diverse community members together,” he remarked.

Dr. Zafar Iqbal, coordinator, said the program’s goal was to provide a forum where, transcending political, religious, regional, and geographical boundaries, people could get together.

The program was organized by the Washington Aligarh Alumni Association (AAA) with the cooperation of the Metro-Washington Global Organization of People of Indian Origin (GOPIO). AAA President Sayed Naved and GOPIO National Coordinator Dr. Renuka Misra welcomed the poets, distinguished guest and audience.

In addition to Ambassador Arun K. Singh and Dr. Mrs. Maina Singh, other distinguished guests of the evening included Hon. Datta Padsalgikar, Fakhrul Islam, Akmal Aleemi. Khursheed Usmani, AAA Secretary, formally thanked all participants and the audience for their cooperation.

Dr. A. Abdullah, the evergreen conductor of poetry recitation sessions, mentioned in his introductory remarks that the AAA and GOPIO have been successfully providing a common platform for the interaction of Urdu and Hindi literary personalities under one roof for the last five years and the presence of increasing number of participants and audience in these programs is a testimony to the desire of people to share common heritage.

The event was presided over by Mrs. Ishrat Afreen, a guest poet from Houston, TX. Participating poets included A. Abdullah, Akram Mahmood, Aziz Qureshi, Daler Deol Aashna, Fayyazuddin Saieb, Sadiq Bajwa, Ishrat Afreen, Narendra Tandon Sahil, Narendra Govil, Rakesh Khandelwal, Rashmi Sanan, Razi Raziuddin, Salahuddin Nasir, Satyapal Anand, Suman Vardan, Vishakha Thaker, and Zaheer Parvez.

 

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