Friday, July 28, 2006
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
My friend Annie Akhter is the foremost organizer of Urdu literary programs in the Bay Area. It takes a lot of effort to make things happen: to find sponsors for such programs; invite out-of-city and often overseas people of recognition in Urdu literature and make arrangements for their stay; and then woo Desis out of their hedonistic rat race to come and attend the program. Annie does all that painstaking work so diligently you wonder what motivates her. What is it? It got to be a labor of love for her--she gleefully toils. Sunday's mushaira at Mehran Restaurant featured Pirzada Qasim, Iftikhar Arif, Abbas Tabish and Basir Kazmi visiting from the land of the pure; midway poets Rahat Zahid, Faizan Arif, and Asim Wasti from Inglaterra; US poets Shafiq Sufi, Urooj Awan, Rehana Qamar, and Baqar Rizvi; and Bay Area poets Noor Ul Hassan, Javaid Sayed, Irshad (last name not caught), Tashie Zaheer, Mehnaz Naqvi, Farooq Taraz, and Faisal Azeem. The evening doubled as an unveiling of 'Meri AankhoN say dekho', Faisal Azeem's recently published poetry book.