Friday, June 24, 2005

Urdu Adab - New Magazine from Toronto

From Munir Saami Saahab in Toronto:
Hello Friends,

It is with great pleasure that I advise you about the launch of Urdu Adab, a distinguished literary magazine from Canada.

We are committed to promote Urdu writers of quality in Diaspora, and to provide interaction with the mainstream literature both in the west and the Urdu speaking world.

The editorial committee consists of:

Editor In charge : Abid Jafri, Editor : Munir Saami, Managing editor Anis Farooqui, and members of editorial committee , Nuzhat Siddiqui, Muslim Hasany, and Kaleem Zafar.

We have dedicated the maiden issue of our magazine to the memory of distinguished Urdu poet, Jon Elia.

The contributors to first issue include, Jon Elia, Asif Farrukhi, Kaleem Zafar, Anis Farooqui, Muneeb ur Rehman, Irfana Aziz, Javed Yusf, Shaheen, Syed Taqi Abdi, Khalid Sohail, Ishrat Afreen, Humera Rehman, Shehla Naqvi, Nuzhat Siddiqui, Javed Danish, Zamir Ahmad, Iftikhar Hyder, Abida Karamat, Muslim Hasany, Munir Saami, Karamt Ghori, Rahim Anjan, and Abid Jafri, Dr. Baidar Bakht, and Peerzada Salman.

The magazine also carries a painting by Javed Yusuf depicting a verse from Sauda, and its translation by Hifzul Kabir Qureshi. Title of books by Nuzaira Azam, Jon Elia, and Zamir Ahmad are also displayed.

The editorial committee acknowledges the financial support of, Afsar Naqvi, Bashir Abdul Samad, Dr, Baidar Bakht, Pavneet Arora, Javed danish, Javed Yusuf, Rais Iftikhar, Syed Hussain Rizvi, Zamir Ahmad, Dr, Tahir Qazi, Arif Raza, Abbas Syed, Qazi Irfan Ashraf, and Mansoora Qazi.

In launching this magazine we promise the same standards that we have delivered to you in the management of the Writers Forum group.

To obtain your personal copy you may contact me and we will appreciate if you could also send a money order of C$ 5 only to cover the postage and handling.

We also invite contributions of high standards.

Thanks and best regards. Munir Saami

Here are the cover and Urdu announcement (click on either to see a larger version):

Urdu Adab Cover

Urdu Adab Announcement


Tuesday, June 07, 2005

My Experiences with Urdu

Urdu language may never die but Urdu script is definitely facing a threat in India. People have already been writing Urdu in Hindi script and now among the English-knowing Urdu-speaking population, there's this new trend of writing Urdu in Roman script. Ironically enough, i am a part of such group, myself.

It isn't that i don't love or like writing in Urdu script but the fact is i don't have that skill of writing in it faster than i write in Hindi or English. The reason was the insignificant need of Urdu in our daily lives. Hindi became the National language and English - the professionally official language. In light of these facts, Urdu script lost to other languages despite the love I have for the language I call my mother tongue. Well, the only advantage that Urdu got in my life is that i used to write letters to my mother in Urdu when i was studying at Aligarh. They were short but sweet. I used to get my mother's reply with all the corrections. This is how i learned to write whatever Urdu I can. Once we got telephones and mobile phones, the practice of letter writing was also taken away from me.

But I haven't lost on it yet. I am still trying to read every bit of Urdu text that catches my eye and attention. I try to visualize writing words, phrases, song lyrics and shers in Urdu. This is what takes me closer to writing Urdu. And I have this small but beautiful dream that one day I will blog in Urdu and bring it back in my life.

In India, I get to read Urdu on the Railway stations of the states which have Urdu as one of their official languages. I get to read it on signboards, notice boards of Masjids, Madrasas, Hospitals backed by Muslim institutions and on posters of seminars and conferences conducted by institutions like SIO, IRF etc. Another example of Urdu reading material is promotional pamphlets of new establishments and shops in the city, distributed outside Masjids after Friday prayers.

I also remember my mother trying to get us to read a children's Urdu publication called "Khilona" which we didn't like much because of its poor printing quality and unattractive graphics.

I think, this is most of what i could recall from my personal experience with Urdu.

~ Qais