11 February, 2011

Faiz centenary celebrations: Tributes paid to Faiz Ahmed Faiz

Published in Pakistan Observer (11 Feb. 2011)
Sana Jamal

ISLAMABAD: Faiz Ahmed Faiz was remembered as the symbol of hope, courage and resistance for the people of Pakistan by the scholarly figures of Islamabad who gathered here at a seminar to pay tribute to Faiz.


The seminar was arranged by Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) on Thursday to commemorate 100th birthday of Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1911-1984) who gave voice to the people of Pakistan. The seminar was part centenary celebrations of Faiz being marked all over the world by the organisations that promote Urdu writers and writings.

Mehar Ghulam Farid Kathia, Minister of state for Education was the chief guest of the ceremony. Sharing his views he said “Faiz is one of a few major poets in Urdu and is the only one after Iqbal who received recognition at international level. He voiced the problems and miserable conditions of liberals and people from marginalized sections of society in his poetry.” 

Iftikhar Arif, a poet and Chairman of National Language Authority presided over the seminar while renowned literary figures including Agha Nasir, Ishfaq Saleem Mirza, Yousaf Hassan, Sarwat Mohyuddin, Ishfaq Hussain and Dr. Col. Abdaal Bela, Acting Director General of PAL explored the various aspects of the life and work of Faiz Ahmad Faiz in their speech.

Iftikhar Arif said that after Iqbal, Faiz is the most literary personality who made great impact on our national literary history. Faiz is among those poets whose work has been translated in all major foreign languages which is the indicator of his distinction as a humanist poet nationally as well as internationally.

Yousaf Hassan said that in the discipline of knowledge Faiz prefers class struggle over enlightenment. “In the area of art he gave preference to artistic and aesthetic characteristics which added beauty and energy in his poetry.”



On this special event under the publication series which was initiated in the light of President of Pakistan instructions, a book titled “Faiz Ahmad Faiz in Beirut” was also launched which covers life routine and other activities of Faiz Ahmad Faiz during his stay in Beirut as expatriate.

Sarwat Mohyuddin, writer of many books on Faiz, reminded that “the message of Faiz for the freedom fighters of Palestine and Africa is honored in Tunis, Jordan and Egypt” while his 100th birthday is being celebrated all over the world.

Ishfaq Hussain said that Faiz Ahmad Faiz personality has become a symbol of Pakistani literature and culture as “all the aspects of his personality are remarkable as a journalist, poet and intellectual.”

Ishfaq Saleem Mirza said that Faiz’s life “was versatile and multidimensional and it is not easy to cover all the aspects of his life.” 

Helen Goodway’s article rendered by Dr. Col. Abdaal Bela, indicated that “the life and works of Faiz Ahmed Faiz were, and are known beyond the boundaries of the Urdu-speaking world.”

Reciting one of the poems of Fiaz “Siyaasi leader ke Naam” Agha Nasir said that Faiz was “honoured as an intellectual and graceful person because of humanistic nature.”

Iftikhar Arif, a poet who enjoyed a close personal and intellectual relationship with Faiz said that “his blend of romance with revolution echoes in the heart of not only every Pakistani but lovers of poetry around the world.”