KARACHI, July 19: Noted poet and prose writer Fahmida Riaz was the recipient of Al-Muftah Award at a graceful assembly of writers and social figures, presided over by Intezar Husain on Monday at Karachi Gymkhana. Eminent Pakistani from Sialkot based in Qatar since long, Abdul Hameed Al-Muftah who initiated the award three years ago was also present on the occasion.
The award, which also carries an amount of Rs0.1 million, was first given to famous poet Anwer Shaoor. Later, the award went to Munir Niazi, another well known poet.
Poet and writer Fatema Hasan, a moving figure behind this award, conducted the proceedings and happily announced that the next award, after the present one, would go to our most respected man of culture, known for his audio-museum, the nonagenarian, Lutfullah Khan.
Brief speeches were made by Abdul Hameed Al-Muftah and others, as Dr Aslam Farrukhi introduced Lutfullah Khan and Asif Farrukhi spoke about Fahmida Riaz.
Abdul Hameed, a famed entrepreneur in Qatar, is also known for his love towards writers, Urdu literature particularly poetry.
He expressed his desire that other wealthy persons should come forward to promote the cause of literature and launch cash awards to the benefit of writers and poets, the very soul of the nation’s culture.
Intezar Husain lauded Fahmida Riaz for her creative and dynamic personality, always moving ahead. Intezar said, he first categorized Fahmida with Meeraji, later with Ali Sardar Jafery showing her mettle as a revolutionary and now with the great thinker and sufi poet Maulana Roomi.
Earlier, Fehmida had presented Urdu translation of some verses from Roomi meticulously done and her soulful ‘tarannum’ which fascinated everyone.
Asif Farrukhi presented a brief bio-data of Fahmida Riaz, whose first poetry collection Baden dareeda appeared in 1973 and jolted the Urdu world. Second volume was published in 1976. Kia tum poora chand na dekho gay, a collection of her verses, was first published in Hindi from India, later in Urdu in Pakistan.
In 1988, another collection was published under the title of Apna jurm saabit hae. Three volumes of her novels and collections of short stories, apart from Urdu version of some verses from Shaikh Ayaz were published in later years.
Dr Aslam Farrukhi was all praise for Lutfullah Khan, an enigmatic and historic figure. His audio-library had no equal in Asia and elsewhere, Dr Farrukhi said. — H.A.