First International Festival of Poetry (AALMI MUSHAIRA) in Singapore
By Team Fuchsia
The inaugural International Festival of Poetry 2014 (AALMI MUSHAIRA) in the history of Singapore, organized by Global Channel Pte Ltd., with the collaboration of Singapore Pakistani Association and Charkula Arts Academyon January 17th, 2014 was a thumping success.
Through this unique event, Global Channel brought a special and emotional heritage in the hearts and minds of a large number of Urdu, Hindi & Punjabi speaking community living in Singapore. A large number of people from various groups enthusiastically attended this historical event and thoroughly enjoyed the recitals by famous and award-winning poets brought together from different parts of the world.
This event provided a great opportunity and an enjoyable experience of bringing together innumerable people of different background. The presence of High Commissioner of Pakistan in Singapore Mr. Syed Hasan Javed, and the First Secretary (Consular) of High Commission of India Dr. Nitish Birdi was greatly honored by the organizers and the audience. Syed Hasan Javed mentioned in his speech that Global Channel helped to capture the essence and spirit of our culture, tradition, and language. He praised the efforts of Mr. Shahab Madni of Global Channel for arranging an event which brought poets and audience of both languages under one roof. “I would like to especially recognize the efforts of Shahab Madni and Global Channel, who have been actively engaged in bringing our diverse community members together,” he said in his concluding remarks.
The event was held at the NTUC Auditorium,NTUC Center,Singapore. The evening started with a light refreshment which was the courtesy of Makkan Mumbai. An hour of a ‘Meet & Greet’ session with the honorable poets was largely attended and enjoyed by the participants.
Mr. Vaqar Haider started the evening with his warm welcome note and invited Ms. Sadaf Farooqui (USA) to conduct the mushaira. Shahab ur Rehman Madni, the organizer of the event received a very heartwarming standing ovation from the audience for organizing the first aalmi mushaira. He acknowledged the untiring efforts of Bilal ur Rehman, Director of Global Channel, as well as all his supporters and sponsors individually who were instrumental in making this event successful. He specially acknowledged the support of Ms. Sophie Shaikh of the Singapore Pakistani Association and Ms. Alka Sharma of Charkula Arts Academy, who were both the co-producers of this historic event.
There were ten participant poets from India, Pakistan,USA and Singapore. Mr. Anwer Masood, Dr. Pirzada Qasim, and Mr. Amjad Islam Amjad from Pakistan, Mr. Popular Meeruthi , Manzar Bhopali and Khushbir Singh Shaad from India , Mr. Irfan Murtaza and Sadaf Farooqui from USA and Mr. Sabir Ali Jaffery and Bubbles Hora Saba from Singapore.
The attendees enjoyed a three hour long delightful international mushaira. All the poets from India, Pakistan, and USA entertained the audience with their soulful and invigorating Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi poems. All these well known poets added a glorious distinction not only to the mushaira but also to the event as a whole. Manzar Bhoopali’s recitations in melodious tarannum created an enchanting atmosphere. Dr. Pirzada Qasim and Amjad Islam Amjad; the living legends of Urdu poetry were very well received by the audience. The audience thoroughly enjoyed the comic Urdu and Punjabi poetry of Anwar Masood and popular Meeruthi. Irfan Murtaza’s simple poetry and his way of delivery deeply touched the heart of the audience. Khushbir Singh Shaad, another icon of Urdu poetry, amazed the audience with his deep voice and astounding poetry. The audience appreciated not only the poetry of Sadaf Farooqui but also her unique way of conducting the Mushaira.
The audience suggested that a program of such high quality and diversity in such a friendly atmosphere is bound to withstand the test of time, and bring the Pakistani and Indian community together, because it encompassed a wide variety of the interests of the Urdu, Hindi and Punjabi speaking community in Singapore. The audience asked the organizers to continue on this path of promoting the social, cultural, literary and historic heritage of the community in the city.
This first aalmi mushaira, organized by Global Channel, Singapore Pakistani Association and Charkula Arts Academy will be remembered in the annals of Urdu poetry in Singapore.
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