Jeddah’s renowned social-cultural organization, Bazm-e-Ittihad has been arranging literary events since three decades.
A Grand Mushaira was organized by Bazm e Ittehad at Holday Inn, Jeddah recently in honour of Late Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi – Hyderabad’s foremost Muslim political figure and social activist.
Saudi Arabia’s first officially recognized Urdu poet, Dr. Naeem Hamid Al-Hamid, was the Mushaira President.
Mr. Ahmeduddin Owaisi, President, Bazm e Ittihad, and brother of Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi, initiated the proceedings with his usual eloquence.
He said: “The late Salar e Millat Salahuddin Owaisi gave voice to millions of Hyderabadi Muslims who were under coercion and duress after the country’s partition”.
“Those were tough times and no one was ready to lead the Muslim community,” he reflected in his Presidential address. “My father Abdul Wahed Owaisi and brother, Salahuddin Owaisi had immense organizational skills and set up dozens of institutions providing social support to needy Muslims across Hyderabad”.
He said: “Sultan Salahuddin Owaisi salvaged the pride of the community by winning municipal, assembly and parliamentary elections from Hyderabad.” The city is still represented in the Indian Parliament by the politician’s charismatic eldest son Asaduddin Owaisi while his youngest son leads Majlis-e-IttIhadul Muslimeen (MIM) in the assembly with seven members.
Patron of Bazm-e-IttIhad, Dr. Syed Ali Mahmood, highlighted the activities carried out by the Owaisi family, including setting up various educational and medical institutions. “We cannot imagine what it was like in the late 1940s in Hyderabad. It was a period of untold miseries for Muslims. It needed leaders like Abdul Wahed Owaisi and Salahuddin Owaisi to restore the confidence of the community. They taught their people to hold their heads high. It is because of that dedication that Hyderabadis flourished in all walks of life, including Saudi Arabia,” he said.
Dr. Mahmood said the late leader would frequently visit Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah and pray at the Prophet’(SAW)’s Holy Mosque in Madinah Munawwarah. “Whenever Salar-e-Millat would come to Jeddah, we would organize grand events in his honour. Today’s poetry evening is to remember him and his services”. he said.
Indian Consul General Honourable Faiz Ahmed Qidwai was the Chief Guest of the event. He praised the contribution of the Owaisi family to the community and the nation’s development. “If we can only do 10 percent of the social work that Salahuddin Owaisi has done, then we will see rapid strides in the community’s development,” he said.
He praised Bazm-e-IttIhad and its office-bearers for many social and educational activities and wished them good luck in their future endeavours. “They deserve congratulations,” he complimented.
A prominent long time Jeddah-based community elder Sharif Aslam was honoured with a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to the community. “It gives the Bazm-e-IttIhad great privilege to honour Sharif Aslam who has behind him 50 years of service as a journalist and writer,” said Ahmeduddin Owaisi.
An anthology of Urdu poems by prominent Jeddah poet Mahtab Qadr, called “Chaaon Sehra Ki,” was formally released at the event. Mahtab Qadr’s poems have received critical acclaim.
The Mushaira was a big a hit with Indian and Pakistani poets regaling over 500 Urdu lovers until 3 a.m.
The pick of the poets were: Rabab Rashidi (Lucknow), Naeem Bazaidpuri (Jeddah), Aslam Farshori (Hyderabad), Mohammad Ali Wafa (Kuwait), Sardar Saleem (Hyderabad), Rais Nizami (Ujjain), Anwar Ansari (Jeddah), Qamar Haider Qamar (Jeddah), Muhammad Mujahid Syed (Jeddah), Nasir Barni (Jeddah), Iqbal Belan (Nizamabad), Shiraz Mehdi (Dammam) and Kareem Beebani (Jeddah).
Sardar Asar, from Hyderabad, garnered the best appreciation with his humorous couplets. He brought the house down with his rib-tickling compositions delivered in his trademark Deccani style.
Bazm-e-Ittehad Vice President Obaidur Rehman introduced the guests; General Secretary Abdul Qayyum anchored the first session and adviser Mazher Ali Baig delivered the vote of thanks. Naim Javed acted as the Nazim e Mushaira and Master of Ceremony.
Mementos were given out and a sumptuous dinner was held after the event.
Jeddah residents warmly applaud Bazm e IttIhad’s management and organizing committee.
Indeed, the Mushaira has paved ways and set a trend to organize similar events in Saudi Arabia for 2014.