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  • Asif Aslam
    DUNIYAZAD S DOUBLE ISSUE ON PALESTINE AASHIQ MIN AL -FALESTINE Palestine is an aching void in our consciousness, a symbol of much that is wrong and unjust in
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 4, 2002
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      Palestine is an aching void in our consciousness, a symbol of much that is wrong
      and unjust in our world. And yet so many aspects of the situation continue to be
      gaps in our information and perception.

      This is the focus of Duniyazad's new issue "Aashiq Min Al-Falestine." Launched as a literary review/ anthology series
      with the specific objective of presenting new writing in Urdu with a flavor of
      what is current and contemporary in national and international literature,
      "Duniyazad" sets out to create a forum for critical discussions on literary,
      cultural and social issues.

      Edited by Asif Farrukhi, three issues have already been published. Designed as a "Palestine reader", this issue ranges from
      socio-political analysis to a generous selection of recent poetry and fiction to
      emerge from the tormented land.

      Drawing material from Arab and other sources not easily accessible in Pakistan, this double issue consists of two volumes of 500
      pages each and is perhaps the widest selection in Urdu on the subject.

      Socio-political analysis and the cultural-literary are the separate foci of
      interest for the two volumes, each complete in itself. "Aashiq Min Al-Falestine"
      opens with an explanatory glossary and chronology meant to contextualize
      references. Tracing the ancient history of Palestine, the conflict reaches a
      breaking point with the British "mandate".

      Memories, personal accounts and recollections of exile, dispossession make up another section. Current political
      analysis and features documenting the state of affairs in the society in turmoil
      and its various sections includes the works of Edward Said, Noam Chomsky, Eqbal
      Ahmed, Najeeb Mahfouz, Azmi Basharah, Nadia Hijab as well as Amos Oz, Robert
      Frisk and others in translations by Hassan Abidi, Shah Mohi-ul-Haq Faruqi,
      Khurshid Qaimkhani and others.

      Demolition of houses, war widows, children's perceptions, gun running, economic issues, the status of Arab Israelis are some
      of the themes covered in the first volume. Accounts of visits against recent
      events by Ahdaf Souief and Muzaffar Iqbal are included as well as accounts by C.
      M.Naim, Khalid Sohail and Waheed ud Din Khan. Pakistani commentators and
      scholars who have written specially for this issue include Jamaluddin Naqvi on
      the legacy of the cold war, Ali Mohsin Siddiqui on history during the Islamic
      era, Mohammed Ahmed Sabzwari on economic growth, Dr. Mubarak Ali on the perils
      of historiography and Moonis Ahmer on lessons for South Asia from the peace

      The definition of Palestinian consciousness, the state of cultural institutions, art and painting and the poignant cartoons of Naji open the second
      book, the core of which is formed by a cross-section of poems and stories from
      Palestine. This includes a focus on Mahmoud Darwish, Samih Al Qasim and Ghasan
      Kanafani. The background of literature and language in Israeli is featured in
      detail, sign-posting the work of Yehuda Amichai and Moshe Benarroch.

      The translations are by leading writers including Intizar Hussain, Kishwar Naheed,
      Fahmida Riaz, Altaf Fatima, Shahid Hameed, Zamir Ahmed, Masood Ashar, Saher
      Ansari, Zaheda Hina, Afzal Ahmed Syed, Khalid Sohail, Anwer Sen Roy, Anwer
      Zahidi, Nazrul Hassan Siddiqui, Humra Khalique, Shah Mohammed Pirzada, Tanvir
      Anjum, Ahmed Saghir Siddiqui, Rafaqat Hayat, Kashif Reza, Zahid Hassan, Inaam
      Nadeem and others.

      Poems and stories by writers of Urdu and other Pakistani languages pay a tribute to Palestine. This includes Iqbal, Faiz, Ada Jafarey,
      Nadeem Qasimi, Muneeb-ur-Rehman, Faraz, Intizar Hussain, Shaikh Ayaz, Fahmida
      Riaz, Kishwar Naheed, Anwer Ahsan Siddiqui, Noorul Huda Shah, Khalid Sohail,
      Nasreen Anjum Bhatti, Ahmed Saleem, Zeeshan Sahil and others, while critical
      studies examine Palestine as a theme in Pashto, Sindhi, Punjabi and Urdu
      literature. The cover of this double issue is based on an illustration by Ismael
      Shammout, the distinguished Palestinian artist.


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