- 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 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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