Custodian role of PPL Lahore.........
LAHORE: Uzbek scholar in search of grandfather's books
15 June 2004
26 Rabi-us-Saani 1425
LAHORE , June 14: Farhad Ali Zade, a Moscow-based ex-geologist, might not have faced problems in exploring oil from the bed of the Caspian Sea in the 1960s , what he is experiencing today while travelling to far-flung places like Lahore in search of the books written by his grandfather about 75 years ago.
"I have been in search of books translated by my grandfather, Seyid Reza Ali Zade in the 1920s and 30s for the last 45 years," the 67-year old Uzbek geologist-turned-historian said in an interview with APP.
Uzbek scholar Seyid Reza Ali Zade was born in the historic town of Samarkand in Uzbekistan in 1887. He was imprisoned by the Soviet government in 1937 at Vladimir Jail near Moscow where he died on Oct 24, 1945.
The late writer was proficient in 14 languages, including German, Arabic, Turkish, Uzbek, Tajik, French, English, Hebrew, Armenian, Kurdish, Persian and Urdu. After the posthumous restoration of titles and exoneration, his grandson Farhad started collecting information about him from different parts of Soviet Union, especially Uzbekistan and Moscow.
Farhad, the director of Seyid Reza Ali Zade Museum, Samarkand, who visited the libraries of Moscow and St Petersburg for years to find out the works of his grandfather, came to know about the Punjab Public Library in Lahore, the depository of manuscripts and books of mediaeval ages especially those written in Arabic and Persian just few years ago.
However, the presence of the books in a Pakistani library was confirmed only after Ghulam Hazoor Bajwa, the press attache at Pakistan Embassy in Moscow, arranged Ali Zade's meeting with a Pakistani cultural delegation in April this year.
"I remember that a member, Mr Gillani, confirmed that the books are in the Punjab Public Library," he said. His ensuing journey to Pakistan helped materialize his dreams of getting the works of his grandfather.
He was able to have copies of 12 books of the 20th century's Uzbek intellectual. "When I saw these books, it seemed to me that my grandfather is standing before me; it was an unforgettable moment for me," emotionally charged Farhad said.
He is all praise for Pakistanis, especially people of Lahore , who have preserved the historic books which were not found in central Asia . "I salute Pakistanis for their love for books and cultural heritage," he said.
The books written by Seyid Ryza Ali Zade mainly in Persian till his imprisonment by the Soviet government in 1937 include Madinatul Islam, Turkistan , Mursalaat, Saleh Na Khustan, Sahaba-i-Karam, Nizam Namah, Risalatul Ittehad, Wajbat-i-Dunyah, Tareekh-i-Islam (two volumes), Short History of Islam, Sarf-o-Nahv (grammar) and Uzbek language dictionary called Dabastan-i-Tajik. Farhad is leaving for Moscow in a couple of days. -APP
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