A two-day “Urdu Festival Saudi Arabia,” including both a literary session and an international poetry session (mushaira), has been organized by the Embassy of India in Riyadh and will be held online via Zoom on Friday and Saturday (March 5-6).
The first day of the online literary feast will offer a prose session while the international poetry session will be held on the second day.
The two-day program will be led by India’s Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Dr. Ausaf Sayeed. Prominent scholars, writers and poets from India, Saudi Arabia, and other countries will participate, according to a press release issued by Mohammed Saifuddin, a member of the organizing committee.
The two-day festival will open on Friday at 3 p.m. with a prose session. The ambassador will deliver the welcome address. The session will be chaired by Prof. Baig Ehsas, an eminent fiction writer from Hyderabad. The chief guest will be Aqeel Ahmed Sheikh, director of the New Delhi-based National Council for the Promotion of Urdu Language.
Prominent writer Safdar Imam Qadri will present an essay titled “Storytelling Past and Present.” Famous storyteller Javed Danish from Canada will present his story. Riyadh-based journalist and calligrapher Ghouse Arsalan will present a paper on the art of sketch writing. Journalist and columnist K.N. Wasif will present a sketch on Dr. Ausaf Sayeed. Prominent Hyderabad-based journalist Fazil Hussain Pervez, will introduce a number of Indian writers based in Saudi Arabia. Well-known writer and prominent poet Mahtab Qadr will be the master of ceremonies. Asim Anwar, second secretary at the Embassy of India, will offer a vote of thanks.
The second session will be held on Saturday. In addition to participants from India and Saudi Arabia, prominent poets from other countries will also present their works. Well-known poet Irfan Jafari will preside over the mushaira. Aslam Afghani, president of Urdu Toastmasters Club, will conduct the proceedings. Poets participating in the session include Tariq Ghazi (Canada), Mahtab Qadr (Jeddah), Altaf Shehryar (Jeddah), Dr. Rauf Khair (Hyderabad), Qaiser Khalid (Mumbai), Shiraz Mehdi Zia (Jubail), Baqar Naqvi (Dammam), Abu Tahir Bilal (Riyadh), Nasir Burney (Yanbu), Afsar Barabankvi (Jeddah), Rafia Nausheen (Hyderabad), Sadiqa Nawab (Maharashtra), Sharafat Chandpuri (Taif), Rizwan Mahzabi (Taif), Masood Hassas (Kuwait), Khurshidul Hassan Nayyar (Riyadh), Ahmed Ashfaq (Qatar), Tasneem Johar (Hyderabad), Agha Sarosh (Hyderabad) and Munir Uzzaman Munir (Chicago).