In the waves of ongoing Urdu Mushairahs in every big city of North America, very few organizations are offering research conferences and symposiums on serious literary, cultural and political topics on Pakistan these days. Awan-e Urdu of Orlando, Florida, however, has a distinction of organizing programs on thought provoking topics on a regular basis. It offered an academic and literary symposium “Jashn-e Iqbal” in Sheraton Safari Hotel in Orlando on April 23 to celebrate the poetry and philosophy of the national poet of Pakistan. Prominent scholars and poets from across the United States including Dr. Wasiullah Khan, Chancellor of East West University in Chicago, Dr. Qaisar Abbas, Assistant Dean of University of North Texas in Dallas and Mamoon Aiman, a prominent poet and scholar from New York participated in the program with their papers on Allama Iqbal’s poetry and thoughts.
Dr. Qaisar Abbas, who was also the Chief Guest of the program, spoke on the relevance of Iqbal’s thoughts and poetry to the contemporary Muslim world in the 21st Century. He said Iqbal rejected factional conflicts and opposed senseless violence in Muslim societies. “If alive today, Allama Iqbal would have been thrilled by the current wave of youth revolutions in the Middle East as he opposed dictatorships in Muslim nations” he said.
Dr. Wasiullah Khan who presided over the event, said Muslims should deeply analyze international political developments today in the light of Iqbal’s philosophy and poetry. Mamoon Aiman provided a poet’s view of how Allama Iqbal promoted the concept of transnational Muslim Ummah. Faryar Kohzad discussed popularity of Aqbal in Afghanisatan, Sabir Hussain Sabir analyzed Iqbal’s poem on Qurtaba Mosque and Salahuddin Siddiqui presented his analysis of Iqbal’s philosophy of Muslim renaissance. Aijaz Malik, Abid Zahid, and Dr. Sarfaraz Ahmed recited Iqbal’s poetry.
The evening concluded with a Mushaira with local and visiting poets from different U.S. cities, which was presided over by Mamoon Aiman. Dr. Qaisar Abbas, from Dallas and Mamoon Aiman from New York were the visiting poets while Zulfiqar Agha, a senior poet of Orlando, Latif Kasu, Muzzammil Yousafzai, Ahmed Tanha, Arif Zaheer, Shaikh Aijaz and Sabir Husssain Sabir were the local poets. Organizers of this event Arif Zaheer and Ahmed Tanha presented awards to the participants and volunteers who helped organize this successful event.