In honour of this year, the 70th anniversary of the founding of Pakistan, our first three events celebrated the lives and legacies of undisputed heroes of Pakistan: one of the founding fathers of the nation Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, the poet and ideologist Allama Iqbal, and the great philanthropist Abdul Sattar Edhi.
Tuesday, 18 July, 2017
What’s in a name? An illustrated talk on Faiz Ahmad Faiz by his younger daughter, Moneeza Hashmi.
Time: 6.00pm for 6.30pm
Venue: High Commission for Pakistan, 36 Lowndes Square, London SW1X 8JN.
Admission: This event is open to Members of The Pakistan Society and their guests.
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Faiz Ahmed Faiz is – after Allama Iqbal – Pakistan’s most celebrated poet. His work has been translated into a great many languages. He was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize in 1962 and, posthumously, Pakistan’s highest civilian award, the Nishan-e-Imtiaz, and remains a highly influential figure in Pakistan continuing literary tradition, venerated for his stance on peace and human rights.
He was a scholar of Persian and Arabic, and leading intellectual. After Partition he edited The Pakistan Times, a socialist English-language newspaper, but in 1951 he was arrested under the Safety Act and spent four years in prison. Later, under Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, he served with the National Council of the Arts and as principal of Abdullah Haroon College, but when Bhutto was overthrown by Zia Ul-Haq, Faiz was forced into exile in Beirut, Lebanon.
He married Alys George, a British expatriate and convert to Islam, with whom he had two daughters. As the younger one, our speaker, says, “Theirs was a love story which knew no geographical or cultural boundaries and survived tests of separation,jail sentences,trials and exile.”
Moneeza will talk about both her parents and what it was like to grow up under their influence, and will illustrate her talk with video clips of family life and of and of the work of the Faiz Foundation Trust in Lahore which continues to promote peace, tolerance and human Rights.
Mrs Moneeza Hashmi has had a very distinguished career in Pakistan Television, retiring as programme director of 5 channels. She was President of the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association for 3 terms, and General Manager International Relations of HUM TV until recently. She is now Creative and Media Head of the KASHF Foundation and, in her commitment to empowering women in Pakistan has represented Pakistan on many international forums, seminars and conferences on the subject. She is the author of a book titled Who Am I? based on is a collection of interviews with role-model women in Pakistan.