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IPWF holds online poetic evening in Indian CG's honor
Published in The Saudi Gazette on 05 - 07 - 2020

JEDDAH — The Indian Pilgrim Welfare Forum (IPWF) recently conducted a successful online mushaira (poetic evening) where renowned poets from India mesmerized the global audience with their Urdu couplets, rich in literary expressions including humor and satire.
The evening, Aaj Ki Noorani Shaam Apke Naam (Today's glorious evening in your name), was dedicated to the outgoing Indian Consul General Md. Noor Rahman Sheikh.
The consul general also acts as vice patron of IPWF.
Also in attendance were the CG's wife, Dr. Nazneen Sheikh, and Y. Sabir, consul Hajj and IPWF director.
It was an amazing virtual event brought live to global audience via Zoom and YouTube channels.
Sheikh thanked and appreciated the IPWF executive committee for organizing the event. He started his speech with a beautiful Urdu couplet: Woh karein baat to har baat se khushbu aaye, aisi boli wohi bole jise Urdu aaye (When he speaks an overpowering fragrance is there; he speaks a language which is known as Urdu).
He recalled the history of mushaira culture, which was started in Jeddah in 1997 and continued for several years. The CG expressed his gratitude to the Almighty for giving him an opportunity to serve Hajis for 8 years — 4 years as Hajj consul and 4 years as consul general.
A thunderous round of applause welcomed his statement that he was thankful to Almighty Allah for the opportunity to serve approximately 1.25 million Indian pilgrims.
Consul Hajj Y. Sabir said it was a great pleasure to be part of the poetic evening and he thanked the CG for his continuous guidance to him and all consulate staff. He also appreciated the services of IPWF in serving the pilgrims under the aegis of the consulate.
He also had a word of praise for the IPWF for organizing various events including the recent Qur'an recitation competition.
In his welcome speech, IPWF President Md. Ayoob Hakeem welcomed the distinguished guests, poets, media personnel, community leaders and online audience.
Hakeem shared memorable moments of Sheikh during his tenure as consul general of India and wished him every success in his future endeavors.
The evening's anchor and renowned poet Athar Shakeel (from Mumbai) conducted the event deftly. He began with his own poetry: Hum huwe sairaab lekin tashnigi baaqi rahi, rang mahroomi ka dekha raahaton ke darmiyan; Chand ko chhune ki khwahish noor ko chakne ka shauq; umr kaati hamne in do hasraton ke darmiyan. (We have quenched our thirst, but throats are still parched. Have searched for what is lacking even in a comfortable zone; We wished to touch the moon and taste the glow, but life is lost in achieving these.)
Irfan Lucknawi joined from Lucknow and recited couplets on the coronavirus epidemic: Zameen walo tumhari jitni hekdi thi sab bas ek chhote se virus ne nikaal di sab; Abhi wasail se apne duniya uchhal rahi hai ye bhool jaigi sarkashi char hi din mein sab. (O people of the earth, a small virus has made you bite the dust; the earth is still rotating on its axis, but will forget it only in a jiffy.)
Dr. Nadeem Shad from Deoband, Anas Khan from Delhi, Naim Faraz from Akola, Kaleem Samar from Aligarh, and Dr. Nusrat Mehdi from Bhopal were the other poets who regaled the audience with their soul-searching verses.
The CG presented mementos as a token of appreciation to all the poets. The program started with recitation of Holy Qur'an by Haafiz Farhan Abdul Rab (IPWF treasurer). Syed Nasir Khursheed, IPWF general secretary, conducted the event meticulously.
Executive member IPWF Abdul Rahman proposed a vote of thanks. He extended his thanks to the consulate staff for sparing some of their valuable time for the event. He appreciated the extreme hard work of Ayoob Hakeem and executive committee members including Aziz Kidwai, Md. Amir Salami, Fazal Mohammed, Syed Attaullah, Amin Hakeem, Ghulam Nabi and women coordinators for their continuous support in making the event a memorable one.

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