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The Miracle - - Front Page - By: Fa­rooq Rai

D ur­ing my re­cent ex­pe­ri­ence with trans­lat­ing Al­lama Iqbal’s po­etry, I learned what an ar­du­ous task it is to prop­erly trans­late Urdu po­etry into English. I wanted the English trans­la­tions of my cal­lig­ra­phy of Al­lama’s verses for vis­i­tors to the first ever Pak­istani Peace & Har­mony Art Ex­hi­bi­tion dur­ing the renowned World Fes­ti­val in Rich­mond. I wanted to share the mes­sage of Al­lama to in­ter­ested Cana­di­ans. I sup­pose the dif­fi­culty lies in the fact that there are some­times sev­eral mean­ings to each word in English. One also needs to be con­sid­er­ate of the con­tem­po­rary con­text in which the text is ap­plied, for ex­am­ple, to be mind­ful of gen­der neu­tral words etc. I like to share the fol­low­ing ex­cerpts from a pre­vi­ous news ar­ti­cle

“Iqbal’s Shikwa and Jawab-e-Shikwa - a con­tem­po­rary trans­la­tion,” by Saleha Riaz about the con­tem­po­rary trans­la­tion of Al­lama Iqbal’s po­ems, pub­lished in The Ex­press Tri­bune on May 30th, 2014. “Fans of the great poet Al­lama Iqbal in Lon­don were in store for a rare treat when “Shikwa and Jawaab-e-Shikwa – a con­tem­po­rary trans­la­tion” by Pro­fes­sor Muham­mad Sharif Baqa was launched on Mon­day evening. With a sym­po­sium chaired by jour­nal­ist Syed Talat Hus­sain and a qawwali per­for­mance by the Hus­sain broth­ers.. The trans­la­tion of both po­ems took over a year to com­plete and ef­fort was put into re­tain­ing the po­etic rhythm and nu­ances of the Urdu lan­guage. The pref­ace to the book has been writ­ten by Pro­fes­sor Kather­ine Schim­mel of Har­vard Univer­sity. The fore­word is writ­ten by for­mer crick­eter turned politi­cian Im­ran Khan and the in­tro­duc­tion is by an­thro­pol­o­gist Pro­fes­sor Ak­bar S Ahmed. Jour­nal­ist, Syed Talat Hus­sain said he equated Iqbal’s po­etry with the coun­try’s na­tional an­them – some­thing its cit­i­zens re­cite of­ten but don’t re­ally un­der­stand. Hus­sain ended the sym­po­sium by say­ing that we have much to learn from Iqbal. “You can’t change the na­tion by merely tweet­ing, there is a world out there that beck­ons you,” con­cluded Hus­sain. This is ev­i­dent in Shikwa: Kyun Ziyaan Kaar Ba­nun, Sood Framosh Rahun Fikr-e-Farda Na Karun, Mahwe-Ghum-e-Dosh Rahun Naale Bul­bul Ke Sunoon, Aur Hama Tan Gosh Rahun Humwana Main Bhi Koi Gul Hun Ke Khamosh Rahun Jur­rat Aamoz Miri Taabe-Sakhun Hai Mujh Ko Shik­wah Al­lah Se Khakam Bada­han Hai Mujh Ko Trans­la­tion: Why should I waste my po­etic tal­ent, In lament­ing my glo­ri­ous past, yet ig­nor­ing my bright fu­ture? How can I be in­dif­fer­ent to the dole­ful cries of my na­tion? O my dear friend, I can­not be tongue-tied like a flower. It is truly my po­etic abil­ity that gives me the courage to ex­press my feel­ings, May I be cursed should I ever com­plain to God!” Al­lama’s an­niver­sary is on the 9th of Novem­ber. Now let us all rekin­dle our own as­pi­ra­tions and amal (ac­tions) while keeping his mes­sage and vi­sion in mind for ‘all time’ and not sim­ply to cel­e­brate an­other ‘day’. It is also worth em­pha­siz­ing that Im­ran Khan wrote the for­ward of the book. Those who ad­mire and count on Im­ran Khan to de­liver should know that Iqbal’s mes­sage and vi­sion is a uni­ver­sal and for all time. Pak­istan is faced with mul­ti­fac­eted chal­lenges. There is an ur­gent need to re­vert to Iqbal’s teach­ings and phi­los­o­phy more than ever be­fore. While un­der­stand­ably one is con­cerned about Pak­istan’s progress, we as Cana­di­ans of Pak­istani ori­gin here also need to be bet­ter pre­pared to face some dif­fi­cult is­sues and chal­lenges. Our faith and cul­tural iden- tity is un­der in­creased scru­tiny and re­gret­tably its por­trayal is some­times bi­ased and er­ro­neous. We ought to pro­mote our unique cul­tural iden­tity and her­itage to shed bet­ter light on our com­mi­n­unty and take part in cross-cul­tural ex­changes that pro­mote di­ver­sity and in­clu­sion. Our lo­cal com­mu­nity lead­er­ship and or­ga­ni­za­tions will be more ef­fec­tive if we start com­pre­hend­ing and prac­tic­ing Al­lama Iqbal’s vi­sion, mis­sion and mes­sage, while en­gag­ing in com­mu­nity de­vel­op­ment work. I re­main op­ti­mistic and in­shAl­lah, will con­tinue to hope for the best.

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