Art and literature transform society most effectively, most peacefully: Nafees Zakaria
Beo Zafar and Asma Nabeel launched their book “Beydari” at the High Commission on 13 December 2019. “Beydari” is the Urdu trans-creation by Asma Nabeel of Beo Zafar’s English poetry book “The Dreamer Awakes”.
A large number of literary figures and lovers of art, culture and literature attended the event including renowned opera singer Neil Latchman, pop singer Zohaib Hassan, Quaid-i-Azam’s grand nephew Akbar Merchant, BBC fusion lead producer Lalita Taylor, writer Yasmin Whittaker-Khan and author Ziauddin Sardar. Some of them also read out Urdu and English poems and mesmerized the audience with their recitals.
In his welcome remarks, High Commissioner Mohammad Nafees Zakaria appreciated Beo Zafar and Asma Nabeel for creating a beautiful book of poetry and termed it a welcome addition to the existing body of Urdu literature. He said: “It is a matter of pride to see Pakistani women excelling in their respective professions. The writer and the translator of this marvelous book happen to be both women—a testimony of Pakistani women’s contribution in every walk of life.”
On this occasion, the High Commissioner felicitated newly elected 15 British Pakistani MPs and shared that 06 of them are women. He appreciated Pakistani Diaspora’s active participation in the political, social and economic life in the UK.
The High Commissioner read out two poems “On the Fence” and “Hope” from the book “The Dreamer Awakes” and related them to the contemporary issues. He said the poem On the Fence laments the culture of silence over the sufferings of humanity as in case of Kashmir where generally international community is not coming forward to end the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Indian Occupied Kashmir. The poem Hope, he said, appreciates those who become the voice of the voiceless and shows a ray of light that the oppression would one day come to an end and the tormentors of humanity would be defeated.
Beo Zafar shared with the audience as to how the book came about. She said her mother, who is no more, was the inspiration behind the book. She said she always wanted to get her poems translated into Urdu and once Asma Nabeel embarked upon the translation project it all completed smoothly and in record time. She said when Asma completed the translation she thought her dream had come true. Beo Zafar also shared some highlights of her artistic journey as a writer, comedian and actor in a lighter vein and brought forth good amount of laughter. She recited some of her favourite poems in her characteristic style.
Asma narrated how the book Beydari came about. She said Beo’s poems touched her heart and she decided to translate the entire book. According to her the whole translation came to her with natural ease and flow. Asma said she dedicated the book to her mother. She also recited a couple of poems and was applauded. Asma is a Karachi based playwright and producer. Khaani, Khuda Mera bhi hai and Baandi are some of popular dramas written by her.
Beo and Asma signed the books at the end.
It was a memorable literary evening thoroughly enjoyed and admired by the audience.