Reference on Dr. Sahib Shah Sabir

Peshawar, April 7 2009

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Aryana Institute for Regional Research & Advocacy (AIRRA), Cultural Desk, organized a gathering in memory of the late Pashto poet and intellectual Dr. Sahib Shah Sabir Peshawar. The gathering was attended by prominent Pashtun intellectuals, poets, writers, media men and professionals from Pakistan and Afghanistan.

The participants presented their dissertations on the life and works of Dr. Sahib Shah Sabir. Prominent Pashtun literary figures paid tributes to Dr. Sabir for his unwearied contributions to Pashto language and literature. Friends and contemporaries acknowledged his greatness by critically analyzing his works and chanted their own poems in his appraisal. The environment was ambivalently emotional with a sense of loss as well as gaining something from the very loss of a “literary genius.”

In the beginning Gulzar Khan, member of AIRRA, heartily welcomed the participants and introduced the Cultural Desk of AIRRA. The aims and objectives of the Cultural Desk were highlighted with special reference to the on-going reference on Dr. Sabir and pledges were made for the promotion of Pashto language, culture and literature.

He also talked about the future vision of the Desk. He said that in future the Cultural Desk will organize grand Mushaira once in a year. In order to encourage and appreciate the contribution to Pashto language and culture, AIRRA’s Culture Desk would announce the poet/prose writer/singer/musician/ of the year and he/ she will be honored with a shield and cash Prize. He thanked Rahmat Shah Sayel, Amjad Shehzad and all the staff of the Baacha Khan Trust for their help and support in organizing this reference.

Meanwhile, great Pashto poets and writers and friends of Dr. Sahib Shah Sabir, Rahmat Shah Sayel and Dr. Khaliq Ziar were garlanded.

Akbar Sial lamented the death of Dr. Sabir by terming it a great loss for the region and for Pashto. He expressed his view about the knowledge and creativity which Dr. Sabir possessed. He called him a brave person. According to him, he (Dr. Sabir) was the poet of the people and he was always committed to his nation. He thanked Khadim Hussain for organizing the gathering.

In his paper, Mong ao Dr. Sabir (We and Dr. Sabir), great Pashto poet Rahmat Shah Sail reflected upon the literary and multidimensional personality of Dr. Sabir. He vehemently portrayed Dr. Sabir’s life since his first meeting and then to the many literary councils and organization they had either collectively organized or participated in the past. According to him Dr. Sabir Shah was so overwhelmed with reading that people would call him Kitab Shah (replacing his first name with kitab which means a book). He said that Dr. Sabir was a man of critical thinking, imagination and ideology. He would never lose ground—though a romancer and a critic in one person. He specifically mentioned his three books namely Takal (Search), Khoboona (dreams), Qamatoona Qiamatoona (fatal tallness/hight) and his fiction Waore ao Guloona (snow and flowers). Sail expressed his mind about the publication of Dr. Saibr PhD thesis. Concluding his thesis Rahmat Shah Sail urged the need for book culture. Later on he presented his favorite collection of Sabir’s poetry.

In the second dissertations Dr. Khadim Hussain, Coordinator AIRRA, elaborated three main characteristics of Dr. Saibir as a poet. He said the poetry of Sabir contains augmented love, spirited imagination and resistance. According to him Sabir’s imagination is an inexhaustible fountain of love. There are two kinds of resistance i.e. Takhayolaati (imaginative) and Amali,(pragmatic)he added, and Dr. Sabir was the combination of the two. He gave reference to one of Dr. Sabir’s great poem “Na” (No). The poem embodies Sabir’s intellectual resistance to the conservative and right wing ideals.

Dr. Khadim spotlighted cultural annihilation with specific reference to Wahabi Jehadist Ideology and extended his arguments to support every bit of Pashtun culture through the platform of AIRRA’s Cultural Desk. He said that the desk would translate books and research material into Pashto. He also said that AIRRA would translate Dr. Sabir’s books and this way the voice of the people would resonate across the world.

While addressing the gathering, Dr. Fazal Rahim Marwat emphasized the need for peace and the role of Qalam (pen) in bringing peace to the region. He said that 21st century is the century of peace while 20th century was the century of inventions and wars. He said that 60 millions people are killed in the 20th century and the need for peace must be overemphasized. He valued Dr. Sabir for his contributions to Baacha Research Center in their efforts to bring peace to the region.

Dr. Khaliq Ziar mentioned his personal and literary friendship with Dr. Sabir and focused on his ideological orientation. According to him Dr. Sabir was a Marxist who was vehemently against the economic, political and cultural exploitation and would never stop resisting and raising voice against it. He said that he was a pragmatist but would not indulge in opportunism.

Abaseen Yousafzai talked about the academic excellence of Dr. Sabir by calling him a committed and progressive personality. According to him, his (Sabir’s) criticism, research and poetry are everlasting. Dr. Sabir would add to the liveliness of gatherings, he said and called him an honest man,. He lamented his death by saying that the death of a scholar is the death of the entire nation.

Yar Muhammad Maghmoom said that Dr. Sabir was a young writer who had contributed much for the Pashto literature. He called him a truthful and courageous person. He appreciated his sense of vigilant critique and witticism. He called him a great poet.

Saadullah Jan Barq also talked about the academic excellence of Dr. Saibr and mourned his death as a great loss to the nation.

Muhib Ullah Shauq expressed his views on the different aspects of Dr. Sabir’s works and personality. He has named one of his poetry books from a line of Sabir’s famous couplet “Sparlia Zan Sara Janaan Rawala (O Spring, bring my beloved when you come to me).

Dr. Raj Wali Shah Khattak urged the need for research on the academic, research, literary and political aspects of Dr. Sabir’s life and preservation of his ideas in order to bring his work and contribution to light. He said that Dr. Saibir had the capability to digest all that he read and he had attained the maturity of thought and art and termed him a mature poet and a practical man. “In him the intellectual honesty abounds”, he said. He lamented his loss by terming it a “big void in literary circles”. He thanked AIRRA for all its efforts.

Hashmat Sahar chanted one of Sabir’s poems and the audience responded with a big applause.

Ali Akbar Malakand presented his own verses in memory of Dr. Sabir.

Tufail Zaryab Also presented his poetry.

A resolution was passed demanding the removal of all obstacles in operation of Abaseen TV Channel.

Amjad Shehzad and Israr Atal performed the duty of stage-secretaries.

Dr. Raj Wali Shah Khattak presided over the gathering.

The following participated in the gathering:

Amjad Shehzad, Israr Atal, Rahmat Shah Sayel, Ms Jamila, Hashmat Sahar, Mass Khan Wisal, Amir Saleem, Tufail Ahmed Zaryab, Akbar Sial, Deedar Tahir, Aseer Mingal, Numan Abdullah, Khadim Hussain, Fazli Maula, Muazam Jan Muazam, Anwer Jalal Khattak, Dr. Fazal Rahim Marwat, Mohammad Yar, Abaseen Yoursafzai, Asad Danish, Rizwan Ullah Wazir, Habib Ullah Jan, Roohul Amin, Rooh Ullah, Mushtaq Ahmed, Mian Jave ur Rahman, Ali Jan Barq, Gulzar Khan, Shahid Khan, Javed, Nasrullah (Khan Ji), Farman Ullah, Rahman Ullah, Shaukat Khattak, Shaukat Sharar, Abdul Hai Kakar, Khurshid Baacha Kharkiwal, Zardad Khan, Ameer Raziq Khan, Dr. Muhammad Ghani, Fazl-e-Subhan Abid, Noor Rahman Noor, Bakht-i-Rawan, Zalan Momand, Dr. Muhamamd Zubair Hasrat, Zar Muhamamd Momand, Syed Noor Ali Shah, Abdul Salam, Haji Daim Khan, Nazir Gulab, Muhammad Nazeef, Dr. Khaliq Ziar, Dr. Yar Muhammad Maghmoom, Saadullah Jan Barq, Muhib Ullah Shauq, Ali Akbar Malakand, Dr. Raj Wali Shah Khattak and others.

(Report by Muhammad Arif, Roohul Amin)