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October 21, 2018

Ghalib, Iqbal penned their best work in Persian


October 21, 2018

PESHAWAR: The Importance of the Persian language learning was underlined as the faculty and students of the Urdu Department of the Shaheed Benazir Bhutto Women University (SBBWU) Peshawar visited the Cultural Centre of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

“You cannot fully understand the classic works of the Urdu poets without learning Persian. The great poets of the region such as Mirza Asadullah Khan Ghalib and Allama Muhammad Iqbal have their best poetry in Persian,” said Dr Syed Abbas Famouri, director general, Islamic Republic of Iran, while addressing SBBWU the teachers and students at the Imam Khomeini Hall of the centre.

“The national poet of Pakistan, Allama Muhammad Iqbal, was a great philosopher, and thinker who is known for his Pan-Islamism message. Two-thirds of his poetry is in Persian. Out of his 10 poetic collections, six are in Persian, three in Urdu and one in Persian-Urdu combine. Iqbal touched the issues of the Muslims and you must learn Persian to better understand his message,” said Syed Abbas Famouri.

The cultural diplomat said Persian is an important literary and cultural language of this part of the world as it has remained the official language of the subcontinent for over 700 years. He said the language was equally popular with the elite and the masses and had books on different subjects which were a great source of knowledge.

“Persian has influenced other languages of this region. Urdu has a high percentage of words from this language. The Persian understanding will help you fully understand the Urdu literature,” he pointed out while emphasising his point.

The diplomat said Persian is spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and parts of the Central Asian States. The Persian learning can help strengthen ties among the people of these brotherly Muslim countries,” he went on to add.

Dr Syed Abbas Famouri said the peoples of Iran and Pakistan were bound up by religion, history and culture. “The Persian language is the medium which can give you an access to the ancient literary and cultural heritage which connect the Iranians and Pakistanis in brotherly relations,” he stressed.

The diplomat urged the students to learn Persian. “This centre has been working in Peshawar for over four decades. “We offer Persian language learning, calligraphy and painting courses for nominal charges. Come and benefit from this facility,” he exhorted the audience.

Professor Dr. Bismina Siraj, Coordinator for the SBBWU Urdu Department, commended the centre for promoting literary and cultural activities.

“Your efforts for promotion of Persian language are not confined to the centre but extend to public and private universities,” she said and mentioned the launch of the Persian classes at the SBBWU with the full cooperation of the centre.

The faculty member recalled that three years back the SBBWU introduced Persian language and literature in M A Urdu course.

“Syed Ghayoor Hussain sahib designed the course of study when requested by Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Razia Sultana. He authored the book “Qand-e-Parsi and is teaching the publication at the varsity,” she said while acknowledging the literatus from Kohat who has to his credit nearly half a dozen books on the Persian literature and has been teaching Persian at the centre for nearly 30 years.

Other faculty members including Prof Dr Antal Zia, Dr Sadaf Ambareen, Dr Salma Khattak and Dr Rubina Arshad were also present on the occasion.

Later, the visitors were taken to various sections of the cultural centre. They showed interest in the Adeeb Peshawari Library which houses over 20,000 books. Named after an accomplished writer from the walled city of Peshawar, the library is frequented by the literature students for reference and research.