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January 18, 2016

An evening with Adal Soomro held


January 18, 2016


Fewer writers can establish their versatility and earn equal recognition in variety of literary genres. Prominent poet from Sindh Adal Soomro is one of them who is known for his command over multiple mediums of literary expressions.

Adal Soomro travelled all the way from Sukkur Sindh to Islamabad to narrate the story of his literary and poetic journey to an audience in Islamabad in a session titled ‘Chat Box with Adal Soomro’. The event was arranged by Indus Cultural Forum (ICF) in collaboration with Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) in Islamabad.

Despite having a well deserved PhD in literature, Adal prefers not to be prefixed with a Dr. and rightly so because his identity as “Adal Soomro” was well established decades before he earned the degree.

Adal Soomro has 12 books on his credit which establish his versatility. Three of these books are his poetry collections, one prose and 8 books are poetry and stories for children. His PhD is on the history of Sindhi Adabi Sangat, one of the largest literary organisations of Pakistan who had played historical role in language and literature movements of Pakistan. Writing for children is Adal’s passion and he is one of the few established writers who take utmost pride in being known as children’s writer. He himself has served as Secretary General of Sindhi Adabi Sangat. A teaching career of over 30 years is on top of Adal Soomro’s literary contributions. He retired as a professor from Shah Abdul Lateef University Khairpur where he was serving as chairman of Sindhi department and Chair of Sheikh Ayaz Chair.

Speaking to audience Adal Soomro said that a writer is never detached from the socio-political context of his times and this context determines the role of a writer in society. He narrated the role of Sindhi writers during the authoritarian regime of Ayub Khan when writers played the frontline role against the in the movement against “One Unit”. Writers played frontline role because there were not political parties and political movements to bear the torch so writers had to take the charge. “In many other context writers of the time have brought the revolutions” he said.

Narrating today’s challenges he say the writers are required to play a different role from that of political parties. Writers and poets of the time should lead the movement against extremism and intolerance in the society. “Today’s challenges of extremis, intolerance and fanaticism could best be tackled if we returned back to the roots of Sufism and understood the message that our Sufi poets and saints have been preaching for centuries” he said.

Responding to a question regarding writing poetry in multiple languages he said everyone dreams in their mother language and poets are best expressed when they write in their mother language. “However knowing and using more than one language is a strength that widens the reach of your message”. He said if we prefer other languages over our own language it is equal to surrendering one’s own rights therefore we should not expect from others to protect our language.

At the end of the session Adal recited his poetry in Sindhi and Urdu. Indus Cultural Forum coordinator Niaz Nadeem moderated the session.

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