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Pakistani lovers of Urdu strive to promote language in UAE
By Jamil Khan May 17, 2017
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DUBAI: The UAE has a huge number of expatriates from South Asian countries who have been using Urdu as one of their main mediums of communication. The idea is to bond groups with the intention of promoting Urdu in the local communities, especially among those residing in the country for a long time who have been displaced from their roots.

In this regard, many expatriates of Pakistani and Indian origin have teamed up with multi-lingual communities to promote such linguistic causes. One such example is Alveena Javed who founded Urdu Adab UAE, a non-profit organisation, last year after being inspired by such groups across Pakistan with the aim of ‘reconnecting Urdu lovers with their roots.’

Talking to The Gulf Today, she shared her passion for Urdu literature and the difficulties in gathering people for, and holding, literary activities. She had gathered around a dozen people for her first major venture, Jashan-e-Urdu, last year but now with the huge impact of social media platforms, the response and interest has been picking up momentum.

“With the support of people with a strong commitment to promote Urdu in the UAE, we are organising a number of activities to promote multi-segments of Urdu literature like reading, writing, introduction of prominent writers, poets, books and others,” she said. “I saw many people from my generation organising activities in various small and major cities to promote Urdu literature and receiving a huge response from every segment of society,” she said.

There are many organisations in the UAE hosting events like poetry and reading sessions, discussions involving prominent writers and others to attract the young generation towards Urdu and help them foster a love for the language.

Alveena has also expressed her gratitude to community members including Siraj Khan, Fatima, Zarminae Ansari and others who have been supporting her, especially Dr Faisal Ikram, general secretary Pakistan Association Dubai, who encouraged her to use the premises of the association’s library for literary activities.

“Urdu Adab has been focusing on writers and recently organised an evening to discuss ‘women Urdu writers’ as participants read chapters from books of their favourite writers,” she said.

She also conducts reading sessions as part of the ‘Joy of Reading’ group which has been active in many major cities including London, Paris, Karachi and Islamabad.

“With the support of volunteers, we have been working to make the PAD library an interactive place for the community,” she pointed.

The Niaz Muslim Library in PAD was recently inaugurated by Minister of State for Tolerance and Member of the Cabinet Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qasimi.

Besides holding literary activities, Alveena had also spread word among friends and the community through social media platforms for people to donate books and got a huge response. They received hundreds of books from different segments of society and mobilised students as volunteers to establish a library on professional lines.

She has also planned an array of literary activities to mobilise the community’s students in the upcoming months.
 

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