Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Versatile poet Afaq Siddiqui passes away

Jumbo Editorial Team 

 Prominent poet, writer, educationist and researcher, Professor Afaq Siddiqui, died in Karachi on June 17 after protracted illness. He was 84. His most famous literary work was the translation of ‘Shah Jo Rasalao’ from Sindhi to Urdu. He wrote more than 40 books, out of which 18 are in Sindhi. 

His literary work was highly appreciated throughout the country. In recognition of his literary works, he received various national and international awards, including Pride of Performance and Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai Excellence Award. 

He was also an eminent translator and critic. Being an Urdu writer he was equally conversant with Sindhi, Hindi and Persian and translated a number of books. 

He was hailed for having spread the philosophy and message of the great Sufi poet Hazrat Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai by translating his works in Urdu. He was known for his encyclopedic knowledge of Urdu and Sindhi literatures and for his heartfelt efforts in bringing the Sindhi and Urdu languages closer to each other. 

His services to Pakistan, particularly in education sector, were exemplary and were recognised at national and international level. His literary work is not only an asset for literary circles but next generations will get benefit from his untiring work. 

Professor Afaq Siddiqui, was born in Farrukhabad (UP), India, in 1928. He graduated from Aligarh. After partition he migrated to Pakistan and settled in Sukkur. 

He had a passion for teaching from childhood and he joined the education department of the Sindh government where he served in various academic positions of teaching. 

He learnt the language, customs and traditions of Sindh and became a bilingual writer. With his vast knowledge of Hindi and Persian, he translated many works of classical and contemporary writers into Urdu and Sindhi. 

In Sukkur, he noticed the dearth of educational facilities and thought of making some solid contribution to this field as well. He initiated an organisation called Muslim Educational Society which established 14 schools in the city and its suburbs from where people of average income benefited. 

After retirement, he settled in Karachi where he founded a literary organisation known as Urdu-Sindhi Adabi Foundation in order to publish works of writers who had no means of getting their works published.

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