Poets

Jaazem, Isaac S.

Not just a poet, but a poet with deep theological and spiritual insight, and a full command of the Urdu language, Jaazem Issac is a credit to CUWAP, and his natural ability to deal with deep emotions evoked by spiritual experiences make him unique among his contemporaries. Son of a local school teacher and church elder, Shoukat Masih Rai, Jaazem was blessed with his father's guidance in pursuit of education, especially theological education.  He studied at CTI High School (Sialkot), Gordan college, Rawalpindi,(earned B.A), Pakistan Accounting College, Rawalpindi (earned B.Com) and at Gujranwala Theological Seminary (earned a degree in theology).  It was in the last institution that he had the privilege of studying under  Dr. WC Christie, Dr. KL Nasir, andPadri Nazir Yousaf. The inclination to write and to master the art of writing prose also passed on to him from his father. However, he acknowledges Master KR Zia as his academic guide and mentor in poetry.

Though Jaazem, officially retired in 2001, he has never retired from his active service for his Lord and Master Jesus Christ. Like a man madly in love and bewitched by the beauties of his beloved, Jaazem just cannot stop writing deeply insightful and touching poetry. His poetry book Mudawa* (مداوا), published in 2010 is a testament, not necessarily to his great command of the Urdu language, (about which some can argue about minutia), but to his unwavering dedication to Lord Jesus and his unshakable faith in the great truths of the Christan faith. He has also compiled, edited and published an editorialised anthology of his father's essays, Ilm-e Shanasai, (علم شناسائی ) (no. date).
 
The first line of  his forward to his book Mudawa is his prayer, and belies his deepest wish.
 
خداوند کی حمد اور تعریف ہو اور اسی کی ستائش کرتے کرتے میرا دم نکلے. آمین
 
The last sentence of the same write-up is  another prayer:
 
د عا ہے کہ میری آواز ہرمسیحی تک پہنچے اور اس کے وسیلے سے خداوند کے
جلال اور اس کی بزرگی کی ستائش ہر خاندان میں ہو. آمین"

 

It is my hope that www.cuwap.org will be instrumental in making his second prayer come true.
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*For a book review on  Mudawa, please see the entry in Book Reviews section www.cuwap.org.

Saleebi, Inayat Daniel

Carrying his own cross and focused on the cross of his Lord, Pastor Inayat Saleebi, has claimed his place among the rank and file of Christian Urdu poets, by his faith-enrichin

g and soul-strengthening anthology dedicated to the cause of peace. Akhri Saleeb is both a devotional volume as well as a polemic of the message of the Cross.

Saleebi started his writing career in 1980 by theological articles in Qasid-e Jadeed monthly (Lahore). However since then his articles have also found place in nationally circulated news papers, The Pakistan Times, The Nation and Din.Trained as a pastor, and academically equipped with degrees in Christain theology (completed seminary studies in Lahore), and a Masters degree in Islamic Studies (The University of the Punjab). Saleebi has tried, quite successfully in my opinion, to do justice to the very difficult and central tenant of the Christian faith, Saleeb (the Cross). Indeed, he is not the first, and certainly will not be the last to show extreme devotion to and a yearning for the understanding of the depth of the message of the cross, but what makes, Saleebi, unique is his appreciation of the fact that his is just on of many. He clearly comprehends the magnanimity and the universality of the cross, and comparison his own insignificance.

Saleebi's art of successfully handling poetic phraseology is apparent throughout the pages of Akhri Saleeb. It is a little surprise then that he has been honored with several awards: Mimmar-e Watan (2008, Lahore), New Song Music Minsitry Award (:2008, Sialkot), Pakistan Christian Citizen Forum Award (2009, Islamabad), and Galaxy Creative Team Award (2010, Rawalpindi).

Pace, Asst. Professor Vincent B.

Associat professor of Urdu language at Foreman Christian College Lahore since 2003, Mr. Vincent Pace (pen name Aseem Saleebi) is a Pakistani patriot, a language scholar, a Christian poet and, above all, a man of letters with deep-seated Christian values of service. Before joining the above institution, he was a lecturer at LaSalle, Faisalabad, the city where he was born and completed his education.

His published works are: Sr-e shehr-e sangbdast and Jannat di chhan. His other books in the various stages of publication include: Samudar say samunder tk, Apni chhat - apna angan, Geeli rait, Fun-e shakhseyat nigari, and Mout say hayat tk.
 
Pace is a name well-known in reputed literary journals, including, Catholic naqeeb, Deed gah, Tajdeed, Urdu nama, Tadeeb, Humsukhan and Aftab, and he has been the longtime editor of the literary page of the newspaper, Christian Monitor. A frequent visitor to cultural and literary events, he prides himself on being a close associate of the 'greats' in these fields, counting among his friends and associates such names as Adeem Hashimi, Munir Kazmi, Zahid Akkasi, the late Dr. John Joseph, Father Rahid Asi, the late Nemat Ahmar, and Naheed Nawaz.

Tabita, Ms. Preeya

A new and refreshingly fresh voice among contemporary Christian literary circles, Preeya Tabita is a researcher, literary critic, columnist and poetess. Her latest research efforts are being considered for a PhD award at the Government College, University of Lahore.

One only has to study her book, "Urdu Novel kay manfi kirdar - aghaz taa qayam-e Pakistan"
- اردو ناول کے منفی کردار
آغاز تا قیام پاکستان published in 2006, to discover that Urdu is her subject - her passion. Her best known published work on literary criticism, which also meets the gold standard of academic research, Younas Adeeb - Hayat o fun  (یونس ادیب - حیات و فن) was published in August 2009.
 
"Hamesha rooth jaatay ho", (ہمیشہ روٹھ جاتے ھو) is Tabita's successful attempt to be counted among the generation of new poets who will often be quoted in years to come.
Tabita's awards and honours include the following: BM Hasrat Award (2007) presented by Christian Writers Guild; National Youth Award (cash prize of Rs.50,000 ) presented by The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Sayed Yousaf Raza Gillani (2008); Taak Kashmiri Award (cash prize Rs. 10,000), awarded by Lahore Diocesan Board of Education (2008); Sacred Heart Award (2008) presented by Rev. Lawrence Saldana (2008); Quaid-e Azam hlal-e Ahmar Gold Medal (2009) and Crown Certificate for Excellent Services (2009).
 
Between 2008 and 2009 Tabita was in charge of, and contributed a daily column to, the literary edition of the daily Aftab in Quetta, Pakistan. Since 2003, she has served as an Assistant Professor in the department of Urdu Language at Foreman Christian College, University of Lahore.
 
Her published articles and columns are too many to be enumerated here. Only a short, and hopefully a fairly representative, selection of these is presented here: Shazad Ahmad ka asri sha'oor, Aangan آنگن novel ka tajazziyati mutaliya, novel nigari ka irtiqa, Ibne Insha kee safar nigari, Taraqi passad tehreek: ik jaiza, and Romanvi tehreek: aaghaz o irtika. Her poetry, both nazms and ghazzlas, has appeared in reputable magazines including Shadab, Al-hamra, Dabistan, Naqeeb and Saher.

Zia, Master K. R. (d. 2004)

A towering figure of the twentieth century, Master K. R. Zia ماسٹر کے آر ضیاء was not only a great poet and writer but also a founder of many literary movements in the Christian community of Pakistan. He was born in the village of Dauder of Moga (India) in 1920 and started his literary career from Christian Training Institute (C.T.I) as an Urdu language teacher and a songwriter. He was a major contributor to the famous Hymn book "Sialkot Convention Geet Ki Kitab". While in Sialkot he wrote two books  Naghma-e Zindigi   نغمہ زندگی and Taran-e Zindgi  ترانہ زندگی .
 
K. R. Zia was the first choir conductor of the historic, international Christian Convention commonly known as the Sialkot Convention of which he was the most significant figure. He was also the first to write and direct Christmas dramas for radio broadcasting for the Christian community.
 
C.T.I. has been a status symbol in the education world of Pakistan and K.R. Zia was one of the most prominent teachers of that institute. Physical punishment of students to maintain discipline was in practice in that epoch but it is said that K.R.Zia, was the only teacher in the whole Institute who did not engage in it. He used only his words to achieve the goal of disciplining his students who in turn were deeply affected by this polite way of teaching.
 
Founder and original organiser of Christian camping in Pakistan, K.R.Zia filled his camps with literary and artistic activities as well as with young people from all over the country.
 
 In 1980 K. R. Zia founded the Pakistan International Christian Arts Society which established a music school and organised a series of concerts, dramas and Mushayeras to promote Christian poets and artists and to provide a stage for Christian artists. He was also the founder of Masihi Tehreek-e-Adb-o-saqafat. Under the banner of this Tehreek, he organized many mushayeras in Pakistan. During this time his book Jagtay Harf جاگتے حرف appeared and was well recieved in the literary circles.
  
Dr. Billy Graham, the world renowned American evangelist, invited K.R.Zia to attend the International Christian Conference, organised by Billy Graham Ministries in 1986.
 
In 1994 K.R. Zia published his book of Urdu poetry, Chiragh-e-Akhir-e-Shab چراغ آخر شب . The last book he wrote was Dahst-e-Tanhai  دشت تنہائی . However, life did not give him the opportunity to publish it. Sadly, on 2nd July 2004 he died of a lung infection.
 
 
ہم اپنے وقت کے سورج ہیں ہم کو پہچانو
جلیں گے ہم تو ستاروں میں روشنی ہو گی
 
(I would like to express my deep and sincere gratitude to Mrs. Anita Aslund (Canada) for this article.)

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