‘ELUSIVE DAWN – Faiz Ahmed Faiz – A Peoples Poet’, book review by Professor Nazir Tabassum

`Elusive Dawn – Faiz Ahmed Faiz – A peoples Poet` is published to remember, honour and mark the end of centenary celebrations of Faiz Ahmed Faiz across the globe during 2011.

‘Elusive Dawn’ offers kaleidoscopic reflections and heartfelt reminisces on Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Poets, friends, admirers, academics and activists fondly remember an ordinary loving and peaceful human through whom greatness lived passionately. There are fascinating and new understandings of the man in this book.

This publication is a manifestation of the collective respect to Faiz by organizations and individuals. Organisations included the Progressive Writers Association, Faiz Ghar, Faiz Centenary National Organising Committee UK, South Asian People`s Forum, Communist Party of Britain, Indian Workers Association and Kala Sangam. The individuals include well known poets, friends, admirers, academics, filmmakers, politicians, writers and activists amongst others.

The book spans over six sections.

Section One consists of published and unpublished articles that give the reader an insight into Faiz as a poet and person. Contributors include Progressive Writers Association, Afsan Chowdhry, Helen Goodway, Ikramul Haq and Huzima Bokhari, Rakhshanda Jalil, Javaid Ahmad Lone, Ali Mir and Raza Mir, Gopi Chand Narang and Gauher Raza.

Section Two contains Faiz`s biographical material.

Section Three presents a European dimension to understanding Faiz in his `self-exile` times. Contributors include M.H. Askari, Syed Baddruddin Beider, George Fischer, Fabbeh Husein and Mohsin Zulfiqar.

Section Four offers the reader a selection of 100 Urdu poems with translations in English to allow access to a wider community.

Section Five outlines a fascinating chronology of Faiz`s life.

Section Six includes a comprehensive bibliography to enable the reader to undertake further inquiry into Faiz and his contributions to humanity.

‘Elusive Dawn’, the book, asks us all to re-assess and re-evaluate Faiz in the present political milieu in order to mainstream his vision. He is as relevant today as he was in the past. What can be more relevant than love, peace and solidarity! We appreciate that many left intellectuals in the world, including Faiz, looked in the 1930s and 1940s toward the Soviet Union as a source of human progress, virtue, and human rights. The demise of Soviet Union in the 1990s had disillusioned many with the idea of Communism. However, the economic exploitation of vast masses of humanity has not stopped yet. Therefore the struggle against oppression is bound to continue and Faiz will live through the engagement of others now and beyond.

The book asserts the need to continue to humanize rather than deify Faiz to enroll the ordinary. We need to see Faiz paradoxically as both an ordinary and a great human being to anthemise his vision for freedom, equality, solidarity and justice. We say long live to the struggle and to the memory of Faiz.

Edited by
Mohsin Zulfiqar & Fabbeh Husein
Published by
Kala Sangam and Faiz Centenary National Organising Committee UK
ISBN: 970-0-9535373-4-1
Paperback, Illustrated, 390 pages
£14.99 or €17.50
Available from
Kala Sangam, St Peters House, 1 Forster Square, Bradford BD1 4TY
Telephone: 01274 303340, e-mail: info@kalasangam.org

Pervez Fateh
Secretary – Faiz Centenary National Organising Committee UK
Cell: +44 (0)795 854 1672
E-mail: pervezf@yahoo.com


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