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Is anjuman mein aap ko aana hai baar baar: Celebrating Urdu Cultural Mela in Maryland, USA


By Zafar Iqbal for TwoCircles.net

It was so pleasing to watch a beautiful rendition of Urdu poetry through a classical dance by Anupma Sharma, student of guru Purvi Bhatt from Dance School wearing a traditional dress. This song was from1981 Urdu film, Umrao Jaan, which has a deep connection with Urdu literature and the Aligarh Muslim University. This and other songs in the film were written by Urdu poet Shaheryaar from the University and the film was directed by another Aligarian Muzaffar Ali, who excelled in promoting Urdu literature. The presentation of this song at this event also conveyed a message to the audience that they would be coming to these Urdu promotion events, like this Urdu Mela, again and again. Is anjuman mein aap ko aana hai baar, Deevaar-o-dar ko ghaur se pehchaan lijiye.

Abdur Rahman

This first Urdu Cultural Mela was the brainchild of Tahira Anwar and Dr. Razi Raziuddin. Held on May 20, 2017 at the Seneca Valley High School, Germantown, Maryland, it attracted a large number of people from Metropolitan Washington area. It was organized by the Urdu Academy of Maryland with the collaboration of the Aligarh Alumni Association Metropolitan Washington and Pakistan Association of Metropolitan Washington. and also present a bouquet of activities to give glimpses of Urdu culture to the audience. The main purpose of mela was to making aware the community of the richness of Urdu culture and heritage.


Tahira Anwar, who started the Urdu Academy of Maryland in 2013, said that the Academy has succeeded in launching Urdu teaching in two schools of Montgomery County. She was very happy to announce that she was receiving requests for expanding the program to other schools. However, due to lack of resources she was not able to meet the demand. She is hopeful that the program could be expanded to other schools in Montgomery County and nearby other counties with help from the community. “In addition to preservation of cultural heritage, learning of mother tongue helps strengthen family and friendship bonds. Recent research has also shown that children growing up with multiple languages perform much better in highly competitive society,” she added.

Dr. A. Abdullah—a stalwart worker of Urdu—spoke about origin and significance of Urdu in the Indian Subcontinent and now in North America. He praised the work initiated by the Urdu Academy of Maryland in Montgomery County of Maryland and expressed confidence that the work started by the Academy will establish its roots, spread its branches like a banyan tree and others will get benefit from it. In the beginning it does require sacrifice, hard work, and patience, however.

Shoaib Ali Hasan eloquently presented Idgah—a classic short story by Munshi Premchand. This powerful story about a 4-year-old orphan boy conveys a strong message how affection, motherhood, care, sacrifice, and satisfaction bring happiness.

Dresses from different regions

Farheen Abdullah helped organize a colorful cultural show depicting traditional dresses representing different regions of India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh.

Shilpa Sharma, a physical therapist by profession and Dr. Abdur Rehman, a scientist at the National Institutes of Health presented ghazals from notable Urdu poets. The program also included several boutiques for ladies to do Eid shopping and delicious food and Urdu books for sale.


Nuzaira Azam was the Master of Ceremony. Mohammad Akbar, president, Aligarh Alumni Association, Washington-DC thanked the organizers and participants of the program, and the audience.