PAKISTAN

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Poet, Lenin Prize Laureate

The real award for a poet is the love and appreciation of his fans. Faiz stands among those who enjoy both at one and the same time. Besides he was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize in 1963, as the first Asian poet. Before his death in 1984 he was also a nominee for the award of Nobel Prize, but his association in later life, with Yasser Arafat and the Palestinian Movement, and the Editorship of Lotus, deprived him of the award because the Zionist element in the controlling body of the Nobel Prize is strong.
Faiz was acknowledged long ago as the greatest Urdu poet after Iqbal. Even those who were critical of his progressive social and political beliefs could not deny him that position, although they always qualified their praise of him by regretting that such a good man should have fallen among the Communists.

Date of Birth: February 13th, 1911Place: Sialkot (Punjab), Pakistan
Faiz's mother was Sultan Fatima. Faiz's father died in Sialkot in 1913. Faiz's father was a learned man and enjoyed the company of well-known literary persons. Wrote the biography of Amir Abdur Rehman. Faiz was therefore, born in a respectable and literary environment and was a very promising student with a religious background.
Primary Education: Started memorizing the Holy Quran at the age of four and in 1916 started his formal education in the famous school of Moulvi Ibrahim Sialkoti, and learnt Urdu, Persian and Arabic. Was admitted to the Scotch Mission High School in 1921 in Class IV. Passed his Matriculation Examination in the 1st Division from Murray College, Sialkot and during this period learnt Persian and Arabic from Allama Iqbal's teacher, Shamsul Ullama Moulvi Syed Meer Hasan.
College Education: Passed his B.A. (Honours) in Arabic from the Government College, Lahore and then M.A. in English from the same College in 1932. Passed his M.A. in Arabic in the 1st Division, from Oriental College, Lahore.
Employment: Lecturer in English at M. A. O. College, Amritsar in 1935 and then at Hailey College of Commerce, Lahore. Joined the Army as Captain in 1942 and worked in the department of Public Relations in Delhi. Was promoted to the rank of Major in 1943, and Lieut. Colonel in 1944. Resigned from The Army in 1947 and returned to Lahore, where, in 1959 appointed as Secretary, Pakistan Arts Council and worked in that capacity till 1962. Returning from London in 1964 he settled down in Karachi and was appointed as Principal, Abdullah Haroon College , Karachi. Editorship of the monthly magazine Adabe-Latif from 1947 to 1958. Worked as Editor under the Progressive Papers Ltd, of the Pakistan Times, the Urdu newspaper Imroze and the weekly Lailo-Nihar. In the 1965 war between India & Pakistan he worked in an honorary capacity in the Department of Information. Acted as Editor of the magazine Lotus in Moscow, London and Beirut.
Marriage & Children: In March 9th, arrested under Safety Act and charged in the Rawalpindi Conspiracy case, and having borne the hardships of imprisonment for four years and one month in the jails of Sargodha, Montgomery (now Sahiwal) Hyderabad and Karachi, was released on April 2nd, 1955.

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