By Ali Imran
WASHINGTON, March 31 (APP): The Society of Urdu Literature will host an international conference on Urdu next year and make the colloquium a regular annual feature as part of its efforts to promote the language in North America.
Founder and renowned literary figure Abul Hasan Naghmi revealed this while speaking at an event held to mark the sixth anniversary of the organization, which has gained popularity with its acronym SOUL. Naghmi also pledged to broaden the organization’s outreach on the Internet through web television transmission and its publication the ‘Soul Gazette’.
Noted Urdu scholars living in the United States converged on Springfield, Virginia to attend the SOUL’s anniversary celebration, with proceedings conducted eruditely by Pakistani-American scholar and head of The Commongrounds organization Dr. Zulfiqar Kazmi.
In his remarks on the occasion, Naghmi highlighted the cultural significance of teaching Urdu to the younger generation. In this context, he also cited a recent Time magazine analysis that found that people with bilingual felicity make much smarter and successful members of the society.
Acclaimed Urdu scholar Moazam Siddiqui, poet Taabish Alwari, Dr. Abdullah, writer and critic Dr. Satya Paul Anand, short story writer Prof. Zahoor Nadeem, Prof. Jameel Usman, and film actress Reema Shehab, who recited couplets from both Urdu and Punjabi poetry, were among a galaxy of figures, who spoke on the occasion.
The participants expressed appreciation for the work being done by SOUL and by the Naghmi family including Mrs. Yasmeen Naghmi and their son Noor Naghmi towards promotion of Urdu language in Washington metro area.
The event was attended by a number of prominent journalists including Khalil ur Bhugio, Razi Rizvi, Khawaja Salauhuddin, Asad Ahmed, Kausar Javed and Nuzaira Azam, whose writings have greatly helped in introducing Urdu and developing a flavor of the language among news readers in the United States
Written for the Associated Press of Pakistan on March 31, 2014