Dubai: It doesn’t get bigger than this for Urdu lovers in the UAE, as Bazm-E-Urdu, a licensed, non-profit social club that seeks to revive the ancient language, has lined up a star-studded programme with Ustad Ghulam Ali and other luminaries next weekend.
Rehan Khan, founder and general secretary of Bazm-E-Urdu, said the two-day treat will begin with a conversation with the great ghazal singer Ustad Ghulam Ali at the Shaikh Rashid Auditorium on Oud Mehta Road on August 17. “The great ghazal singer will talk about his life, struggles and views on contemporary Urdu,” Khan said, noting how Urdu’s appeal had managed to survive an apparent decline after the Independence of India and Pakistan in August 1947.
Khan said the conversation will be followed by a Tamseeli Mushaira, which will be the first of its kind in the UAE, held together by Pierreot’s Troupe of India which features Tom Alter.
He said the evening will also host a ceremony to honour Mushtaq Ahmad Yousufi of Pakistan, the 95-year-old veteran, with the Josh e Urdu Award.
Two more awards will be given away during the evening: the newly launched Alamdar-e-Urdu Award to Ustad Ghulam Ali for popularising Urdu worldwide and the Pasban-e-Urdu Award to Dr Uttam Kumar, researcher and professor at SGPGI, Lucknow, for his research on the connections between Urdu language and human brain development.
The next day’s programme includes the much-awaited staging of the play Ghalib in New Delhi. As the longest running comedy play in India, with 425 shows so far, the Sayeed Alam production will be performed at Ductac, Mall of the Emirates in two shows – 6pm and 8.30pm. The play deals with a hypothetical situation where Mirza Ghalib comes to 21st century New Delhi and takes the audience through his journey from being reborn at a Delhi bus stop, staying with a university student from Bihar and a Punjabi landlady to becoming a Page 3 celebrity.
“Tom Alter will be making a special introduction to the show,” said Khan.
Tickets are available in four categories: Dh500, Dh250, Dh200 and Dh100. For details, go to www.ductac.org or write to firstname.lastname@example.org