Dubai expat publishes book on UAE's contributions to Urdu language

Ulfat, who has also authored a travelogue, a poetry collection, and a novel, says it was important for him to preserve rich heritage of language


Mazhar Farooqui

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Published: Wed 8 Nov 2023, 4:08 PM

Last updated: Wed 8 Nov 2023, 10:58 PM

The Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) saw the launch of a remarkable book titled 'Itrdaan,' offering an intriguing exploration of the history of Urdu literature in the UAE.

Authored by Shadab Ulfat, an Indian expatriate, the 326-page book sheds light on the significant contributions of over 180 UAE-based individuals to the Urdu language, which ranks as the 10th most widely spoken language globally.

'Itrdaan,' a term that translates to "fragrance" in English, is structured into three distinct sections. The first section delves into the pivotal role played by individuals from earlier times in shaping Urdu literature in the country. The second section spotlights the present-day contributors to Urdu literature in the region, while the third part introduces the new and promising voices in the UAE's Urdu literary scene.

Ulfat expressed his inspiration for this work, saying, "I was deeply moved by our elders, who would fondly reminisce about the bygone days of Urdu when we gathered together. Their stories motivated me to embark on a two-year journey to immortalise their memories and invaluable contributions within the pages of this book." Ulfat, who has also authored a travelogue, a poetry collection, and a novel, said it was important for him to preserve this rich heritage.

The publishing process, including the book launch, was managed by Bazm e Urdu, a Dubai-based organisation dedicated to promoting Urdu language and literature in the country. Bazm e Urdu has been closely collaborating with the Sharjah Book Authority (SBA) and SIBF for several years. They have organised events for schools during the Sharjah Children's Reading Festival (SCRF) and hosted celebrity talk shows and book launches during SIBF. However, this marks the first time they have a stall of their own at the fair.

Rehan Khan, the founder and general secretary of Bazm e Urdu, mentioned that 'Itrdaan' can be found at the 'Gosha-e-Kutub' Stall at SIBF, where it shares space with 500 other Urdu titles by renowned authors and esteemed publishing houses. The collection caters to readers of all ages, encompassing poetry, prose, biographies, historical fiction, and even Urdu translations or adaptations of the record-breaking Harry Potter series.

Khan stressed that their aim is to rekindle and promote love for the Urdu language, uniting people across all barriers of age, race, and religion. The Sharjah International Book Fair runs at Expo Centre Sharjah until November 11.


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