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Zia Mohyeddin (centre) with Pakistan Professional Forum Qatar officials.
Doha: Celebrated Pakistani actor, director and broadcaster Zia Mohyeddin thrilled audiences on Friday night with the recital of famous verses of poetry and prose in Urdu.
Credited with instigating the movement of modern theatre in Pakistan, Mohyeddin was in Doha for a literary series event organised by the Pakistan Professional Forum Qatar (PPFQ).
Trained at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London, Mohyeddin made his West End debut in A Passage to India in 1960, while in 1963 he made his film debut in Lawrence of Arabia.
The event, which saw a huge turnout at the Diplomatic Club, began with Mohyeddin reading Mir Nasir Ali’s Urdu translations.
“In the beginning, when Twashtri (the Vulcan of Hindu mythology) came to the creation of woman, he found that he had exhausted his materials in the making of man and that no solid elements were left,” he said, setting the mood of the evening with light humour.
From Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Krishan Chander to Shaukat Thanvi, Mohyeddin recited one piece of prose followed by poetry for almost two hours, accompanied by the melodies of the sitar by Ustad Nafees Khan, without falling out of breath for a second.
Throughout his recital, Mohyeddin raised pressing social, political and religious issues with satire wrapped in humour.
The natural command of the veteran orator over literature was lauded by many who said they don’t get to see many literary events of this kind here.
“We are proud to bring the living legend of Pakistan to Qatar,” said Dr Mazhar Monga, Chairman of PPFQ. He said the PPFQ team had strived hard to organise this literary event for the community.
Pakistan Ambassador Mohammad Sarfaraz A Khanzada was the chief guest at the event.
The available copies of Mohyeddin’s book A Carrot is a Carrot sold out even before the event had ended, with many from the audience placing orders in advance.
“What he has done today is nothing short of a miracle. Language and arts are the intangible parts of our culture and Zia Mohyeddin has managed to keep that part of our culture alive all these years,” said Muqeem Khan from the Northwestern University in Qatar.
The PPFQ event was supported by Sheikh Hamad bin Fahad Ali Al Thani of International Public Relations, Descon Engineering, Restonic, Seashore Group, Qatar Engineering & Construction Co, Mannai Group, Petrotec, Kaefer, Peregrine, Madina Group and Jumbo electronics.
Moheyddin ended his recital with a humble bow to the crowd offering standing ovation.