Pakistani poet Imdad Aakash visits Egypt


By Ashraf Aboul-Yazid,
President, Asia Journalists Association

CAIRO: Pakistani poet Imdad Aakash , one of the most famous Urdu writers and composers of Gazal poems, is visiting Egypt. Imdad Aakash was selected as the coordinator of the World Poetry Movement (WPM) in Pakistan, which was a bridge to our meeting in Cairo, after asking the iconic Colombian poet Fernando Rendón, the co-founder of the World Poetry Movement (WPM) to facilitate his communication with the coordinator of the World Poetry Movement (WPM) in Egypt.


An amazing photo gathers the poets invited to the Hanoi International Poetry Festival, in front of the presidential palace, visiting the Vice President. The founders of the World Poetry Movement, Jack Hirschmann and Fernando Rendon, appear in the picture, with Imdad Aakash in the first row, and the coordinators of the Poetry Movement in Russia, Vadim Terekhin, and in Kenya, Christopher Okemwa and others.

After two days in Cairo and Giza, it was easy for Imdad Aakash to move between historical monuments.

On Thursday evening (March 9, 2023), he was my guest, and discussions began on poetry, translation, travel literature, and the Silk Road anthology project.


The conversation surveyed on the International Lotus magazine, which is an international literary, cultural and political magazine, used to be published by the Asian and African Writers Union. It was published in the years from 1968 to 1991, in three languages, Arabic, English and French. Imdad talked about an attempt to resurrect it, an attempt that did not succeed after the issuance of a single issue.

On December 19, 2012, the participants in the conference to revive the Union of African and Asian Writers, which was held in Cairo, in the presence of writers from several countries, agreed on the need to reissue the magazine in its three languages, and to establish a website for it.

The idea of revival came from India, and Aakash ‘s friend, writer Muhammad Salmawi, who headed the Egyptian Writers’ Union at the time, was enthusiastic about it. Imdad said he wished to meet Salmawi, but he is on a trip abroad.


I told Imdad, and the Pakistani delegation with him, Dr. Uzma Noreen and Mahmood Aslam, about the unfinished trip to the Sindh Literary Festival in Karachi, and how the trip was disrupted by the onset of the ban after the Corona epidemic swept the world.

The trip was to present my book of poetry (A Street in Cairo), which was translated into Sindhi by journalist and travel writer Nasir Aijaz, editor-in-chief of Sind Courier, and one of the icons of Asia Journalists Association.

We talked about the similarities between Cairo and the metropolises of Pakistan, such as Lahore, Islamabad, and Karachi, and I remembered Nasir’s saying that Sindh, according to a British historian, is called Little Egypt. In the presence of my wife, TV director and writer Fatima Al-Zahraa Mohammed Hassan, the meeting was an opportunity to discuss the media and the stereotypes it refutes or perpetuates.


“Akhenaten, Pharaoh of Egypt, was the first person in the world to give the concept of God,” said Imdad Aakash, during his visit to the Egyptian Museum.

I gave my new friends copies of “A Street in Cairo” in Sindhi, “The Memory of Silence” in English, and my novel “A Backyard Garden”. It is planned that Imdad will be in Alexandria, for the rest of the week and the city’s most famous library is on the trip list.

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