February 20, 2024


LAHORE: Outstanding Palestinian scholar Dr. Nimer Sultany honored one in every of Pakistan’s best poets, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, throughout a go to to Lahore this month, remembering his odes to the Palestinian trigger and folks and the friendships he developed with the territory’s poets and political leaders.


Sultany, who holds a Physician of Juridical Science diploma from Harvard Legislation Faculty, was in Lahore on Sunday to attend the Faiz Competition, an annual cultural occasion that honors the life and work of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, one in every of Pakistan’s most famous Urdu poets, intellectuals and political activists. 


On Sunday, he appeared on a panel referred to as ‘Lahu Ka Parcham: Palestine-On a regular basis Battles’ in dialog with three younger Palestinian college students presently enrolled at Pakistani universities. The panel was hosted by Dr. Osman Siddique, an creator and regulation professor on the Lahore College of Administration Sciences.


“I’m more than happy to be right here on the Faiz Competition [in Lahore] and that’s due to the connection that Faiz, as one of many nice poets of Pakistan, [had] with the Palestinian revolution and the Palestinian motion for liberation,” Sutany, at current a Reader in Public regulation at SOAS in London, instructed Arab Information in an interview. 


Faiz had shut ties with Yasser Arafat, former chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Group (PLO), and named one in every of his grandchildren after the Palestinian politican chief. He was additionally near the celebrated Arab poet Mahmood Darwish, thought to be Palestine’s nationwide poet. Throughout his years in exile, Faiz additionally met Edward Mentioned, the towering Palestinian mental, by way of a standard good friend Eqbal Ahmad, one other Pakistani scholar and activist.


In 1978, throughout his exile in Beirut, Faiz turned the primary non-Arab editor of Lotus, {a magazine} of Afro-Asian writers, after its editor, the Egyptian author Youssef Al-Sebai, was assassinated in Cyprus.


Marred by his personal exile and loss, Faiz penned highly effective poems giving voice to the ache, anger, and resilience of Palestinians. Memorable odes included “Falastini Bachche Ke Liye Lori” (A Lullaby for Palestinian Kids) and “Falastini Shohda Jo Pardes Mein Kaam Aae” (Palestinian Martyrs Who Died Overseas).


“Not solely did he [Faiz] write poems for Palestine however he additionally lived, in actual fact, in Beirut within the late ‘70s, early 1982, till Israel invaded Lebanon after which he, alongside different Palestinians there, needed to depart Beirut and Lebanon,” Sultany mentioned.


“So this type of solidarity [by Faiz], this type of intertwinement of the reason for human freedom typically and Palestinian freedom particularly which we personally cherish and we wish to preserve it, and foster it.”


Sultany mentioned he was grateful to the Pakistani individuals’s persevering with solidarity with Palestinians:


“Something that the Pakistani authorities and the Pakistani individuals can do, to alleviate the struggling in Gaza and Palestine extra typically, could be a lot appreciated as a result of these acts of solidarity present that the people who find themselves being brutalized, who’re below the genocidal warfare, below apartheid, they know that they don’t seem to be forsaken and folks elsewhere on the earth sympathize with them and, to the extent they’ll, assist as a lot as they’ll to alleviate the struggling of the Palestinians.” 


Palestinian college students who have been a part of the panel additionally shared their experiences of dwelling below Israeli occupation and praised their Pakistani friends for his or her assist. 


Mahmoud Younis, a scholar on the College of Central Punjab in Lahore, described the each day anguish of Gazan college students dwelling in Pakistan who didn’t know if their households have been alive amid Isarel’s relentless navy marketing campaign in Gaza, during which over 28,000 Palestinians have been killed since Oct. 7. 


The Israeli bombardment and floor offensive started after Hamaz carried out an assault on Isarel in October, the deadliest day for Israel in a long time, with round 1,200 individuals killed and a few 240 seized and brought as hostages into Gaza, in response to Israeli tallies.


“For 2 weeks, they [Palestinian students] don’t know if their households are alive or not, so it’s very tough,” Younis mentioned. 


“They’ve uprooted 600 olive bushes in my dwelling village since October,” Izzeldine Ayaad, a scholar of the College of Lahore (UOL), saud. “600 olive bushes aren’t Hamas; they don’t have an ideology or a faith. That is merely an empire increasing its land at the price of Palestine.”


Ibrahim Bilal, a Palestinian civil engineering scholar, mentioned he had organized many protests in Pakistan and took part in quite a few campaigns to assist his individuals. 


“Talking of my expertise with my Pakistani associates,” he mentioned, “I’ve seen the assist [for Palestine] in each eye I’ve seen right here in Pakistan.”