Allama Iqbal’s birthday celebrated in Shakespeare’s hometown

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Allama Iqbal’s birthday celebrated in Shakespeare’s hometown

ISLAMABAD, Nov 10 (APP): Pakistan Consulate in Birmingham, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the Iqbal Academy hosted a joint celebration of two of the world’s leading writers, William Shakespeare and Dr. Sir Allama Mohammed Iqbal – the renowned poet-philosopher of the East who is regarded as a founding father of modern day Pakistan.
It is the first time that Allama Iqbal’s birthday, celebrated on November 9, has been feted at the Shakespeare Centre in Stratford-upon-Avon, the home of Britain’s greatest poet, said a press release received here Thursday.
The evening of music and poetry performance was attended by leading figures and the wider community from both literary traditions, including the Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK Syed Ibne Abbas.
Some of Iqbal’s best-loved poetry were read out in Urdu and English, including Shikwa, Jawab-e-Shikwa and his message to the youth Lab Pe Aati Hai Dua, by a group of children from Birmingham.
Actors from the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust presented complementary sonnets and extracts from Shakespeare’s cannon, and Iqbal’s poem in praise of Shakespeare.
Dhanak Music Group complimented the evening with live Sufi music inspired by Iqbal, featuring tabla, sitar, harmonium, flute, earthen pitcher and vocals.
Pakistan High Commissioner to the UK Syed Ibne Abbas said, “This celebration is a befitting tribute to our two literary greats. Though they lived and wrote more than two centuries apart, Shakespeare and Iqbal both speak to people around the world.
He said there were many striking similarities, their works, literature and thoughts relate to human emotions and transcends all space and time. The words of these two great men connect our cultures in so many ways and he was encouraged to see their creative legacies continue to enrich the lives of future generations.”
Chief Executive of the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust Dr Diana Owen said, “We are proud to be associated, through Shakespeare’s legacy, with the literary geniuses of other nations. We are particularly keen to reach out to more communities in our region. This collaboration with the Pakistan Consul and the Iqbal Academy is a great opportunity to forge new bonds of fellowship with our near neighbours in Birmingham and further afield.”
Syed Ahmed Maroof, the Consul General of Pakistan in Birmingham said, “Iqbal and Shakespeare’s creative geniuses brought our two communities even closer together and I look forward to building on these foundations to enable a stronger appreciation and inter-cultural understanding between our two nations.”
The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the Pakistan Consulate, Birmingham also announced a competition challenging young writers and artists to capture ‘The Landscape of My Youth’ in poetry or paint.
The competition is open to all young writers between the ages of 16 and 25. The winner of the poetry competition will be invited to participate in the 2017 Stratford-upon-Avon Poetry Festival to be held from June 18-25, 2017.
The winning art entry will be displayed at Shakespeare’s New Place, Stratford-upon-Avon. The winners of both categories will also enjoy a weekend stay for them and a guest in Shakespeare’s home town.