biography of urdu poet ahmad faraz

Ahmed Faraz was born on January 14, 1931, at Kohat, Pakistan. His real name was Syed Ahmad Shah. His father was Syed Mohammad Shah Barq and brother, Syed Masood Kausar. They belonged to respectable family, descendants of”Haji Bahadar” a famous saint of Kohat. He moved to Peshawar with entire family. Studied in Edwards College, Peshawar and then did his Masters in Urdu and Persian from Peshawar University.

He later became lecturer at the Peshawar University.

During his time in college, “Faiz Ahmed Faiz” and “Ali Sardar Jafri” were the best progressive poets, who impressed him and became his role models.

He was arrested for reciting certain poems at a Mushaira, criticizing the military rule during the Zia-ul-Haque’s regime. He went into self-imposed exile and stayed for 6 years in Britain, Canada and Europe. After returning to Pakistan, he was initially appointed Chairman Academy of Letters and later chairperson of the Islamabad-based “National Book Foundation” for several years.

Maintaining a tradition established by his mentor, the revolutionary “Faiz Ahmed Faiz”, he wrote some of his best poetry during those days in exile. Famous amongst poetry of resistance has been “Mahasara”

Despite his deteriorating health, he was quite active in the Judicial Crisis, in 2007. He himself joined the lawyers to protest against the government, and also encouraged his colleagues to do the same. Faraz’s health continued to deteriorate and he died from kidney failure in a local Islamabad hospital on 25 August 2008.

Ahmed Faraz, who has been compared with Faiz Ahmed Faiz, holds a unique position as one of the best poets of current times, with a fine but simple style of writing.

He was awarded the Hilal-e-Imtiaz in 2004, in recognition of his literary achievements. He returned the award in 2006 after becoming disenchanted with the government and its policies.

Adamji Award, (Pakistan's highest literary award), 1966

Abaseen Award, 1970

Dhanak Award, 1971

Dr. Mohammad Iqbal Award, 1991

Naqoosh-e-Adab Award, 1992-93

Sitara-i-Imtiaz, 1993

Kamal-e-Fan Award, 1994

Pakistan Academy of Letters Award, 2000

Hilal-e-Imtiaz, 2004 (returned in 2006)

International Awards
Firaq International Award, (India), 1982

Academy of Urdu Literature Award (Canada), 1991

JN Tata Award (India), 1992

2000 Millennium Medal of Honors (USA), 1999

First Kafi Azmi Award (UAE), 2002


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