Syed Ahmed Shah, with pseudonym (takhallus) Faraz was considered one of the greatest modern Urdu poets of the last century who died in Islamabad on August 25, 2008.
Special Tribute to Ahmed Fraz on AMZFM – Show Recording
Ahmad Faraz was born in Kohat district of Khyber Pakhtunkhawa (KP) to Syed Muhammad Shah Barq. Faraz holds a unique position as one of the best poets of current times, with a fine but simple style of writing. Ethnically a Hindko speaking Pashtoon, Ahmed Faraz studied Persian and Urdu at Peshawar University, where he later became a lecturer.
During Zia-ul-Haq’s regime, outspoken about politics, he went into self-imposed exile after he was arrested for reciting certain poems at a mushaira criticizing the military rule. He stayed in Britain, Canada and Europe for six years before returning to Pakistan, where he was initially appointed Chairman Academy of Letters and later, Chairperson of the Islamabad based National Book Foundation for several years.
Ahmed Faraz was awarded with numerous national and international awards. He was awarded 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.
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.
In July 2008, a rumor was spread that Ahmed Faraz had died in a hospital in Chica
go. Faraz’s physician, Tahir Rohail, who was a childhood friend of Faraz’s son Shibli Faraz, was quick to deny this erroneous report, but it was confirmed that Faraz was exceedingly ill.
Faraz’s health continued to deteriorate and he died from kidney failure in a local Islamabad hospital on August 25, 2008.