Faiz Ahmad Faiz

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Faiz, Faiz Ahmad


Born Feb. 13, 1911, in Sialkot. Pakistani poet, critic, and public figure writing in Urdu and Punjabi.

Faiz studied in colleges in Sialkot between 1917 and 1929 and in Lahore between 1929 and 1934. From 1947 to 1951 and from 1955 to 1958 he was editor of the progressive newspaper Pakistan Times; from 1948 to 1951 and from 1955 to 1958 he also edited the newspaper Imros. Faiz was one of the founders and leaders of the peace movement in Pakistan. In 1950 he became a member of the World Peace Council. He attended the first Conference of Asian Writers in Delhi in 1956, as well as Asian and African writers in Tashkent in 1958 and in Alma-Ata in 1973.

Between 1951 and 1955, Faiz was in prison on the charge of taking part in an antigovernmental conspiracy in Rawalpindi. He became chairman of the Arts Council of Pakistan in 1972.

Faiz’ lyrics are marked by a civic spirit and a concern with political issues. His preferred genres are the ghazal, the qasida, and the marsia. Faiz has endowed traditional imagery with new content and revolutionary symbolism. His verse collections include Sorrowful Patterns (1941), Arms of the Wind (1952; Russian translation, 1960), Poems in Prison (1957), A Hand Pressed Under a Stone (1963), and The Valley of Sinai (1971). Faiz has also published a collection of critical articles on literature, Scales (1962), and the collection of letters Crosses on My Window (1971). He was awarded the International Lenin Prize for Strengthening Peace Among Nations in 1962 and the Lotus Afro-Asian literary prize in 1975.


In Russian translation:
“Mnogoobrazie i zhiznennaia sila.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1964, no. 4.
“Pis’ma na voliu.” Ibid., 1965, no. 10.
“Rol’ khudozhnika v razvivaiushcheisia strane.” Ibid., 1970, no. 10.
[“Stikhi.”] Ibid., 1976, no. 2.
Izbrannoe. Dushanbe, 1976.


Glebov, N. V. “Faiz Akhmad Faiz: K 60-letiiu so dnia rozhdeniia.” Narody Azii i Afriki, 1971, no. 3.
Salganik, M. “Sviaz’ vremen.” Inostrannaia literatura, 1976, no. 2.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Besides politics, he is also credited for launching the newspaper Pakistan Times, which, under the editorship of such prominent activists/writers as Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Mazhar Ali Khan, offered unparalleled journalistic services to the country until it was taken over by the dictatorship of General Ayub Khan in 1959.
Former National College of Arts principal Saleema Hashmi said that the main chunk of artwork displayed at the museum was bought when the council was headed by her father Faiz Ahmed Faiz. She underlined the need for buying fresh artwork for the museum.
Even the original ghazal poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz stopped reciting it in his 'mushairas' (poetry reciting events) and, instead, recommended that the audience ask Mehdi Hassan to sing it for them because the poet jokingly used to say that the ghazal belonged to Mehdi Hassan after its popularity.
'Sometimes war is inevitable for peace and yes some wars bring pain and trauma also,' he said, adding that intellectuals and literary figures such as Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi had written masterpieces on the 1965 war where they extolled the sacrifices of the public.
Faiz Ahmed Faiz was the journalist prisoner arrested first in 1948 but never bowed head against dictators, he added.
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ISLAMABAD:Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL), National History and Heritage Division would organize 'Mushaira" (Poetry Session) to pay tribute to renowned poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz on November 20 in connection with birth anniversary of legendary poet and author.
But with the arrival of Zia Ul Haq, the whole thing changed, starting from the doom of the once highly rated Pakistan Times to other publications of Progressive Papers Ltd, and its celebrated people including Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Mazher Ali Khan, Ahmed Nadeem Qasmi and others.
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ISLAMABAD -- Federal Minister for National History and Literary Heritage Division Shafqat Mahmood has said that Faiz Ahmed Faiz was a great poet and incumbent government will take all possible steps to establish library in his name to commemorate his services.
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Answering another question regarding denial of permission to Moneeza Hashmi daughter of Pakistan's famous poet Faiz Ahmed Faiz, he regretted that daughter of Faiz Ahmad Faiz was not allowed to address a function in India.