TORONTO: The Canpak Chamber of Commerce celebrated 100 years of Faiz Ahmed Faiz on July 22, 2011, at the Holiday Inn Hotel & Suites Toronto-Markham.

             The event was one of the best organized by the Canpak. About 100-120 persons were expected but almost two hundred people attended the function, most of them leading and distinguished personalities along with families comprising intellectuals, poets, community leaders and social figures.  

            Even till the last moment, the hotel people were seen busy making sitting arrangements. Dinner was served at the end of the program and covered all the two hundred guests. There was no panic or mismanagement. Everything was very well managed and went smoothly, despite the sudden great rush. The audience enjoyed very much every bit of the excellent literary presentation. 

            The tremendous attraction and rush was due to the presence of large number of Great Literary Figures of the Urdu World including Dr Taghi Abedi, Bedar Bakht, Col. Anwar Ahmed, Syed Iftikhar Haider, Athar Rizvi.  

            The world renowned legends were:

              Prof Dr Gopi Chand Narang, Emeritus Professor, University of Delhi ( Email:  

             Dr Kewal Dheer,  Chairman, Sahir Cultural Academy, Ludhiana, India ( Email:

              The important dignitaries present on the occasion included Syed Akbar Ali Shah and Imran Ali of Pakistan Consulate in Toronto, Frank Klees, MPP, and Ms. Yasmine Ratansi

       PROF G. C. NARANG: Prof Dr Gopi Chand Narang, who casts magic on the

 audience and causes pin drop silence when he speaks, said: “Delhi once used to be the excellence centre of Urdu poetry and intellectual activities and Toronto enjoys that great position and status today. I am greatly impressed. There are so many standard class intellectuals and poet.” 

Gopi said: “There are so many supporters involved in promotion of Urdu in Canada but in order to promote Urdu and poetry in the real sense we need serious and committed people. This way Urdu can flourish properly. Canada, particularly Toronto, has tremendous talent and can produce greats and legends. Fortunately, Toronto is a centre of excellence.” 

            Prof Gopi Chand Narang, Dr Kewal Dheer, Bedar Bakht, Col Anwar Ahmed and others threw light on Faiz Ahmed Faiz, his life and tremendous achievements. He was compared with other distinguished poets and intellectuals of South Asia. He was termed as one of the greats. 

            Prof Narang said: “Faiz Ahmed Faiz was a distinguished poet of peace and love, known for his charm and excellence of poetry. In a world full of turmoil and conflict, Faiz’s message of human brotherhood, equality and social justice is all the more important.”

             FAIZ AHMED FAIZ: Faiz Ahmad Faiz (1911–1984) was a Pakistani intellectual, poet and one of the most famous poets of the Urdu language. He was a member of the Anjuman Tarraqi Pasand Mussanafin-e-Hind (All India Progressive Writers' Movement) and an avowed Marxist. In 1962, he was awarded the Lenin Peace Prize by the Soviet Union.  

            His major works include:

 1.      Naqsh-e-Faryadi (1943).

 2.      Dast-e-Saba (1952). 

3.      Zindan-Nama (1956).

 4.      Dast-e-Tah-e-Sung (1965).

 5.      Mere Dil Mere Musafir.

 6.      Sar-e-Wadi-e-Sina. 

            All these have been combined as one book Nuskha Haa-e-Wafa. Faiz Ahmad Faiz's poetry has been translated into many languages, including English and Russian.

             DR TAGHI ABEDI: Prof Gopi Chand Narang and others also highly praised the tremendous interest, efforts and marvellous achievements of renowned scholar Dr Taghi Abedi.  

            Gopi said: “Dr. Taghi Abedi’s magnum opus, “Faiz Fahmi”, is a book of encyclopaedic dimensions on Faiz Ahmed Faiz. It contains over hundred articles, mostly by Dr Abedi, and will greatly help people and academic institutions interested in Faiz Ahmed Faiz and his works.”  

             Dr Taghi Abedi seriously devotes most of his life and time in doing literary researches. There is a big library in his house where the collection is extremely precious, remarkable, unique and antique. Canada is really very fortunate to have such a great personality in Toronto. He has dedicated his life to research work.

             His wife always stands by his side and extends him great support in his research works. He acknowledged this in the event and thanked her for all she does for him and the family.  

            Same is the case with Dr Shahid Hashmi who openly keeps thanking and praising   his better half, Seema Hashmi, and the family members, particularly his eldest son Sohabe Hashmi, for the great help and support.   

            Dr Taghi Abedi, whose conversations and lectures have great depth, are very informative, interesting, based on great research and full of knowledge, highlighted the need for a book like `Faiz Fahmi’ in order to understand the great personality and his tremendous contributions and achievements. 

            FRANK KLEES: Frank Klees, MPP, highly praised the efforts and contributions of Dr. Shahid Hashmi and his family in building bridges and promoting values. He was proud of the close relationship he has with this Pakistani family. 

            Recognizing Canpak Chamber of Commerce’s contributions to Ontario and Canada, Frank Klees said: “I keep meeting Pakistanis and found them very nice and one of the best people. They are contributing tremendously and making both Canada and the Pakistani community proud. This is what I have seen and experienced after meeting Pakistani friends.” 

            Frank said: “We must celebrate who we are and not forget from where we are.”

             DR SHAHID HASHMI: Dr Shahid Hashmi, Chairman, Canpak Chamber of Commerce, in his welcome address, thanked the audience for attending in great numbers and making the event highly successful and really memorable. 

            In his message in the souvenir published on the occasion, Dr Shahid Hashmi said:

             “This year the Canada Day event is a tribute to 100 years of the late Faiz Ahmed Faiz recognizing his renowned poetry. We also take great pleasure to launch Dr. Taghi Abedi’s Book “Faiz Fahmi”, a remarkable literary work.

             “It is a true honour to have Professor Dr. Gopi Chand Narang, Dr. Kewal

 Dheer and Dr. Taghi Abedi’s presence in this event. I am always thankful

 to MP Mr. Jim Karygiannis, MPP Mr. Frank Klees, Deputy Mayor Mr. Rick

 Milne, Chief Armand La Barge (Ret’d), Chief William Blair, and our team

 for their encouragement and support.  

            “I would also like to extend a special thank to Professor Akhtarul Wasey. It is impossible to have these events without the cooperation and efforts of my children and my better half, Seema Hashmi.

             “This year our cause is to raise awareness on the effects and crisis of Natural Disasters. I am grateful to the board of directors for their efforts and I truly admire Mr. Rashid Jaffary and Mr. Sohabe Hashmi’s efforts towards Natural Disasters and their undivided willingness to help others.  

            “We are dedicated to building bridges between individuals, communities, business and government which is a profound necessity in today’s world.”                             

             SOHABE HASHMI: Sohabe Hashmi, Administrative Director, Canpak Chamber of Commerce, and Saman Hashmi presented vote of thanks.  

            In his message in the souvenir, Sohabe Hashmi said:

             “It is a great honour for us to celebrate 100 years of Faiz Ahmed Faiz and to be honoured with the presence of Professor Dr. Gopi Chand Narang, Dr. Kewal Dheer and Dr. Taghi Abedi.

             “Over the years I have been inspired by the intellect and unique speaking skills of Dr. Narang, who is an Urdu legend. It is also an honour to launch Dr Taghi Abedi’s masterpiece work “Faiz Fahmi”.

             “It is important for us to reflect on our past and learn from others, for this is the way that humankind will reach its betterment. For us to know ourselves we must know our past and the ideas of our forefathers.

             “Each individual’s contribution to this world (small or big) is passed on in one way or another like a leaf fluttering through a marvellous wind. We are lucky to have the contributions of Faiz Ahmed Faiz and his beautiful poetry which will touch the souls of  our children to come.

             “I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our members and friends who contributed to the 2010 “Eidi” project. I was inspired by Christmas donation projects and President Obama’s presidential campaign to collect small amounts in great numbers.

             “It has been demonstrated several times that small contributions add up to mass amounts and we can make real accomplishments. I encourage you to spread this message and get involved.

             “Our emphasis is to assist citizens, businesses, communities and recognize social triumphs and deficiencies to continue making Canada the greatest country in the world. With your support, encouragement and efforts we can continue to achieve great feats together.”

             HIGHLIGHTS: The event was a combination of many honours like:

 Canada Day Celebration/Cake cutting (Annual event of Canpak).

Tribute to Faiz Ahmed Faiz (Lectures on the life, literary status and tremendous achievements of Faiz).

Launching of the renowned scholar Dr Taghi Abedi’s book Faiz Fahmi (About 1450 pages) and Dr Taghi Abedi’s talk on “Journey of Faiz Fahmi”.

Sahir Awards Presentation by Dr Kewal Dheer.

Award of recognition certificates including by Frank Klees, MPP, and Yasmine Ratansi, on behalf of Jim Karygiannis, MP.

Important message of Sohabe Hashmi about the Canpak’s 2010 `Eidi’ project.

A souvenir was published for the occasion and presented to the guests. The souvenir included messages of  Dr Shahid Hashmi, Sohabe Hashmi, Liberal leader Bob Rae, Jim Karygiannis, MP, Frank Klees, MPP, William Blair, Chief of Police, Toronto Police Service, Prof Dr Gopi Chand Narang, Dr Kewal Dheer, Dr Syed Taghi Abedi and Prof Akhtarul Wasey.

An appeal was also made in the souvenir by Muhammad Arshad, (416)992-9526/Email:, and Amir Qureshi, (416)717-4830/, to help save the life of a five-year old child who needs immediate heart surgery. The surgery can be performed immediately (within two weeks) if approximately $3500 are arranged.

Detailed report on “Help to flood victims of Pakistan, a project of Canpak Chamber of Commerce’ was presented in the souvenir by Rashid Jaffary, Director, Pakistan, Canpak Chamber of Commerce.

            SPONSORS: Sponsors of the event were: Seema Hashmi, Arco Computers, Arco Business Solutions, North American Liquidators Inc., Nature’s Emporium and Pretty Sweet (Cakes, Cupcakes & Cookies).


         ---Javed Zaheer (JAZA/JAYZEE/JZEE), Free Expression Award Winner, Desi Idol Recognition Award Winner, Member/Honorary Director of NEPMCC, Veteran Active Member (VAM) of Toronto Press Club, Ex-Member of The National Club and The Ontario Club, Honorary Editor of English Weekly `Pakistan Abroad’, ex-Chief Editor (Honorary) of English Weekly `The Ambassador’, ex-Senior Sub-Editor of English Daily DAWN, Pakistan, Chairman, CANOPI, and Director, Canpak Camber of Commerce, is contributing purely on Voluntary and Honorary Basis in order to serve all people and communities. Contact: (416)696-0981/ read more JZ’s exclusive articles, please visit the following websites: (Pressing needs section),  and  (Home Pages & Editorial Sections. Scan years from 2004 to 2011.