Ahmed Faraz is another shining star in the galaxy of famous Urdu poets of Pakistan. He was born as Syed Ahmed Shah Ali on 12th January, 1931 in Kohat a city in the Khyber Pakhtunkhawa province of Pakistan. Faraz did his masters in Urdu and Persian language from Peshawar University and was appointed a lecturer in the same place.
Faraz showed promising signs of a great poet from an early age. He grew up idolizing the progressive writers Faiz Ahmed Faiz and Ali Sardar Jafri. He used his poetry as a medium to express his rebellion against oppression. He was also a member of the Progressive Writers Movement. Instead of merely entertaining people with his romantic ghazals, he used his verses to fight for the common men. Faraz was very vocal against the dictatorship of the military leader Zia-ul-Haq and was arrested for reciting a poetry that criticized his regime. Faraz then went into self exile and for six years stayed in Canada, England and other European countries before finally returning to Pakistan. On his return he accepted the post of the Chairman of Pakistan Academy of Letters and later remained associated with the National Book Foundation as a Managing Director. Faraz also actively participated in protest rallies against General Pervez Musharraf in 2007 demanding him to restore democracy.
Faraz’s poetry is not all about resistance, revolution and motivation; it contains some finer elements of human nature as well. His romantic ghazals are very popular and have been rendered beautifully by seasoned singers. His “simple but inspiring” writing style is admired by all those who enjoy Urdu poetry.Pakistan’s highest civil awards Sitara-e-Imtiaz and Hilal-e- Imtiaz and Hilal-e-Pakistan have been conferred on him by the government. He passed away on 25th August, 2008.
Ahmed Faraz left us for his eternal abode on 25th August 2008 but has left behind a legacy of verses that have immortalized him.