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Few words about Famous Urdu Poet & Writer Raees Warsi; By By: Dr. N.S. Choudhry

Raees Warsi is a famous Urdu poet and writer, he was born in Karachi, Pakistan. His father Sattar Warsi, a renowned Urdu Poet known for Na’tia poetry. His brothers are also well known. Dr. Saeed Warsi, is a prestigious poet, columnist, and an internationally well-known social activist, Rasheed Warsi was a famous poet, research scholar and a journalist. Poetry, with special emphasis on social conscience is the enduring legacy of the Warsi family, the Warsis have so generously shared their rich Wirasat (Heritage) with all of us. Raees is a multi-dimensional genius. As a toddler his vocabulary was poetic, he channeled his adolescent idealistic angst to poetry. 1980 was a pivotal year for him, Raees first poem was published in his college magazine. This was Raees’s debut as a poet. As the depth of his insuppressible talent surfaced, his creativity was nurtured by established poetic circles of the Urdu World. His Poetic passions intensified after he was invited to a Mushaira (Poetic gathering) presided by eminent poet Syed Hashim Raza. Raees joined literary society of Majlis Samajee Karkunan Pakistan. He often recited his poems as emerging talent.. His first poem was published in 1986 in the most recognized Urdu literary magazine the monthly “Afkaa’r” Karachi, (Published by Sehba Lucknavi), even though he was writing poem and articles for news papers and magazines like daily Jang, Mashriq, Huriyat, Akhbare Jehan, Akhbare Khawateen, Warsa, Idraa’k and other.

Raees embraced his family legacy and his calling with grace and gusto. Raees has Masters Degree in Mass Communication. Even as a student he was very energetic, editing magazines, winning competitions, appearing on the radio and television for interviews. Raees contributed to prestigious publications including Daily Jang, Nawa-e-Waqt and Mashriq. In his adopted Motherland, America, Raees’s dedication to his Mother Tongue intensified. He was dismayed that the South Asian youth by distancing itself from Urdu, would be robbed of its intellectual and emotional heritage. Preoccupied with the potential loss of the next generation, this concerned South Asian promptly founded Urdu Markaz New York (Urdu Language Center). Urdu Markaz organized Mushairas (poetry recitation) Seminars, Special evening with writers, Lectures on several topics and Published many books. Homesick South Asians flocked to this “Nest” making it a phenomenal success. Urdu is in great demand and Raees dreamt big for Urdu. As he nourished the language he cherished so much, this intuitive poet earnestly wanted Urdu recognized as an International treasure. Raees, eager to safeguard Urdu, organized International Urdu Conference at united Nation’s Headquarters in New York. The response was stunning as Urdu luminaries descended from all over the world, and it became a historical event. The Secretary General of the United Nations, Vice President of the United States of America, President of Pakistan and President of India all lauded the conference. Urdu was henceforth recognized as an International language.

Mr. Warsi opened a new chapter in the history of Urdu by organizing The First International Urdu Writers conference in the United States of America, The Conference was held in the United Nations Headquarters, New York, NY, on 24 June 2000. In this conference numbers of scholars from Pakistan, India, UAE, England, Germany, Canada and different States of the USA. On this conference message from honorable Secretary General of the United Nations, Kofee Anan, Vice President of USA, Al Gore, President of Pakistan, President of India, Governor of New York State, Mayor of New York City, Ambassadors and other dignitaries and high officials of several countries in which efforts to stage a platform for propagation of cultural and educational activities were highly appreciated. The scholars, poets, generalists, critics & celebrities from all over the world appreciated the efforts of Urdu Markaz for propagation of Urdu language on international level. During this first conference Urdu Markaz announced the first International Urdu language Award "NISHAN-E-URDU". The First Award was given to famous Urdu poet Jameel Uddin Aali from Pakistan.

Raees, the doer and the talker all rolled in one, was at once humbled and exuberant. His restless creative genius went on to compile an exciting C.D. titled “Beetey Lamhey”, Sung by Ustad Zakir Ali Khan, Ghulam Ali, Hamid Ali Khan, Asad Amanat Ali Khan, Humaira Channa, Perwiz Mehdi and Shamsa Kanwal. The C.D. is pure magic. Raees, always a household name in Pakistan, became internationally known. Pakistan blessed out on the poems of this far-flung son. India too caught on to the lyrical hysteria generated by this over sea’s South Asian genius. Famous Indian and Pakistani singers Ravinder Jain, Padmaja Joglikar, Akhter Feroz, Asif Ali, Iqbal Qasim, Rifaqat Ali Khan and Zafar Iqbal, sung his mesmerizing poems in melodious voice. Not content with his accomplishment.

Raees entered a new arena by making his debut in the world famous Bollywood movie, “Hum Tum Aur Mom” The lyrics were written by Raees and sung by Udit Narayan and Sadhna Sargam, the upcoming dynamic duo. He is a pillar of a South Asian community, a well-known figure of media in general, as an associated producer of Pakistan television Network, He is the anchorman of the Urdu talk shows. This golden guy of poetry received dozens of prestigious awards from the South Asian Community based organizations including electronic and print media. I have chronicled some of the accomplishments of this young and charismatic poet. His inexhaustible creativity, sharp brilliance and God given gift tells me, his best is yet to come. This quintessential Urdu admirer will not only be marveled for contributing to this deeply textured language, but also as the promoter and custodian of its rich legacy, especially on these powerful shores. Its particularly fascinating that the title of book “Aaina Hoon Main” sums it all up. I am indebted to Raees for enriching our lives and am looking forward to many more golden nuggets from this pacifist poet with profound legacy.

Raees Warsi was the member of Pakistani delegation in the United Nations Annual International Conference for NGO’s, was held in Sept 1998.Leader of the Pakistani delegation was Honorable Hakim Muhammad Saeed (Ex-Governor of Sindh),other members were Ansar Burney (Ex-Federal Minister of Pakistan), Raees Warsi and M. David. He also participated in the United Nations Annual International NGO's Conference that was held in the United Nations headquarters, New York, September 1999. He also participated in the First International Conference on Urdu and InfoTech Highways that was held in the United Nations headquarters, New York, June 2000, organized by Urdu Markaz New York. Warsi recited his poetry in the Urdu Writers Conference / Festival, Organized by Asia Society New York in June 2009. He was the head of Pakistani delegation in the PRIDE International Conference on Drug Abuse Prevention. Organized by The pride, Atlanta, Georgia in April 1989. He participated in the National Conference on drug Abuse prevention, Organized by National Federation of NGO's for drug abuse prevention of Pakistan, Presided by the President of Pakistan General Muhammad Zia-ul-Haq, in Karachi, July 1981. He participated in the National Conference of Social Workers, Organized by All Pakistan Social Workers Association of Pakistan (MSKP) with coordination of Department of Social Welfare, Government of Sindh. Karachi 1980 etc. He Participated in THE FIRST INTERNATIONAL URDU CONFERENCE, NEW YORK UNIVERSITY, (NYU), SEPT, 18-20, 2015. The South Asian Languages Program at the Department of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, NYU. Raees Warsi was recognized and awarded the Citation for his contributions & Outstanding Services for more than twenty five years to promote Urdu Literature in The United States, From Brooklyn Borough President Mr. Eric L. Adams, On 29 May 2015. Service Award in recognition for 10 years of dedicated service from Bellevue Hospital Center, New York City Health Hospital Corporation on 10 June 2014. Award for best poetry and services to promote Urdu language from Urdu Literary Society of Philadelphia PA,on 27 April 2014. Certificate Of Recognition for Community and Poetry Services, from the Administration Of Hempstead Town, Nassau County, New York State, USA. Presented by Kate Murray (Head of The Local Government), on 24 Sep 2011. Services for Urdu language Award, From Zafar Zaidi Society, New York, November 2008. He Received a letter of appreciation from Honorable Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi Deputy Prime Minister of Pakistan / Ex-Chief Minister of Punjab, No:PH/429201371, June 2006. Mr. Warsi received a letter of appreciation from Honorable Shaukat Aziz the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Letter No. F.1(40)SW/PM/2006,Prime Minister's Secretariat(Public), Islamabad, Pakistan, Dated 19 June 2006. Best Book of the year 2005/Award, From Funrama Entertainment Inc, Dallas, July 2006.Community Services Award, Presented by Weekly Pakistan News, New York, August 2002. Literary and Community Services Award, From Pakistan Television, New York, June 2000. Urdu Services Appreciation Award, From Weekly Awam May 2000. Community Services Award, From Pak Asia Magazine, New York, July 1999. Literary Services Award, Presented by Karachi University Alumni of USA, June 1998. Golden Jubilee Award for literary services, From Eastern Communication Network, Washington DC, April 1997.

Raees Warsi’s Poetry Sung By Famous Pakistani & Indian Singers

GHAZAL SINGER

Hadaf-e-Gham na kia sang-e-malamat ne mujhay GHULAM ALI

Arz-e-gham se bhi faidah tu nahain GHULAM ALI

Ussay bhula ke bhi yadoun ke sissilay na gaye ZAKIR ALI KHAN

Ab kesay paziraee ho aashufta saron ki HAMID ALI KHAN

Main aik kanch ka paikar who shakhs pather tha HAMID ALI KHAN

Ek lamha-e-wisaal tha wapas na aa saka ASAD AMANAT ALI KHAN

Yon bhi tou raas roh ko tanhai aa gaee ASAD AMANAT ALI KHAN

Terz-e-fikro nazar nahain aaya HUMAIRA CHANNA

beetay lamhay sundar yadain kab tak dil behlao gay PERWAIZ MEHDI

Takhti na koee ghar pe Raees apne kagaou SHAMSA KANWAL

Ussay bhula ke bhi yadoun ke sissilay na gaye RAFAQAT ALI KHAN

Dil ko kia ho gaya hay teray baad FEROZ AKHTER

Ek lamha-e-wisaal tha wapas na aa saka ASIF ALI

Ek lamha-e-wisaal tha wapas na aa saka IQBAL QASIM

Her ek shakhs kahan ham kheyal ho ta hay ZAFAR IQBAL

beetay lamhay sundar yadain kab tak dil behlao gay SAJID ALI

Ek ladki meri zindagi ban gaee UDIT NARAYAN