Iqbal and Shakespeare; Celebrating two literary greats in an evening of poetry and music being held on Iqbal Day (09th November 2022).
Stratford-upon-Avon: The hometown of Shakespeare showcased cultural delight on a Wednesday, 9th November 2022 evening as the Consulate of Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Birmingham, the Stratford-upon-Avon Town Council, the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and the Social Unity Foundation of Innovation (SUFI) Trust jointly celebrated Iqbal’s 145th Birth Anniversary in an evening of poetry and music, celebrating the legacy of two literary greats; Iqbal and Shakespeare. This event was supported by Mayor Gill Cleeve, Stratford upon Avon, Bukhtawar Mir, Consul, Pakistan Consulate Birmingham, Tim Cooke, Chief Executive, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Rev Paul Edmondson, Head of Research, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust and Ahmad Makhdoom Chishti, Chairperson of Social Unity Foundation of Innovation (SUFI) Trust.
Mayor Gill Cleeve, Stratford upon Avon expressed her thoughts “ I am delighted that we can help celebrate this day with our friends from the Pakistani Community at an event in the beautiful Town Hall of Stratford upon Avon”
During the event Iqbal’s best-loved poetry were read out in Urdu and English in a befitting manner. A tribute to Shakespeare’s literary works and poems was presented by children and young people from Holy Trinity Church School, King Edward VI School Play box Theatre from Stratford upon Avon and Wahib Chishti, University of Stafordshire
. Complementary sonnets and extracts from Shakespeare’s cannon, and Iqbal’s poem in praise of Shakespeare were presented. The similarity and comparability in the works of these two great philosophers and thinkers was amicably explored.
Tim Cooke, Chief Executive, Shakespeare Birthplace Trust said “ The Shakespeare Birthplace Trust is glad to continue its celebrations of Pakistan’s national poet, Dr Sir Muhammad Iqbal which first started in 2010 with a singing in the street outside the Shakespeare Centre, and a great evening party of entertainment with prominent artists from Pakistan.
Dhanak Music Group complimented the evening with live Sufi music inspired by Iqbal, featuring harmonium, earthen pitcher and vocals.
The evening of music and poetry was attended in large numbers by diverse communities. Abudullah Rehman introduced the Urdu Poetry , the vocal legends Alli Hashmi , Muhammad Boota Shadai and S M Irfan Tahir presented heart touching Iqbal’s poetry and Shakespeare sonnets.
The audience were fully engaged and entertained, filling the Council House of Stratford-upon-Avon with pure joy.
Bukhtawar Mir, Consul, Pakistan Consulate Birmingham said “Establishing communication and engagement across cultures and social groups, the event focused on mutual adaptation of recognition and respect between two distinct cultures. It also allowed for empathic understanding across cultures.”
Iqbal and Shakespeare’s creative geniuses, covering the broad spectrum of the life of a community, has brought our two diverse communities even closer together, enabling a stronger appreciation and inter-cultural understanding between our two nations.
“It is an exciting time for the Social Unity Foundation of Innovation (SUFI) Trust to build a working relationship and partnership with the Consulate of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in Birmingham, the Stratford-upon-Avon Town Council and the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust.” Ahmad Makhdoom Chishti, Chairperson of SUFI Trust.
Sounvires from Pakistan were presented to Madam Mayor Gill Revees, Tim Cooke, Chief Executive and Paul by Bukhtawar Mir, Counsel, Pakistan Consulate Birmingham and Ahmad Makhdoom Chishti, Chairperson, Social Unity Foundation of Innovation.