Rehan Alavi’s book “Beyond the Dreams” was launched on Saturday 3 October in a memorable literary gathering attended by poets, writers, academics, politicians, diplomats, media persons, indigenous leaders and a large contingent of family and friends of the author.
The Urdu version of the bilingual fiction “ Taabeer Ki Talash Mayn” was launched in Pakistan earlier this year (see AMUST October issue # 119 Page 8). This unique work by Rehan Alavi is a celebration of literary contribution of migrant community and acknowledgment of diversity of Australia.
Chief guest at the event was Australian Federal government special envoy for citizenship and community engagement, Philip Ruddock MP who highly appreciated the bilingual nature of the work from an Australian author of South Asian origin.
The Counsel General of Pakistan, Mr Abdul Aziz Uqali praised the author’s ability of original writing in two languages and agreed with famous writer Mustansar Husain Tarar comments that writing style does not reveal it as first Novel of Rehan Alavi.
A number of literary figures of Sydney presented their evaluation of the book and read passages from the book in an excellent dramatic way that was highly appreciated by the audience.
Talib Haider of Geo News anchor and poet Huma Mirza managed the programme as MC’s and introduced various speakers at the event. Huma read the reviews and comments on Rehan’s book by famous authors such as Amjad Islam Amjad, Mutansar Husam Tarar, Shams Ur Rehman Faruqi, Ashraf Shad and Dr Mohammad Ali.
Michelle Aleksandrovics of SBS radio “Living Black” while doing her welcome of the country mentioned the link between Australian native Aboriginals with Ghans, Pakistani’s who came to Australia during the nineteenth century.
Sydney’s literary personality, Saba Abdi selected a very sensitive layer of the story and beautifully narrated that chapter from Urdu Book. Her accent, dialogue delivery and reading style was sufficient to engage the audience fully till the end of the reading.
Arif Sadiq from Urdu International selected two traditional characters from the novel to compare the conflict of Indian subcontinent society while SBS Hindi language executive producer Kumud Mirani mesmerized the audience by narrating an emotional part of the English version of the book.
Dr Mohammad Ali praised the writing style of the fiction book shedding light on one of the main character of the novel and Uzma Gilani is household name of Pakistani TV Drama industry, in her impressive style of reading, dialogue delivery and expressions, read and dramatized a significant part of the book.
Renowned journalist and author Ashraf Shad praised Rehan’s unique bilingual work as the first ever from an Australian Urdu writer.
A video was shown to highlight the book launch ceremonies of Islamabad Literature festival, Australia Day in Pakistan, Arts Council of Pakistan and many other functions held to acknowledge the book and the author earlier in the year.
The highly successful event that started on time and ended on time portrayed multicultural and multilingual Australia and a positive image of the migrant community in general and the South Asian community in particular.