|Friends of South Asia's
Asian Writings on War and
Computer Science Bldg.,
Come, muse over local
writers and poets exploring themes that reflect the life and times we
are living through. (featured
event is free and open to all.
FOSA's second annual
literary evening will feature readings of original works in a variety
of genres and formats - fiction, essays, memoirs, plays and poetry
different South Asian languages as well as English.
event is an attempt to grapple with the south-asian community's
multi-layered responses to the experiences of war and terrorism. The
evening will feature works
that attempt to unpack South Asian responses to war and terrorism
against the background of a shared history of colonialism, the
struggle for Independence, the insurgencies and the internal strife; as
the ongoing regimes of security unleashed by the State, here in the US
as well as in South Asia.
these works, we will meditate on how the various labels that have been
thrust upon South Asians - informers, mutineers, terrorists,
insurgents, resident aliens, illegal
immigrants, ad infinitum - shape our responses to contemporary
discussions about war
and terrorism. Join us as we seek to
understand the role that such labels play
when used by the state, the media, and
dominant opinions to
selectively frame whole communities as threats to national security, to
a nation, or to any other ethnic or religious community.
View the "call
for submissions" mailer
readings/presentations at the literary evening will be in the following
sequence: (subject to change)
Wajahat Ali is a native Californian of Pakistani ancestry.
While he considers "Domestic Crusaders" to be his first play
(readings of scenes from this play will be featured at the evening), he
has been writing and producing plays and films since he was a child,
enlisting his friends to be actors and crew. He began writing "The
Domestic Crusaders" when he was a student in a short story writing
class taught by Ishmael Reed at the University of California, Berkeley,
and with his encouragement, continued working on it over the following
two years. More info on Domestic Crusaders can be found at http://www.domesticcrusaders.com/
Abira Ashfaq practiced as an immigration detention attorney between
1999 and 2003 as a Soros Justice fellow and then as detention attorney
at Boston College Law School for the Catholic Legal Immigration Network
(CLINIC). She is interested in social, economic and racial
justice issues worldwide, and has worked with various South Asian and
other community groups in the U.S. on such issues. She is
currently working on a research project on women in jails in Pakistan.
Sabahat Ashraf (in
the words of Cemendtaur)
know of any other individual who on a daily basis reaches out to as
many people as Sabahat does via email. This writer-activist friend of
mine grew up in Nigeria and started his writing career in Pakistan--in
Karachi, besides being the editor of The Teenager magazine he wrote a
column for the Biweekly Mag. He was also actively involved with WAR
(Women Against Rape).
Currently Sabahat writes for Spider, Pakistan's Internet magazine, and
blogs extensively as iFaqeer, his nom de plume. His awareness and
involvement in human rights and political issues in Pakistan, South
Asia, and the US can be read at his blog, http://ifaqeer.blogspot.com.
He also blogs at http://WadiWallah.blogspot.com,
on "life, technology, and getting by in Silicon Valley".
Sudhi Bangalore is a
chip designer by profession. Just as
his name advertises, he is a native Bangalorean but moved to the SF Bay
1995, after having acquired a graduate degree in Electrical Engineering
MSU. Sudhi Bangalore has been active on a variety of creative fronts,
hosting radio shows and acting in local theatrical productions, and is
member of various cultural and literary organizations of the
community in the bay area such as Kannada Koota, KATTE (a Kannada
Amateur Theater group)
and Sahitya Goshti. Some of Sudhi’s poems have been published in
magazine and a comedy authored by him is to be staged shortly. Sudhi
can be reached at sudhi [at] aramane.com.
Ali Hasan Cemendtaur (in
the words of Sabahat Ashraf)
Writing in both Urdu
and English, Cemendtaur has written fiction, travelogues and social
commentary. Urdu works include "Rasta jo manzil hai" (The Journey that
is the Destination), 1997; "Khayaalbari" (A Shower of Thought), 1998,
as well as the travelogues "Khushk-o-thar Mulk-o-Log" (Barren and
Fertile; People and Places), 1998; Aag Hawa Mattee Paanee (Fire, Air,
Earth, Water), 2001; and Rio 47 Din Late (Rio, 47 Days Late), 2001. His
English travelogue is titled Thoughts and Travels, 1998. Unpublished
works include the English novel "Elmustee--A Growing Island of Hope";
"Phir Mexico" (Again Mexico), an Urdu travelogue; "Dhanaksanay"
(Rainbow of Tales), a collection of Urdu short stories; "Beauty, Power,
Knowledge, Pride" (an English expose in the form of a novel); and
"Phusur phusur" (Whisper, whisper), a book of Urdu humor.
has also stepped into the realm of multimedia, with four audio CDs so
far; "Mulaqaat", "Atom Bomb", "Bangalee kee Dokan", and "Khushbuon kay
Rastay"--the last one with Bhashwati Sengupta. His CDs make a conscious
effort to span the Urdu-Hindi linguistic mix.
seven published works are available for purchase online. He has
written for the Daily Jang, the Daily Dawn, Wildlife & Environment
(quarterly), "Jareeda" (the World Conservation Union's quarterly in
Pakistan), the Pakistan & Gulf Economist and South Asia Politics,
New Delhi. His writings can also be found online at Chowk, the Yellow Times, Newszoom,
AsianOutlook, Dialognow, and ContactPakistan. He writes regularly
for the Pakistan Link.
Sarah Husain is a Pakistani-American activist/ poet/ mother who was
born in New York City but grew up in Hong Kong, Sudan and
She has been writing since the age of 16 and organizing grassroots
anti-violence community projects, linking communities of colour around
issues of police brutality, anti immigrant and detention, to
anti-domestic violence work. In 1997 she co-founded South
Against Police Brutality and Racism, a South Asian American grassroots
community organization in New York City. Her written and
poetry deals with identity, memory, nation, violence, bioterrorism and
the female body. She has been published in Breaking the Silence:
Asian Americans and Domestic Violence and in several journals and
websites, such as SAMAR, Shobak.org
and Saudi Armaco. Currently she lives in Tallahassee,
her two-year-old daughter and is editing an anthology on contemporary
“Muslim” women’s writings on War.
Maya Khosla migrated here from India 20 years ago. Her books include
"Keel Bone", "Web of Water: Life in Redwood Creek" and "Heart of the
Tearing". Her booklet, "Wild Treasures of Golden Gate’s Parks:
Field Notes " is in press. She is the recipient of the 2003 Dorothy
Brunsman Award, the 2001 Ludwig Vogelstein Award and the 1998 Americas
Review Poetry Award. Maya Khosla spent 1998 at the Headlands Center for
the Arts, learning that performance of written material creates an
immediate and unpredictable space where words can leap out to re-create
the messy worlds of nature and of humans.
Irfan Malik is a poet, fiction writer, and translator from Lahore,
He has translated Punjabi, Urdu and Hindi literature to Swedish and
English and vice versa. His published works of poetry include "Vich
Jagrate Sutti Taangh" (In the Sleeplessness Sleeps Longing), "Akath"
(Untold) and "Noon Ghuna" (Silent "N"), and his translations include
"Ghoonghe" (Fossils - Urdu translation of modern Swedish short
stories), and "Vaddha Hoia Ghaira" (Expanding Circles - Punjabi
translation of the works of Swedish poet Gosta Friberg).
Shikha Malaviya grew
up in England, USA & India. Her poems have been published in
Waterstone, Switched on Gutenberg, Web Del Sol and other journals. She is
also publisher and editor-in-chief of Monsoon Magazine (http://www.monsoonmag.com) - an online journal
of South Asian Literature and
Culture. She currently makes her home between the South Bay and India.
Saqib was born in
Karachi, Pakistan and is currently a resident of San Francisco. He
considers himself a late bloomer, in the grand tradition of George
Burns and Colonel Qadaffi, and spent most of his early years studying
the birds & the bees and avoiding engineering classes. He has only
just started endeavoring into arts. He considers Salim Nasir, Rowan
Atkinson and the cast of Monty Python to be his acting role models. In
2004 he played a 77 year old grandfather in Wajahat Ali's Domestic
Crusaders directed by Carla Blank, a tormented rebel in Shahid Nadeem's
Bulha directed by Vidhu Singh and an Indian Rebel in "Begum Sumroo"
also directed by Vidhu Singh. In his spare time, Saqib likes to write
short stories and travelogues.
As a teenager, Mahmud Rahman joined the movement that led to the
independence of Bangladesh. He witnessed the 1971 war up close,
eventually joining the refugee exodus to India. Writing since he was
twelve, Mahmud turned to fiction ten years ago. Last spring, he
completed an MFA in Creative Writing from Mills College. In his
writing, Mahmud reflects on the times he has lived through: coming of
age during insurrection and war; a brown-skinned college student in
Boston during the racial violence of the 70s; and life in working-class
Detroit during the collapse of the auto industry in the 80s.
Lahore, Moazzam Sheikh is a writer who currently makes his home in San
Francisco. He is the editor of "A Letter from India: Contemporary Short
Stories from Pakistan" [Penguin Books India] , which was published in
January 2004. He is one of the founding members of Another Subcontinent, an
online journal and forum on south asian society and culture.
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