Quran gallery, Shakir Ali’s 102 birth anniversary & International Women’s Day

Quran Gallery at Grand Jamid Masjid of Bahria Town here has been opened to general public and is attracting good number of visitors daily. It houses some rare hand written copies of Holy Quran as well collection of Ahadith and books on Fiqah. This is somewhat unique display as more than 50 hand-written copies of Holy Quran , some of which estimated to be 300 to 700 years old ,dozens of original images of Khana-e-Ka’aba, Masjid-e-Nabavi and some other holy places captured in early 1900 are on display and source of great attraction for the visitors from all walks of life.
The Quran Gallery also features handwritten translated copies of Holy Quran in Persian language. A copy of Holy Quran written on canvas was completed by Indian calligrapher Muhammad Ayub four years to complete after he had started it in Hijri year 1101. According to Grand Jamia Masjid administration general manager Zubair Ahmad, many of the rare manuscripts of Holy Quran have come from personal collections of Air Commodore ® Ahsan Javed (late) who was Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Bahria Town and father of Bahria Town’s incumbent head of Security & HR Col ® Ali Ahsan. Many of the rare copies of Holy Quran, Ahadith and Fiqah books have been arranged by Bahria Town CEO Ali Riaz Malik and Bahria Town’s founder Malik Riaz Hussain himself had great interest in the collection Holy Quran manuscripts and had decided to establish the Quran Gallery in Grand Jamia Masjid which was not opened to general public initially for quite some time.
Shakir Ali birth anniversary
The Pakistan National Council of Arts (PNCA) celebrated 102nd birth anniversary of renowned painter Shakir Ali at Shakir Ali Museum in New Garden Town by arranging launching of two books and a seminar on the artist’s achievements. Shakir Ali Museum is located in semi-burnt bricks made bungalow, which Shkir Ali had constructed though he could not live longer in it himself. Prominent and well-known artists and art teachers Saeed Akhtar, Murtaza Jafri, Dr Shahida Manzoor , Rahat Naveed Masood, Mian Ijazul Hassan and art promoter and architect Nayyer Ali Dada participated in the event and highlighted different aspects of Shakir Ali’s meritorious contributions to his personality.
Shakir Ali was an influential modern Pakistani artist regarded as founder of modern art and former Principal of the premier art education institution National College of Arts. He had initially joined Mayo School of Arts, which was later transformed in National College of Arts, as a lecturer in art in 1954 and when it was promoted as NCA in 1958, he had become its first Pakistani Principal in 1962.
Widely respected and known to have inspired cubism among the artists, he had a large following of artists throughout Pakistan most of whom had been his students including Jamil Naqsh, Bashir Mirza, Ahmed Pervez and several others.
Int’l Women’s Day
Every year on March 8, International Women’s Day is observed and celebrated throughout Pakistan as elsewhere in the world highlighting fair sex concerns, issues, problems and rights by organizing exhibitions, seminars, symposiums and organizing other events in the public and private sectors. This year’s theme for the day was ‘ Press for Progress’/
In Lahore itself, a number of meetings, functions, exhibitions and seminars were organized throughout the day and womenfolk from all walks of life fully participated in these events and voiced their problems with the resolve to continue their struggle for securing their rights.
A rally titled ‘Aurat March’ was taken out from Hamdard Hall to pay tributes to human rights champion, voice of the voiceless and prominent lawyer Asma Jahangir who had left for eternity last month and it was followed by a seminar to mark the occasion.
Those who participated in the event included Salima Hashmi, Huma Safdar, Sara Sohail, Nusrat Bashir, Abida Chaudhry , Khola Wallayat, Maheen Tareen, Rema Taseer, Leena Ghani among several others. Women rickshaw drivers Sania Noor and Fahmeeda shared their pleasant and bitter experiences with the audience.
The Punjab Information Technology Board in collaboration with the projects Peaceful Pakistan and Herself organized a moot to observe the women’s day in which PITB Chairman Dr Umar Saif’s wife stressed the need for equipping womenfolk with skills to earn livelihood and supplement their families income, CEO Shameelah Ismail said that she had trained 400 women beauticians who were now earning about 45 thousand rupees per month, Azra Ali and Nabeela Ashraf also spoke on the occasion.
Post Graduate Medical College and Ameeruddin Medical College organized a walk and a symposium to mark the day, which were participated by large number of women paramedics.
Punjab Government marked the occasion by introducing first Women Development Policy at a function held at Aiwan-e-Iqbal under the auspices of the Punjab Women’s Department. Provincial Ministers Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, Begum Zakia Shahnawaz and Begum Hameeda Waheeduddin spoke on the occasion.
And, the Lahore Museum also marked the day by organizing an exhibition at its Pakistan Movement gallery for paying tributes to the leading women from all walks of life of Pakistan. Photographs of more than 120 women hailing from politics, judiciary, showbiz and other walks of life were put on display. It is interesting to mention here that a section has been allocated for women curators who over the years have valuable contributions to the development of the galleries at the oldest museum of Lahore.
The exhibition will continue for one month from onwards and in case there is good response from the public, it can be extended for another month according to Lahore Museum Director Humayun Mazhar. There were lot more cultural, literary and other interesting activities, which for want of space, will be mentioned in this column later on, please.

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