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‘Wars of 21st century can’t be fought with 20th-century weapons’

‘Wars of 21st century can’t be fought with 20th-century weapons’

KARACHI: Teachers of Urdu can register themselves for free and teach Urdu anywhere across the world to people eager to learn the language, said the developer of a website at an event organised by the Anjuman Taraqqi-i-Urdu at its office on Thursday evening.

Mansoor Ahmed Usmani, a software engineer settled in Canada for the past 35 years, introducing his, demonstrated and explained the salient features of his website. A member of the audience pointed out the error in the Urdu script name of the website, which he said would be corrected soon.

He said that through the website he would try to promote the Urdu language, literature and art. He said through it fans would be able to interact with their literary and art icons and could invite them to their festive occasions online, if the latter agreed to it.

He said he had been working on the website for the past six to seven months to conceive and materialise the project. Amid other things, he also explained how students and teachers of Urdu could approach one another at the time of their convenience.

Aqeel Abbas Jaffery of the Urdu Dictionary Board, however, said that similar websites already existed, mainly originating from India. He suggested that something different and innovative should be developed to distinguish it from its counterparts.

He said the UDB was willing to share its virtual assets with

Noted poet and writer Prof Saher Ansari said he was happy to see an event on technology at the Anjuman office, where most literary gatherings were held.

Praising the efforts to harness modern technology to promote Urdu language and literature, he remarked: “Wars of 21st century cannot be fought with weapons of the 20th century.”

Renowned educationist and poet Peerzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, who presided over the event, praised Mr Usmani’s efforts to promote Urdu at the global level through the internet.

Dr Fatima Hassan, the honorary secretary of the Anjuman, narrated how Mr Usmani contacted her last year and sought Anjuman’s assistance to introduce his website.

She assured him that Anjuman, a 114-year-old organisation with active service all along, was keen to assist individuals and institutions trying to promote Urdu language and literature.

At the beginning of the programme Sarwat Zehra from the United Arab Emirates enthralled the audience with her poems, one of which described the merits and demerits of social networking.

Dr Yasmeen Sultana Farooqui moderated the programme.

Published in Dawn, May 27th, 2017

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