Opening books not burning them: Edinburgh’s first Urdu literary week

In the end there was no Quran-burning but with the so-called clash of civilisations still rumbling around the world news, this is a good time to explore the great riches of Urdu literature. Edinburgh’s first International Urdu Literary Week begins on Friday 17th September with a round table conference in St Mary’s Church and continues over the weekend in McDonald Road Library.  Whatever you do, don’t miss the Mushaira on Saturday.

Even if you don’t speak a word of Urdu, the rhythm and music of the poetry is captivating.  And (as we found two years ago) reserved westerners will discover what an interactive event really means when they sit among the very actively involved Scottish–Asian audience who do not sit silently through the performance but clap and join in as the mood and the poem moves them.  Be prepared for an unforgettable experience which lasts from 7pm until 1am in McDonald Road library.

There is much more to come on the 19th: with prose and poetry for women as well as a drama workshop. And on the 22nd you can explore Urdu on the internet at Oxgangs library. No booking, no tickets, no charge!

All these events are organised by Bazm e Urdu Scotland, a forum for contemporary Urdu poetry.  The opening conference in St Mary’s Church on Friday 17th will be attended by Heads of Urdu Departments from Moscow, Professor Ludmilla Vassilyeva, and Tashkent, Professor Muhayya Abdulrahmnova.

For more information contact Professor Tariq Muneer, email:

Urdu Literary Week

17 September

Round Table Conference (St Mary’s Church) – 7-9pm

18 September

Mushaira Poetry Evening (McDonald Road Library) – 7pm – 1am

19 September

(McDonald Road Library)

Urdu Prose evening– 2pm – 5pm

Drama workshop – 5pm – 7pm

Prose and Poetry in Urdu (Women’s evening) – 5pm – 9pm

22 September

Urdu on internet (Oxgangs Library) 5.30 – 7.30pm

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