A popular festival called Jashn-e-Rekhta, known for celebrating the Urdu language, has been successful in India for eight years and recently expanded internationally to London. Now, it’s making its way to Dubai for two days of poetry, talk shows, songs, and stories at Zabeel Park on January 27.
The festival kicks off with a panel discussion on Urdu culture and relationships, featuring Bollywood lyricist and poet Javed Akhtar, along with Pakistani human rights activist Arfa Sayeda Zehra. Other highlights include a stage performance of Ismat Chughtai’s Urdu play ‘Dozakh’ (Hell), a Sufi concert by Ustad Shafqat Ali Khan, and a portrayal of the life of the legendary singer Noor Jehan in ‘Raqs-e-Naa Tammam.’
On the second day, there’s a talk show with the iconic Pakistani couple Sameena Peerzada and Usmaan Peerzada, who share their 50-year journey. An interactive session with actresses Mahira Khan and Shabana Azmi follows, and the day concludes with a special project featuring Javed Akhtar and others.
The festival’s highlight is the grand international mushaira (poetic symposiums) titled ‘Gehan aur Dhoop,’ featuring acclaimed poets. The event aims to celebrate Urdu language and culture, expecting around 15,000 visitors, including those from India and Pakistan.
There will also be a food bazaar with flavors from Indian, Pakistani, Arabic, and other cuisines, and an Urdu Bazaar with art, handicrafts, books, and more. Tickets are priced at Dh75 and can be purchased on Platinum List. The festival is held under the patronage of Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nayhan, Minister of Tolerance and Co-existence in the UAE.