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Mushaira: Poetic Voices of the Muslim World




6 pm - 10 pm

The neighborhood of Midwood, also known as “Little Pakistan,” is a refuge for Pakistani-Americans. The neighborhood is also a cultural nucleus of music, dance, henna, and moonlight Ramadan celebrations. In August, the annual mela (Sanskrit for “gathering”) street fair celebrates Pakistan’s 1947 independence from Great Britain. Since 1990, the festival has attracted more than 15,000 Pakistani-Americans from around the country each year, drawing crowds to its booths of Pakistani cuisine, handicrafts, boutiques, children’s entertainment, and a main stage featuring Pakistani pop artists. 

While most of the performing arts happen on August 20 at the Pakistan Independence Day Mela (Coney Island Avenue and Avenue H), BAC Folk Arts offers a pre-festival event that will recreate the intimate teahouse atmosphere of a mushaira (a Pakistani poetry recital).  On Friday, August 19, at 6pm-10pm, BAC Folk Arts will present a Mushaira poetry gathering at Gourmet Restaurant (1107 Coney Island Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11230) as a place to recite verses and exchange ideas.  This event is free and all are welcome.  Light food and refreshments will be provided.  This event is co-curated by Farhat Nadeem Humayun and Nikhat Fatima. Special thanks to Laila Rajani, Ashraf Mian, and Shahid Khan for their support.  

Artist Bio:
Farhat Nadeem Humayun and Nikhat Fatima
Born in Karachi in 1f956, Farhat Nadeem Humayun is an accountant by profession. He started writing poetry in 10th grade when he met his mentor and a legendary poet Hafiz Hoshiarpuri (1912-1973) and was encouraged by him to continue writing. Farhat comes from a literary background from Budaun, India, and a few of his uncles were also popular poets of their time. His first collection of poetry, Ek Umar ki Tanhai came out in 2001 and the second book Saaray Khwab Uss Kay Hain in 2010. Farhat is now working on his third book which will be out soon. Farhat came to the US in 2003. Since 2013, along with his wife, Nikhat Fatima, also a poet, Farhat is a devoted member of the New York-based collective of Pakistani poets, Halqa-e-Arbab-e-Zauq,which meets fortnightly on Sundays at Kebab King, Jackson Heights, Queens. 

August 19, 2016 6pm-10pm

Gourmet Restaurant
1107 Coney Island Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11230

Transit information: 
Q train to Avenue H
B,Q to Newkirk Avenue
Q to Avenue J 

BAC Folk Arts Presents Festivals Traditional Style is made possible, in part, through public funds from: National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew M. Cuomo and the New York State Legislature; New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the New York City Council; and the Brooklyn Borough President’s Office. Major foundation and corporate support is provided by Lily Auchincloss Foundation, Con Edison, and TD Bank.

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