Faiz Ahmed Faiz (1911-1984) was a distinguished poet and man of letters from the Punjab. His sympathies were with the Left most of his life – he was recipient of the Lenin Peace Prize in 1962. Ziya us Salaam, the journalist and author, has described him as “a poet of defiance, transcending ideology” in an article highlighting the popularity of his poem, Hum Dekhenge in the popular movement in India resisting the Modi Government’s Citizenship (Amendment) Act, 2020. This poem was inspired by the Palestinian resistance and his anger at the indifference of the Arab monarchies to take action.
For Annemarie Schimmel, he was in the footsteps of Iqbal, but much more of a “romantic”. The late Syed Athar Ali of BBC’s Urdu Services, a close friend, remembered him as someone who re-engaged with his Muslim heritage in his later years. This is affirmed by Ziya us Salaam, “A well-known Marxist, he, however led prayers once in Kala Qader, some 100 kilometres from Lahore, at a mosque built by his father. It surprised many who known him as an agnostic . . . a day later Faiz died. . .”
Click below for Hum Dekhenge in its original and various translations – English, Turkish, Mandarin
English & Turkish click here
Mandarin click here
Translation to Turkish by Eylem Brassington, a language teacher, teacher trainer and linguist, born and raised in Istanbul but living in London since 2012. She has been working at SOAS Language Centre as a language teacher since 2013 and additionally at Morley College between 2015 and 2018. Eylem has a Masters degree in Sociocultural Linguistics from Goldsmiths College, University of London, in addition to a Masters in teaching English as a Foreign Language from Bahçeşehir University, Istanbul. She completed her Bachelors in English Language Teaching at Hacettepe University, Ankara, Turkey.
Translation to Mandarin by Suleyman Isa. He is the author of six poetry collections and three books of fiction, including the novels It Is Just That Your House is so Far Away and November’s Radio. For his website click here.