- General questions elicited at the beginning of the sessions turned out to be mostly about whether Iqbal was a poet or philosopher, and whether the intuition of a poet could be trusted to guide in matters such as the life of a nation, its future and its identity. I refrained from answering these questions directly: usually by the end of these workshops, participants arrive at answers on their own, and the same happened here.
- Javidnama was introduced: blurb, introductory prayer and the two preludes which define the framing action of the epic.
- Participants were divided into seven groups and each group was asked to study a chapter of Javidnama with the purpose of presenting a summary before the whole class later. They were given 20-30 minutes for the purpose.
- Each group was given approximately 5 minutes for presenting the summaries (in the order of chapters). After each presentation, I added any important point of the story if had been left out (which wasn’t often).
- I then invited the participants to see that there was a natural progression through the seven chapters of the story, as if each chapter developed from the outcome of the previous one. Participants were also invited to explore parallels between these and the seven verses of Surah Fatiha.
- The participants were then invited to explore parallels between Javidnama and the “Seven heroines” of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai. The outcome was mind-boggling, to say the least.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
Workshop in Nawabshah
I conducted a five-hour workshop on Javidnama on behalf of Iqbal Academy Pakistan at Teachers’ Resource Centre, Shaheed Benazirabad (Nawabshah) on Thursday, August 20, 2009. It was attended by teachers from various schools in the nearby region. Details follow for those who may be interested: