Saeed Khan

(19 July 1966 / Khanpur, Hazara / Pakistan)

Biography of Saeed Khan

Saeed Khan poet

Saeed Khan, (Urdu: سعید خان; born July 19, 1966) is a contemporary Urdu poet (also known as 'Saeed'), a Sydney, Australia -based writer and social and environmental advocate. Saeed's poetry is a combination of classical and modern Urdu ghazal and poems full of romance. Saeed’s idol and the great Urdu Poet Ahmad Faraz praised his poetry by saying 'Saeed's voice is like a fresh breeze for Urdu poetry'.

Biography

Saeed Khan was born in Khanpur area located in Hazara Pakistan (Hindko: هزاره, Urdu: ہزارہ)) Pakistan on July 19 1966, and is the eldest son of the activist Abdul Bashir Khan , known for winning the land rights for the people of Khanpur Urdu: ہزارہ)) during the 1970's construction of Khanpur Dam.

Khan holds a Masters in Management and an MBA (E-Business Management) from the University of Technology, Sydney and works in IT Management.

Khan has lived in Sydney for over 20 years. He was a former General Secretary of the Pakistan Association of Australia from 1999-2001 and for many years campaigned for refugee rights and multiculturalism.

Urdu Poetry

Saeed grew up reading and writing Urdu poetry in the North of Pakistan and continued his passion after he moved to Sydney during the late 1980s.

Saeed was first discovered and encouraged as a young poet in Sydney (1994) by Ashraf Shad, a senior Pakistani journalist, writer and poet. Soon after he met Ustad Om Krishn Rahat, a prominent Urdu poet from Faridabad, India, who had moved to Sydney. Ustad Rahat helped him improve his language and writing skills. He also developed his poetry through reading and interaction with many prominent poets from India and Pakistan who traveled to Australia for annual recitals.

Among those who have praised Saeed’s poetic works are stalwarts like Ahmad Faraz, Amjad Islam Amjad, Himayat Ali Shaer, and Pirzada Qasim, as well as contemporaries like Farhat Abbas Shah.

Being a founding member of the Urdu Society of Australia Inc., Saeed has also been involved in promoting and developing Urdu writings in Australia since 1995. He served as a Vice President of the Urdu Society from 2003-2008 and played a key role in developing and project managing major international poetry recitals.

Saeed is married to the well-known Urdu poetess, Noshi Gilani and they currently reside in Sydney.

Reviews & Comments

The great Urdu Poet Ahmad Faraz praised his poetry by saying 'Saeed's voice is like a fresh breeze for Urdu poetry'.

Renowned Urdu poet and critic Dr Abrar Ahmad reviewed Saeed Khan's 2nd book EIK MUTHI MEIN MEREY KHWAB (A Handful of Dreams) in 2007. According Dr Abara Ahmad:

"The collection is heavily dominated by ghazal -- and unfolds a promise of going ahead with brilliance in this genre ... The strongest point he scores here is his creative ability to utilize words in their proper meaning. His stance is essentially neoclassical ... He seems deeply immersed in the greater ghazal tradition, and understands high class ghazal. All his work is meant to convey some thoughts, ideas and feelings. Subjective issues occupy the main bulk of his content. These include a longing, a sense of loss, an unquenched thirst for love and allied feelings. But he is fully conscious of the objectivity around and far from him".

"At places he offers political comments, at others he turns philosophical. A wave of romanticism runs through as an undercurrent in all his poetry".

Activism and Politics

Khan joined the Australian Greens in 2003 as he was attracted to their environmental, social and human rights policies. Khan left politics in 2008 after one term on Marrickville Council. Some of the highlights included:

1. Marrickville Council, Sydney

Marrickville Council, Sydney: Elected as a Greens' Councillor from March 2004 – September 2008, chaired a number of Council and Advisory committees.

2. Candidate for 2007 Australian Federal Election
Australian Greens candidate for the Sydney electorate of Grayndler, succeeded in gaining nearly 20% of the primary vote in Greens 2nd largest electorate in the country.

3. Ethnic Communities' Council of New South Wales (ECC NSW)

Ethnic Communities' Council of New South Wales* (ECC NSW): Elected Deputy Chairman (2007-2009, 2009-2011) and Vice Chairman (2005-2007) of the ECC, the peak representative body of diverse migrant communities of NSW.

4. The Institute for Cultural Diversity (ICD)

Founding Board Member since 2007. Co-founded the ICD, a think-tank to promote a cross-political approach to issues of cultural diversity.

5. Pakistani organizations in Australia

General Secretary of Pakistan Association of Australia (1999-2001) and Founding Member (1995) and Vice President (2003-2008) of Urdu Society of Australia Inc., involved in promoting Urdu language and writings in Australia since 1995. Organising major international Urdu poetry recitals.

6. Pakistan Earthquake Appeal Coordination Committee

Founding Coordinator of Pakistan Earthquake Appeal Coordination Committee (PEACC), Australia (Since 2005). The committee, through its Australia-Wide Appeal and its lobbying in Federal Parliament, played as key role in facilitating nearly A$50 Million of Australian humanitarian aid for Pakistani earthquake victims including medical teams.

7. Other achievements

–Founding member of Marrickville Transport Action Group.
–Initiated and chaired the Steering Committee of "Across my Bridge"(2007-present),an innovative arts-based leadership project for the Islamic Youth of Sydney. Funded by the Australian Government and Westpac Bank.
–Media- Opinion Writing: His opinion pieces have been published in Sydney Morning Herald (Australia's largest newspaper), ABC Online, Inner-Western Courier, Indus Age, Online Opinion, as well as international website such as www.Chowk.com

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