Alys Faiz

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Alys Faiz (Urdu: ایلس فیض) (September 22, 1914 – March 12, 2003 ) was a Pakistani poet, writer, journalist, human rights activist, social worker and teacher. Alys was born in London, but she later became a naturalized citizen of Pakistan. She was the wife of Faiz Ahmed Faiz and the mother of Salima Hashmi and Moneeza Hashmi.

Early life[edit]

Alys George was the daughter of a London bookseller, and she joined the Communist Party as a teenager. She and her sister, Christobel, were active in leftist circles in the 1930s and were close to Indian intellectuals based in London. Alys served as an unofficial secretary to Krishna Menon, the secretary of the Free Indian League. [1] Christobel married Dr. M.D. Taseer and joined him in India where he was the principal of a college. Alys traveled to India in 1938 to visit her sister, and, when World War II broke out, she decided to make the subcontinent her home.


The nikahnama (marriage deed) between Alys George and Faiz was solemnized by Sheikh Abdullah in Srinagar in 1941 at Pari Mahal, the summer palace of Maharaja Hari Singh and where M D Taseer, then the principal of S.P. College was living.


She was the aunt of Salmaan Taseer, the son of her sister Christobel.

Alys had two daughters with Faiz: Salima Hashmi and Moneeza Hashmi. The artist Adeel Hashmi is her grandson.

Famous for[edit]

After her death, Habib R. Sulemani wrote in The Dawn newspaper, "During my decade-long stay in Lahore, as a silent observer of the literary-scene, I was fascinated by her life-story which made me believe that women are stronger than men and have an immense power and talent for reconciliation and bridging the gaps between two families or nations. Alys gave courage to many western women who were married to Pakistanis and now live here as citizens. Alys gave many sacrifices. Faiz Ahmad Faiz's life and poetry have influenced hundreds of thousands of people in one way or the other, but Alys has shaped his life and poetry. A study of Faiz, as a person and a poet, cannot be complete without a study of Alys. Rather I should say she needs a special treat on her own right as a writer and a poet. A recent dramatic Production 'Chand Roz Aur Meri Jaan' focussed for the first time on the inimitable chemistry between Faiz and Alys. 'Chand Roz Aur Meri Jaan' presents the hitherto unknown aspcets of their life with the help of letters exchanged between them, particularly during Rawalpindi Saazish days. In one such production at Amritsar, renowned theatre actress Suchitra Gupta portrayed the role of Alys with Danish Iqbal. So, apart from few newspaper articles and interviews in books, this production is first ever attempt to pay tribute to the silent role played by Alys in shaping the life of Faiz."[2]


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