Education, Development, and Change
Email Dr. Shahid Siddiqui

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Dr. Shahid Siddiqui Constructs Dreams


by SAJ Shirazi
SAJ Shirazi
Let’s construct dreams, in the 21st century that is being characterized as the attention age. Dreams that are able to point to the cultural and social political complexities of our education system. Who can do that? Someone insider, with a broad education background, who has worked at a variety of jobs and experienced life in different fields of education all his working life.

And someone able to embody much of the complexities, ambiguities and contradictions of our education system in bold and innovative fiction.

Meet Dr Shahid Siddiqui — a teacher, thinker and writer who has lived and felt the society we live in. I often meet him in different alcoves of Lahore School of Economics, a charming urban oasis amid the green fields, under main shed, on walkways, in office and every time I meet Dr. Siddiqui I discover him more. Every time I meet him, keep trying to figure out similarities between him and Professor Roy – a character he has created in his novel.

I recommend this book to all those who believe in dreams of social change, economic parity and social justice in our society and consider education as a potent tool to realize these dreams.

Author of Rethinking Education in Pakistan, Dr Siddiqui has written his first novel, Adhe Adhoore Khawab, that is creating waves in literary and academic circles. The novel and the novelist both have received widespread acclaim from literary critics in Pakistan. Dr. Siddiqui was probably the first who attempted to construct dreams around education system – one of the most important and at the same time most neglected fields in modern Pakistan.

I think the production of text is only a small part of being a writer. Being a writer has more to do with observation, thinking, and constructing dreams around your deeper feelings. And I know there are different writing projects (books, weekly articles for Dawn, guest lectures and presentations) on his desktop and Adhe Adhoore Khawab came off his desktop during very ‘happening time’. Readers can relate to famous long march for restoration of judiciary while reading this novel.

The novel tells the tale of a professor, a student and the struggle in the times of political turmoil Pakistan was going through during early 2010. The novel’s language is an energetic combination of styles and sensibilities that are as contemporary as today’s headlines. The characters of the novel are multidimensional. Dr Siddiqui seems to have a direct association with his story’s setting. That is what makes Adhe Adhoore Khawab a convincing story, a story that transcends its immediate context and milieu.

I recommend this book to all those who believe in the dreams of social change, economic parity and social justice in our society and consider education as a potent tool to realize these dreams.
Book: Aadhay Adhooray Khwab
Author: Dr Shahid Siddiqui
Published by Jahangir Books, Lahore
Price: 250
Publisher's Tel:042-37220879
Buy online: http://jbdpress.com