Endowment Fund Created to Honour Syeda Mubarik Begum
Founding Pro Chancellor Syed Babar Ali has once again displayed admirable generosity towards LUMS and through the Babar Ali Foundation, has donated PKR 50 million for an endowment in honour of his late mother, Syeda Mubarik Begum. The fund is intended to celebrate and commemorate her love for Urdu and Persian language and literature, and will be used for the development of a centre of excellence titled ‘Syeda Mubarik Begum Initiative for Urdu and Persian’.
In early September, Babar Sahib was apprised of the current status of Persian and Urdu studies at the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (MGSHSS), in particular, of the Programme in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies (CLCS). The CLCS in the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences offers courses in literary studies in Persian, Urdu and Punjabi. During this session, Babar Sahib met with Dean MGSHSS, Dr. Ali Khan; Former Dean and Provost LUMS, Dr. Kamran Asdar Ali; Director, Gurmani Centre for Language and Literature, Mr. Bilal Tanweer; and Director, Programme in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies (CLCS), Dr. Maryam Wasif Khan, and the fund proposal was taken forward.
The endowment will help strengthen the programme and will also help fund the Mubarik Begum Annual Workshop for Urdu and Persian for Young Scholars.
Dr. Maryam Wasif Khan, who heads the CLCS, said: “The programme in Comparative Literary and Cultural Studies (CLCS) is honoured and delighted to be able to host the Syeda Mubarik Begum Initiative for Urdu and Persian. As a programme, CLCS was envisioned to enable students to access and critically examine literary worlds through non-nationalist and historical viewpoints. In particular, the programme is attentive to the intertwined and cosmopolitan pasts of Urdu and Persian, as well as their conjoined poetics.”
She also expressed her gratitude to Babar Sahib for his generous gift, “This will allow us to create a tenure-track position for Persian language and literature, and host an annual workshop in Persio-Urdu literary studies that honors the legacy of Syeda Mubarik Begum.”
Dean Dr. Ali Khan also spoke about the importance of the endowment and said, “Syed Babar Ali has invested his heart and soul into LUMS and I am extremely happy that his most recent gift is one that will strengthen an area of study that he loves deeply – the Urdu and Persian programme at LUMS. I think it is revealing also that he would want this gift to be named after his mother, highlighting just how close to his heart this initiative is.”