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German author won Nobel Literature Prize 2009

German author Herta Mueller won the Nobel Literature Prize 2009
Stockholm, Oct 9: German author Herta Mueller won the 2009 Nobel Literature Prize on Thursday for her work inspired by her life under Nicolae Ceausescu's dictatorship in Romania.The Nobel jury hailed Ms Mueller, 56, as a writer who "with the concentration of poetry and the frankness of prose, depicts the landscape of the dispossessed."

The permanent secretary of the Nobel Academy, Peter Englund, described Ms Mueller as "a great artist of words".

Ms Mueller was born in a German-speaking region of Romania and fled the country two years before the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. She has long been cited as a probable winner, and the award finally came just ahead of the 20th anniversary of the collapse of communism.

"I am stunned and still cannot believe it. I can't say any more right now," Ms Mueller was quoted as saying in a letter released by her German publisher, Carl Hanser Verlag.

The grim daily life under Ceausescu's oppressive regime and the harsh treatment of Romanian Germans has featured strongly in her works. Her first published book had to be smuggled out of Romania to avoid censors.

"One can say that her work is a combination of, on the one side, a fantastic language she's very distinctive, you need only read half a page to realise this is Herta Mueller and its composition, its short sentences, full of imagery, and its also her extreme precision and how she uses the language," Mr Englund told Swedish radio.

Ms Mueller "has a story to tell. And it's not just about daily life in a dictatorship, it's also about being an outsider."

"Being outside the language of the majority, being outside the history that has befallen you, even being outside your own family. And then to change countries and realise that it doesn't change all of this," he said. "It's a very, very strong story."

Ms Mueller was born on Aug 17, 1953 in western Romania to parents of the German-speaking minority. Her father was in the Nazi SS during World War II and the Romanian communists deported her mother to a labour camp in Soviet Ukraine after the war. Dawn

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Inquiry committee yet to yield findings
Islamabad: The inquiry committee of Ministry of Youth Affairs, probing the matter of alleged nepotism in selection process of the National Youth Awards 2008-09, has not yet yielded any result, it was learnt.

In recent past, the Ministry of Youth Affairs had constituted a committee to probe matter of favoritism in deleting the name of a deserving youth from the selected list of the National Youth Award 2008-9.

Federal Minister for Youth Affairs Shahid Hussain Bhutto had set up a committee on demand of the deprived youth, who alleged that the selection committee had deleted his name from the selected list of participants.

The inquiry committee had been asked to submit its report to the minister within short span of time. However, it has been learnt that despite passage of around two months there was no progress in this regard.

When the affected youth, who had demanded constitution of the inquiry committee, was contacted he said that he had visited the Ministry for several times to know about the latest development, but the officials did not give him positive response. To acknowledge the extraordinary talent of youth and to build their confidence level, the Ministry of Youth Affairs had invited youngsters for taking part in the National Youth Awards 2008-09.

According to details provided by the preliminary committee of the ministry headed by Senior Joint Secretary and comprising Deputy Secretary (Admin) computer trainer and experts of relevant fields, had series of meetings from July 3 to July 14, 2008 to scrutinise and shortlist the nominations to recommend at least three persons in each category. The short-listed nominations were published in national newspapers for final selection.

Although regarding youth projects the high-ups of the Ministry of Youth Affairs always claimed that youngsters are purely selected on merit and on the laid down eligibility criterion.

It is to be mentioned here that the National Assembly Standing Committee on Youth Affairs during its meeting held September 9, 2009 expressed reservations over the selection criteria of the youth for sending them abroad and directed the Ministry to observe the principles of merits in selecting the deserving youth for such delegations. The nation

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Urdu translation of book on Pakhtun tales hit stalls
Peshawar: The Urdu translation of 'The Plain Tales of the Afghan Border' - a book consisting rare and interesting tales related to Pakhtuns' life has hit the stalls.

As evident from its title, the book, authored by John Charles Edward Bawn, is a collection of 10 tales that have been translated into Urdu by Haroon Shinwari and revised by Rashid Khattak, who has also written the preface.

The author, Edward Bawn, brought into black and white the folk stories told by Muhammad Zareef Khan back in 1943 and published them in the shape of a book after 35 years. By the time of storytelling, Edward was assistant commissioner of Mansehra in the British India while Zareef Khan was serving as political tehsildar at Oghi.

In the introduction, the author writes that he and his subordinate used to exchange pleasantries and discuss social and traditional issues while sitting in Oghi Fort after winding up official work.

Zareef Khan, whom he had given the title 'prince of storytellers', would often tell him Pakhtun plain tales.The traditional interesting folk stories impressed Edward to the extent that one day when he visited Oghi and finished his official work, he put pen to paper, sat down before Zareef, asking him to tell him stories, which he wanted to preserve in writing instead of just passing time on listening to.

He also told Zareef about his plan to publish the tales in a book for future generations. However, by the time it was difficult rather impossible to publish the tales, some of which related to government functionaries, as being government servant both of them could not reveal official secrets.

Though Edward and Zareef's ways got parted after the former's transfer from Mansehra followed by the end of British rule and division of Indian subcontinent into India and Pakistan, the author preserved the stuff and at last published it in the shape of a book after 35 years.

The author also praises Zareef Khan, a tribesman born in the remote Tirah valley of Khyber Agency in 1903 and educated up to graduation at Islamia College Peshawar before joining Indian Civil Service in 1932.

In some of the stories, Zareef himself had a major role like 'The Death Of A Criminal' and 'The Politics Of High Mountains'. The first story is about killing of a proclaimed offender, Jamori of Waziristan, while the second one about expulsion of one Faqir Ameerah, who had launched a jihad in Indus Kohistan against British regime.

Zareef did the job that couldn't be done by his British assistant commissioner, thus earning praise from the government. Though Zareef died in 1985 and did not see even the English version of the book comprising his stories, one of his sons, Engineer Muzaffar Ali Afridi, succeeded in realising his dream of translating it into Urdu.

Engineer Muzaffar, who is presently serving as secretary for Population Welfare Department in NWFP government, through a common friend Dr Masood Zahid, contacted Haroon Shinwari asking him to translate the book into Urdu, which was done successfully.

It would be no exaggeration to say that by providing the readers with such an interesting stuff, both Muzaffar and Haroon have done a wonderful service, especially to those wanting to know about rare tales related to Pakhtuns' life.

Moreover after taking the book, one is compelled to go through all its 138 pages in one reading because of its taste and suspense. Edward has also authored another book, titled 'The Golden Pomegranate' besides translating two poems, one each of Khushal Khan Khattak and Said Rasool Rasa, from Pashto into English. The news


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