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Dubai: Indian expat tells story of his hometown in new book – News

It is the first detailed account of the Indian city of Amroha in English.

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Published: Friday, October 27, 2023, 16:17

Last update: Friday, October 27, 2023, 6:42 p.m.

Inam Abidi, a resident of Dubai since 2006, wears two hats with equal passion: one as a cloud consultant by profession and the other as a writer at heart.

His journey as an author reached its culmination earlier this year with the publication of his first book, Making a Qasba: The Story of Amroha. This achievement marked the realization of a long-cherished dream since his university days.

The book, painstakingly researched over three years, is the first complete historical account of the city of Amroha presented in English.

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Inam’s hometown of Amroha is situated in the northern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh and is famous for his association with luminaries such as Kamal Amrohvi, Jaun Elia, Sadequain and Jai Krishna Agarwal.

The Qasba of Amroha has a distinguished status as a prominent Sufi centre, steeped in history and tradition.

Inam said the idea for the book first occurred to him in 2015, when he was researching an article on Amroha, with the intention of familiarizing his children with their ancestral heritage.

“I looked everywhere, but I couldn’t find much in English,” he recalled. “It was then that I recognized the important gap in English accounts detailing the city’s rich history. This realization prompted me to delve deeper into the project of writing a book.”

Over the years, Inam made multiple visits to Amroha, which his family had abandoned in the 1970s when they moved to Lucknow. She participated in meetings with people familiar with the city’s heritage, reviewed a multitude of books in several languages, including Urdu, Persian, Hindi and English, and examined numerous YouTube videos.

Throughout this journey, he encountered a variety of people, from a former senior government official who initially believed he was co-writing the book and subsequently stopped communicating when he learned otherwise, to a rickshaw driver who went above and beyond. to capture images of historical sites within the city and shared them with Inam.

Regarding the most rewarding part of his experience, Inam shared, “I came across a rare painting of Amroha and became curious about the artist behind it. It turned out that he was also a resident of Lucknow. Meeting Jai Krishna Agarwal, a renowned Indian engraver from Amroha, was a privilege. Despite being in his 80s, he had vivid memories of the city to share with me.”

In the world of historical stories, Inam knew that controversies were common. He stated: “As a researcher, one struggles with conflicting accounts and the prejudices of the ruling elite. It is also a challenge to evaluate past events with contemporary knowledge.”

Inam’s perspective on technology and history is revealing. He believes that technology streamlines the present and prepares us for the future, while history teaches us invaluable lessons from the past.

One aspect that tinges Inam’s achievement with sadness is the loss of his father, who died a year before the book’s publication. She reflected: “My father would have been elated.”

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