GILGIT: Gilgit-Baltistan may have produced various outstanding personalities, but Amin Zia stands distinguished among them.
There are more than one reasons for that.
Zia, 70, is the first person to author “Saan” first ever Shina anthology published in 1974. He was also the first announcer when Radio Pakistan started its programme from Gilgit in 1972. In 1978, he also became the first man to be appointed a s reporter for then Pakistan Times from G-B.
Zia was a teacher par excellence. After having masters in Urdu from The University of Punjab, Zia adopted teaching as profession-by-choice in early 80s when G-B lacked quality educators. In that period, teachers from outside G-B mostly Punjab would teach subjects in schools and colleges in G-B.
“If G-B produce teachers like Zia, the region won’t require teachers from outside,” remarked a senior teacher Muhammad Ashraf once in Public School and College Gilgit, a premier institution where Zia taught for more than two decades and retired as vice principle in 2003.
In addition, Zia also taught in Al Mustaf School for six years in the following years. This wasn’t the end for his love with teaching. He then joined Al-Hayat Shaheed Public School Gilgit where he taught for a decade and now close to his retirement.
Teaching is my love and I’m born as a teacher,” Zia told Outpost on Monday.
The versatile Zia authored a dozen books mostly in Shina, his mother tongue and the most widely spoken language in G-B. His collection consisted of including poetry and travelogues.
Besides “Saan” he also authored “Saweno Moriye”, Shina proverbs and quotations published in
1978 by Lok Virsa, Islamabad. Shina Qaida aur Grammer in 1985, Shina Urdu Lughat: The first Shina dictionary containing more than 15,000 Shina words with grammatical interpretation, Sarosh e Zia: Urdu poetry published in 2010. Similarly he also authored “Bayaak” a book of Shina features. From Germany, where he also spend some time, he authored “Text Aus Gilgit”, Shina German Book containing Shina folk lore, omens, traditions, diction and grammar, translated andpublished by Almuth Degener. Likewise “Search for Gods and Godesses” in also his work in Shina Language.
The literary services rendered by this versatile personality is also known to all in and outside G-B. He has been heading Halqa Whbab-e-Zog, a literary forum, as president since 1988.
To his credit are also songs which he authored and sung on various occasions in his life.
Alongside his commitments, Zia hasn’t overlooked upbringing of his children. He finds it hard to discriminate among his children yet he is proud of his daughter – Sadia Danish - former information minister in G-B. “I’m proud of my all kids and also on Sadia.’
But Sadia credits his father for all her achievements. “My father is matchless, and second to none” says Danish. “He is like a friend, a teacher and a friendly father.”
Besides other activities, the literary man is a nature lover and has adopted photography as his hobby. With a high resolution camera in his hands, he roams in the city and in the wilderness, grasping memorable moments. “Nature is what is like a moth and I find solace in taking pure picture,” Zia tells.
He now plans to publish his photography and put them in phot gallery for display. “These are my intentions and hope I do this too.”