KARACHI: Prominent fiction writer, literary critic and academic, Dr Asif Farrukhi passed away in Karachi on Monday.
A 60-year-old writer, a diabetic patient, had been ill for the past 15 days, his family said. Dr Farrukhi was born in September, 1959.
He was the son of distinguished Urdu scholar, poet, researcher and writer Dr Aslam Farrukhi who passed away after a prolonged illness in 2016.
Dr Farrukhi joined Habib University in Karachi as an associate professor and the director of the Arzu Center for Regional Languages and Humanities In 2014.
“Habib University today has lost a key founding faculty member of its community, Dr Asif Aslam Farrukhi,” the varsity said on Twitter.
Indeed we belong to Allah, and indeed to Him we will return! Habib University today has lost a key founding faculty member of its community Dr. Asif Aslam Farrukhi. We request our readers to say a prayer for Dr. Farrukhi and may he rest in eternal peace. pic.twitter.com/ZvpEe3KI00
— Habib University (@HabibUniversity) June 1, 2020
Recently, he did a video-blog series on reading and writing in the days of the pandemic. Farrukhi was also a founder member of the Karachi Literary Festival and contributed regularly to English-language press.
According to Habib University’s website, Dr Farrukhi, a public health physician by training, did his MBBS from the Dow Medical College, Karachi in 1984 and Masters in Public Health with concentration in International Health from the Harvard University, USA in 1988.
He also attended a short course on Health Economics and Financing from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in 2012 and served as an instructor in Community Health Sciences at the Aga Khan University, Karachi.
Between 1994 and 2014, he served as the health and nutrition programme officer at Unicef Karachi. Known for his short stories and essays, Dr Farrukhi’s academic and research interests were in literature and language.
Seven collections of his short fiction stories and two of critical essays were published. He also published translations of prose and poetry from modern and classical writers.
His recent publications included a collection of new critical essays on Manto and Look At The City From Here — an anthology of writings about Karachi, according to his HU profile.
Two of his adaptations have been staged in Karachi. Farrukhi was also a columnist and contributed regularly to Dawn’s Books and Authors and Eos magazines.
For his distinguished work, he was awarded the Prime Minister’s Literary Award by the Pakistan Academy of Letters in 1997 and the Tamgha-i-Imtiaz by the Pakistani government.
Friends and colleagues expressed shock and grief at Farrukhi’s death.
Asif Farrukhi Sahab was a cultural and intellectual beacon for this city. Unbelievable loss for all of us and for Karachi. Thoughts and prayers with his family, friends and students. 💔 pic.twitter.com/CZh6P9huwy
— Nida Kirmani (@nidkirm) June 1, 2020
Tragic, tragic news: Intellectual, short story writer, translator, litfest organiser, teacher, @eosmagazine contributor and friend Asif Farrukhi has passed away. Massive loss for Pakistan’s literary landscape.
— Hasan Zaidi (@hyzaidi) June 1, 2020
Such a big loss 😱
Dr. Asif Farrukhi, a renowned writer & editor, passed away today. In addition to translating books, he edited & compiled anthologies of Pakistani writers. He also wrote on literature for newspapers, & periodicals. He was a recepient of Tamgha-e-Imtiaz. pic.twitter.com/FFbtCM3I3i
— Danyal Gilani (@DanyalGilani) June 1, 2020