KARACHI: Speakers at a condolence reference for late Sulaiman Ahmed Meenai eulogised his services to the profession and lauded his journalistic skills and literary flavour in his writings and editorials, and recalled the dignity and grace in his interaction with colleagues and friends.
SA Meenai Sahib was a thorough gentleman. He was a practicing Muslim and had deep knowledge of the Quran and Sunnah which he used to reflect in his writings, and as an anchor in the editorials. He was known for his honesty and integrity, they said.
Meenai had wide knowledge of literature, humour and literary anecdotes which used to make him a centre of attraction among his friends, they said at a meeting organised by the KUJ Dawn Unit.
Mohammad Ali Siddiqui, the keynote speaker at the meeting, recalled Suleman Meenai as a friend, as a colleague, and as a human being, and gave an overview of journalistic responsibilities he assumed in his entire life span, especially his days in Dawn while working in the newsroom, as editorial anchor, as a sports editorial writer. Abdul Ahad, a senior journalist, recalled his association with Mr Meenai, and the way, they used to discuss things on day to day basis to feed the pages of Dawn.
Zafar Abbas, Editor Dawn, recalled the inspiration and guidance he received from Meenai Sahib in his early days of Star as a sports reporter. Hamid Jaleel Zubairi, son of Hamid Zubairi who also remained associated with Dawn, in his condolence message from Lahore, said that poetry was in Meenai’s blood as he was the grandson of the illustrious poet Ameer Meenai.
Rishad Mahmood, nephew of Meenai Sahib, recalled him as a source of inspiration for him and his brother Zulqarnain, in the family which helped them join journalism.
Meenai Sahib joined the profession in 1952, starting his career from Dawn. He worked in the newsroom till 1962. He joined Daily News under the editorship of Shamim Ahmed who also left Dawn as a reporter. In 1963, Shamim Sahib left Daily News and joined Pakistan Standard edited by Farid Jafri. Meenai Sahib came back to Dawn in the mid-sixties as an assistant editor and leader writer. For some time, he also edited the Star, an evening newspaper of the Dawn group.
Sami Ahmed and Khwaja Mohammad Zubair sent messages to enlighten the audience. Senior journalist Qamar Ahmed said that sports was Meenai’s passion, and he often used to exchange comments about sports activities, especially hockey and cricket.
Asif Meenai, son of Suleman Meenai, who is Senior Executive Vice President of National Bank, recalled the early days of his life when he used to visit the Dawn in his childhood with his father, and that those memories were still alive in his mind and soul. He said Meenai Sahib had a passion and love for Dawn, and that even when he was seriously ill, he frequently recalled Dawn, and his colleagues.
KUJ Vice President Zaheer Ahmed Khan conducted the programme, and recalled that over 20 journalists had died during the last two decades which was a loss to the profession. Later Fateha was offered for Meenai Sahib. Fateha was also offered for Khurshid Tanweer’s mother, and for deceased Dawn staffers, including M A Majid, Shagufta Naz, Murtaza Razvi, Syed Kamal Pasha, Abdul Latif Jafri, Saghir Ahmed, HA Hamied, Mushtaq Memon, Alim Pathan, Iqbal Mujahid, Abdul Akhyar, Akhtar Payami, Musaddiq Sanwal, M Sabihuddin Ghausi, Rashid Niaz, Shamimur Rahman, Irfan Malik, Abdul Quddoos and Ghulam Ali Khoja.