62 Degrees North

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Norway's history to be published in Urdu

MosqueNorwegian history will soon be published in Urdu. "This is an important book, not only for Pakistanis who live in Norway, but for anyone who speaks Urdu," says imam Nehmat Ali Shah.  "It is no problem to find literature about Norway in libraries and other places, but very little is in Urdu. That makes this book very important, says Imam Nehmat Ali Shah.


He is the imam at Central Jamaat-e Ahl-e-Sunnat, Scandinavia's largest mosque with six thousand members, and among a small group of people who have read the book's first printing.

So is 72-year-old Sufi Ahmad Rashid. He came to Norway in 1968, and was one of the ten first Pakistanis that were to became a Norwegian-Pakistani. 

"We call ourselves Norwegian-Pakistani, but we are Norwegian now. That is why this is a great book. None of the first Pakistanis to come to Norway had the time to write a book like this, we worked the whole time and didn't have much time to read either," Rashid explains to NRK.

The book is written by author and Labour Party politician Khalid Mahmood. It took three years to finished story about Norway in Urdu, and several versions have been sent between Oslo and Lahore in Pakistan for revisions. 

Mahmood hopes that the book will have a wide audience in Pakistan. Throughout February the book will be launched both in Lahore and Gujarat, close to a cluster of Norwegian villages in Punjab. 

However, Mahmood's story about Norway ends in 1970. "Most Norwegian-Pakistanis know quite a lot about the time after 1970. And as I write at the very end, The Pakistani immigration to Norway demands its very own book."



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