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Oral History Interview with Owais Jafrey

M. Owais Jafrey was born on January 4, 1941 in Bulandshahr, India. He was sent to join the Intermediate College at Meerut and went on to joined the Muslim University, Aligarh, a prestigious Indian institution for higher education. After his BA, he migrated to Lahore, in Pakistan, where he worked as a sales assistant for Batala Engineering Company, and later joined Nawa-i-Waqt, a daily newspaper. He then got a job working for the United States Information Service as a library assistant. He joined the Punjab University, Lahore for his Diploma in Library Science (Salutatorian), MA English and MA Urdu. He also worked as associate editor for the Alumni Reporter, and the Pakistan Library Association’s Quarterly Journal, while also teaching English in the evening classes. In 1976, Mr. Jafrey migrated to the United States and settled in Seattle. His wife Musarrat and sons Suhail and Irfan joined him in 1978. He worked for UW Law School and joined the UW Graduate School of Librarianship to graduate in 1980. While a student at UW, he was involved with the UW’s Muslim Students’ Association and served as its president in 1979-80. Mr. Jafrey also co-founded the ‘Washington (State) Urdu Literary Society’ and also published his poetry in the anthology of Washington State’s Urdu poets entitled ‘Jaras-e-Karavan’ (c1994). He co-founded Seattle’s chapter of ‘World Assembly of Islamic Literature’ and acts as its secretary. He served as vice president of Seattle’s Sheikh Idrees Mosque, and is currently serving a Trustee for the Al-Farooq Mosque at Mount Lake Terrace.In 1986, Mr. Jafrey joined the Whidbey Campus of the Skagit Valley College at Oak Harbor as campus librarian. There he served as a member of Oak Harbor Multi-Cultural Society, and arranged and participated in poetry recitals. Mr. Jafrey currently lives with his wife Musarrat in Shoreline, WA. Their older son Suhail is an MD and their younger son Irfan is Director of Business Development with Google in Chicago. Mr. Jafrey took retirement in 2007 to devote to reading and writing, which is his passion. Currently he is working on 3 books. Mr. Jafrey is also the US Coordinator for Al-Aqreba, a prominent research oriented quarterly Urdu journal published from Islamabad, Pakistan.

Date: October 31, 2007
Subject(s): Owais Jafrey
Type: Oral History
Language: English
Creator: Amy Bhatt
Location: Washington

Holding Institution: University of Washington
Collection: South Asian Oral History Project at the University of Washington
Additional Information: Phase 2
Item History: 2017-01-22 (created); 2017-01-22 (modified)

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