Tribute to Zehra Nigah – National History Museum


The Citizens Archive of Pakistan


Artwork title: “Empathy above all”
Zehra Nigah, is one of the most eminent poets of Urdu literary world. Her work revolves around the bitter realities of our society addressed in a thought provoking manner using the simplest form of Urdu language (salees urdu).
In her poem, “Suna hai jangalon ka bhi koi dastoor hota hai” she considers humans to be “ashraf ul makhlooqat” (superior of creations) because of their ability to read, write, speak and share their opinions and perception. The ability that hasn’t been awarded to any other creation of Allah.
Despite the fact that human have the ability that make them different and civilized than others, in her poem she draws comparison between humans and animals and talks about the empathy and kindness that animals show among them in the time of hardship, which we humans fail to do so.
The co-existence of the predators and the preys which is the centre of illustration. Even at times of natural disaster, animals tend to be kind, tolerant and patient with each other unlike us humans. In this illustrations, the animals drawn are the ones that are found in Pakistan: lion, markhor, falcon, eagle, snake and snow leopard.
“Suna hai jangalon ka bhi koi qanoon hota hai,
Khudawand, Jaleel o mua’tabbar! Dana o beena, Munsif o akbar!
Mere Is shehr main ab jngalon hi ka koi qanoon nafiz kar de!”
The artwork is from a series of illustrations that are a part of an exhibit "Poets, Writers and Philosophers" at the National history Museum, Lahore curated by The Citizens Archive of Pakistan. An exhibition that pays homage to the remarkable poetic, literary and philosophical heritage of Pakistan.
The exhibition features interactive displays, oral history narratives, illustrations and historical photographs on the works of notable poets, writers and philosophers.
The National History Museum is a project of Parks and Horticulture Authority, Government of Punjab, curated by The Citizens Archive of Pakistan.
The Citizens Archive of Pakistan (CAP) is a non-profit organization dedicated to cultural and historic preservation, operating in Sindh and Punjab. We seek to educate the community, foster an awareness of our nation’s history and instill pride in Pakistani citizens about their heritage.


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