January 2018 marked the first death anniversary of Habib Fida Ali. ADA organised a commemorative evening to honour its friend and benefactor in a resplendent setting of Habib Fida Ali’s residence in a supremely befitting manner. Eminent personalities from his closest circle were invited to share stories of their association with him. The reminiscent tributes by Taufiq Chinoy, Irshad Abdul Kadir, Rehana (Chunni) Saigol, Marjorie Hussain, Ali Naqvi, Adil Kerai and Maria Aslam, in the verdant grounds of the Habib Fida Ali house, were delightful renderings, yet one could not help noticing a certain amount of wistfulness in the potpourri of fervent eulogies.
The reason for this evening is selfishly motivated announced Maria Aslam. “Habib left us last year and we had an unfinished conversation – a conversation that is not meant to happen any more. This realization stuck hard with me and I thought maybe there are some friends and colleagues who might just feel the same. Not that we are ever ready to say the final goodbyes.”
Irshad Abdul Kadir shared with his audience his personal recollections spanning more then six decades. He fondly mentions six facets of Habibs personality like a prism and says “He was one of the few maestros of creativeness that Karachi could proudly claim as its own.” Taufiq Chinoy opened the evening sharing his experiences with Habib when he designed their house in his early days of practice. Rehana Saigol shared the working of her residence by Habib and their collective passion in art endured by their lasting friendship. Ali Naqvi fondly recalled his working experience in Habibs office and the father figure that he was to him. Adil Kerai moved the audience with his emotional reminiscing of both personal and work experiences with Habib. Maria Aslam recalled her personal reading of the man and their time together, The man with a booming voice, twinkling eyes, naughty humour who worked passionately and reacted righteously, was remembered in a beautiful evening with happy and cheerful memories to a packed audience.
Throughout the evening, heartfelt messages for the larger than life Habib Fida Ali were shared on the signature wall. Habib the friend, the confidante, the benefactor, the comrade, the family man; left an indelible mark in the lives of the people he touched.
The ideation of this evening was conceived by Maria Aslam, Founder and Chief Editor of the magazine ADA – Architecture Design Art. The publication now a decade old, has successfully placed ADA on the global scene on many international art and architecture platforms. The international presence of ADA signifies a positive and softer image of the country. Today ADA encompasses life and is inclusive of environment, society, culture and all creative endeavors in between. From this year onwards ADA embarks on a challenging undertaking of creating events that are reminiscent to its ideology.
The event was partnered by M/s IIL & ISL and was well attended by the late architect’s family, friends, fellow architects, artists, writers, other associates and members of his community.