Agha Shahid Ali

(3515 words)

Agha Shahid Ali was born in New Delhi in 1949. His father Agha Ashraf Ali belonged to a distinguished Muslim family in Srinagar, Kashmir. His ancestors were of Central Asian origin. Ali refers to his forbears in poems such as “Snowmen” and “Cracked Portraits” in his 1987 collection The Half Inch Himalayas. Ali's parents, Agha Ashraf Ali and Sufia Ali did their doctorates in 1964 at Ball State University in the United States. Both held important posts in the Jammu and Kashmir department of education: Agha Ashraf Ali's many postings included Commissioner of Education, Head of the Department of Education at University of Jammu and Kashmir; he also taught a Jamia Millia University in New Delhi.

Ali's mother Sufia …

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Shamsie, Muneeza. "Agha Shahid Ali". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 03 May 2005
[, accessed 29 May 2015.]