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Ausaf Sayeed

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Name  Ausaf Sayeed
Role  Diplomat
Books  Indian Art and Culture

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Dr Ausaf bin Awaz bin Sayeed (born September 18, 1963) is a diplomat in the Indian Foreign Service. He holds a Master of Science (M.Sc.) and a Geology from the Osmania University in Hyderabad, India and an Advanced Diploma in Arabic from the American University in Cairo. He is a Competent Toastmaster (CTM) and recipient of the Shri Y.G.K.Murthy Gold Medal from Osmania University.


Sayeed is a career diplomat belonging to the Indian Foreign Service (IFS), 1989 Batch.  He is serving as High Commissioner of India to Seychelles since February 17, 2017. Earlier in August 2013 he became the first Muslim and first Hyderabadi to be appointed as the Consul General of India in Chicago . Earlier he served as Ambassador of India to Yemen from September 2010 to July 2013, being the first person of Hadhrami origin to be appointed as India's Ambassador to Yemen. He also served as Joint Secretary (West Africa) in the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India (August 2008 to August 2010), Consul General of India in Jeddah (August 2004 to July 2008) and Counsellor in the Embassy of India, Denmark (October 2001 to August 2004). He has also served in various capacities in the Indian diplomatic missions in Doha, Riyadh, Jeddah and Cairo, besides serving as Regional Passport Officer in Hyderabad.

Sayeed has handled different areas of work in his 27 years of diplomatic service, including political, economic, consular and cultural work, besides Haj management.

He launched several business groupings during his assignment in the Persian Gulf countries to promote trade and economic relations between India and Arab states of the Persian Gulf. Some of these include the Indian Business Network (Riyadh -1996/97), the Professionals of India, Saudi Arabia (POISA), Dammam (1996/97), the Indian Business and Professional Network (IBPN), Qatar (1998), the Saudi Indian Business Network (SIBN), Jeddah (2005), the Indo-Saudi Medical Forum (ISMF), Jeddah (2006) and the Indian Education Council (IEC), Jeddah (2006).

Sayeed has contributed in promoting India’s cultural heritage abroad. He was associated with the inauguration of the Maulana Azad Cultural Center in Cairo (1992).  In 1997, he organized the "Satyajit Ray: in retrospect", a one-week film festival of Satyajit Ray’s films in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.  As Coordinator of the Indian Cultural Center in Qatar, he was instrumental in organizing several cultural and literary events. In 1999, he organized a 9-day festival India Week in Qatar in association with the National Council of Culture, Art and Heritage in Qatar in which several artists from India participated. In 2003, he organized joint Painting Exhibitions and Workshops involving Indian and Danish painters in various cities in Denmark.

During his tenure as the Consul General of India in Jeddah, he organized the first-ever India Festival in Jeddah (September 2005), followed by the First Asian Festival in Jeddah (October 2006) and the First Asian Film Festival in Saudi Arabia (February 2008). He was closely involved with the formation of the Saudi-India Friendship Society in 2006 under the patronage of the Saudi Ministry of Information and Culture. He was also associated with the Saudi-India Civil Society Dialogue. He was instrumental in organizing the visit of First All Women Saudi Student Delegation (from Dar-Al Hekma College ) to India in 2007.

He formed the Asian Consuls General Club (ACGC) in Jeddah in 2005, which composed of Consuls General of thirteen Asian countries. He was instrumental in the publication of the book Historic Indo-Arab Ties (September 2005) by the Indian Consulate. He is a patron of Urdu language and literature and organized several Mushairas, seminars, symposia, humorous sessions and Ghazal and musical programs. The Annual Urdu Mushaira in Jeddah, which was conceived by him in 1996, has since become a prestigious annual Urdu event, being organized continuously for the past 17 years. He was instrumental in organizing the first World Urdu Conference in Jeddah in June 2008 in association with the Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANUU), Hyderabad. He was the main architect behind the introduction of external Urdu examinations of MANUU in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for the benefit of Non-resident Indians (NRIs). He has advocated extensive use of digital technology to learn, spread Urdu language, especially among the youth and children.

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Sayeed has contributed articles on varied topics to different magazines and newspapers. He has published three books (i) Trends in Objective Geology for Civil Services and Other Competitive Examinations, CBS Publishers, New Delhi (First Edition, 1990; Third Edition, 2003) (ii) Trends In Indian Culture And Heritage: For Civil Services (Prelims And Mains) and Other Competitive Examination, Har-Anand Publications, New Delhi, 2011, (iii) Indian Art and Culture, Har-Anand Publications, New Delhi, 2011

He has also compiled and edited the Urdu book Kulliyat-e-Awaz Sayeed, which consists of the entire Urdu literary works of his father late Awaz Sayeed. The book Kulliyat-e-Awaz Sayeed was released by Vice President of India Mohammad Hamid Ansari on August 13, 2009. He is also working on two other books, Haj: an Indian Experience through the Ages and Indian Rubats, Madarsas and Wakfs in the Holy Cities of Makkah and Madinah. He also has to his credit a research paper on Petrology and Petrogenesis of Syenites from the Cuddapah Basin, Andhra Pradesh, Journal, Geological Society of India, Volume 43, March 1994, pp 225–237.

Family background

Sayeed is a Hadhrami Arab by descent belonging to a respectable family of Hyderabad Deccan, with roots in Mukallah in Hadhramaut (present-day Yemen). He belongs to the Al-Musalli clan of the Al-Yafai tribe. His paternal great-grandfather Awaz Bin Jabir Bin Abdullah served as a State Financier under Sultan Awadh-I bin Omar Al Qu'aiti (Nawab Sultan Nawaz Jung Bahadur Shamsheer-ud-Daula Shamsheer-ul-Mulk). His paternal grandfather, Sayeed Bin Awaz Bin Jabir served as State Financiers under His Highness Sultan Omar bin Awadh Al Qu'aiti (Nawab Sir Jan-Baz Jung Bahadur K.C.I.E.) as well as His Highness Sultan Sir Saleh bin Ghalib Al Qu'aiti (Saif Nawaz Jung Bahadur). On his maternal side, his grandfather Mohammad Abdul Ghani served as a District Judge in the state of Andhra Pradesh. Sayeed's maternal grandfather and maternal grandmother Haleema Begum hailed from Surat in Gujarat before relocating to Hyderabad.

Sayeed belongs to a literary family of Hyderabad. His father late Awaz Sayeed was an Urdu writer, playwright, essayist and humorist who has seven books to his credit. His uncle late Dr. Mughni Tabassum was an Urdu poet and critic and formerly Head, Department of Urdu, Osmania University. His aunt Mrs. Siddiqua Shabnam, based in London, is an Urdu poet. His only sister Dr. Seema Nishat, a U.S. citizen, is a physician in Tampa, Florida. Sayeed is married to Farha, an accomplished Egg Sculptor/Egg Artist, and Painter. The couple has three sons, Faateh (25 yrs), Faaleh (23 yrs) and Azhaan (18 years).


Ausaf Sayeed Wikipedia

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