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Literature lovers throng Islamabad Literature Festival

by April 16, 2017 General


Thousands of literature lovers thronged the ongoing 5th Islamabad Literature Festival (ILF) on its second day marking remarkable success for a large number of interactive sessions, dialogues, performances and literary activities here at a local hotel.

The residents of twin cities portrayed their unbiased love not only for literature but for the literary icons belonging to different countries of the world by visiting capital’s very own Islamabad Literature Festival.

On second day of ILF, Fasi Zaka moderated a session “Preparing the Citizens of Tomorrow:  Are we Succeeding or Failing?” The session was held to critique the current education provision in Pakistan. Featuring participants like Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Nadia Naviwala, Shahid Siddiqui, and Ishrat Husain. Reema Abbasi moderated a session Lost Heritage: The Sikh Legacy in Pakistan, a nostalgic search for historic monuments and temples eroded by time which included the author  Amardeep Singh and FS Aijazuddin.

To discuss the core issue of water, a special session “Where has all the Water gone? Experts and concerned citizens debate the water crisis in Pakistan” was held in which Nisar A. Memon, Kaiser Bengali, and Aaron Mulvany discussed the issue with moderator Rina Saeed Khan. A Performance by Nimra Bucha and Sarmad Khoosat on readings from Amrita Pritam and Sahir Ludhianvi’s poetry focusing on their unique vision and elusive, unspoken romance was also featured on the second day of ILF.

“Gender Violence, Law, and Power in Pakistan focusing on feminists’ struggle for justice and equal rights” was held in which Nafisa Shah, Sherry Rehman, and Ijaz Shafi Gilani participated with moderator Samar Minallah Khan. ‘Rail Kahaani’ was presented by Zambeel Dramatic Readings based on short stories on railway journeys written by different authors. These were presented by Shama Askari, Asma Mundrawala, Saife Hasan, and Fawad Khan.

Qasim Yaqoob moderated a session ‘Mohabbat aur Dehshat Gardi: Aaj ka Urdu Adab’ which was participated by Hameed Shahid, Irfan Urfi, and Ravish Nadim. A special session on poetry of Iftikhar Arif was also held in which Iftikhar Arif had a detailed conversation with Harris Khalique and Asif Farrukhi while the session was chaired by Zehra Nigah. To discuss the women’s issues in politics, AWAZ program presented a special session “Women and Excluded Groups in Political Parties and Legislative Bodies” in which Marvi Sirmed, Zafarullah Khan, and Bushra Gohar participated along with the moderator Shirin Gul. A session “English Poetry: The International Muse” was also featured on second day which included Blaine Marchand, Harris Khalique, Waqas Khwaja, Azka Khan, and Orooj e Zafar while the session was moderated by Ilona Yusuf.

Several new books including ‘Pakistan ki Tehzeeb o Saqafat’ by Kishwar Naheed, ‘Hybrid Tapestries: The Development of Pakistani Literature in English’ by Muneeza Shamsie, ‘Learning to Live with the Bomb: Pakistan: 1998–2016’ by Naeem Salik, ‘Hyat-e-Shayr and Sur Mandal ka Raj’ by Ali Akbar Natiq, ‘How Pakistan Got Divided’ by Maj Gen (r) Rao Farman Ali and ‘The Arts and Crafts of Hunza Valley in Pakistan: Living Traditions in the Karakoram’ by Jurgen Wasim Frembgen were also launched on the second day.

On the eve of the second day, ILF hosted an amazing ‘Mushaira’ (poetry recitation) which was moderated by Shakeel Jazib while many renowned poets from twin cities including Kishwar Naheed, Iftikhar Arif, Imran Aami, Saeed Shaariq, Saeed Ahmad, Qamar Raza Shahzad, Harris Khalique, Ali Akbar Natiq, Manzar Naqvi, Zia ul Hassan, Akhtar Usman, Sarwat Mohiuddin, Qasim Yaqoob, Rehman Faris, and Nasira Zuberi read from their writings.

Islamabad Literature Festival will conclude on Sunday after day-long interactive sessions, dialogues and performances while displaying big names from the literary circles from Pakistan and abroad as well. Closing ceremony of the fifth ILF will be held on Sunday which would be addressed by Ameena Saiyid and Asif Farrukhi and key note speakers including Iftikhar Arif, Omar Shahid Hamid, and Nafisa Shah. ILF will end at a classical dance performance by Shayma Saiyid.

5th Islamabad Literature Festival commenced on Friday with much funfair which is featuring a line-up of around 150 leading Pakistani and international authors, academics, journalists and artists along with exhibitions, book fair and food court.

While addressing the inaugural session, OUP MD Ameena Saiyid said that our goal is to make reading a pleasurable activity for young and old, men and women. We are aware that engaging and appealing books can entice children into the golden web of readership, promote creativity and imagination, and kindle hope for a more inspired and accomplished Pakistani generation in the future.

This year popular personalities of 8 countries including Germany, France, Canada, Singapore and Italy will be participated, she said while adding that this year we are celebrating the 70 years of Pakistan in the 5th Islamabad Literature Festival, more than 150 popular poets and journalists will be participated in more than 50 sessions and programmes.

A G Noorani and Arfa Syedah Zehra addressed the inaugural ceremony; Iftikhar Arif, Shahid Hamid and Nafeesa Shah were also present at the session. The inaugural session was concluded by dance performances by Amna Mawaz Khan, Imran Nafees Siddiqui.