Literary Extravaganza: A Fusion Of Words, Ideas For Sustainable Future

  • February 18, 2024

The Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) continued its journey into the realms of sustainability and the transformative power of words on its second day

KARACHI, (UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News – 17th Feb, 2024) The Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) continued its journey into the realms of sustainability and the transformative power of words on its second day.

With a diverse lineup of speakers and thought-provoking sessions, the participants were engaged in discussions, book launches, and presentations, aimed at reshaping mindsets for a sustainable future, said a news release on Saturday.

Reflecting on the day’s events, Arshad Saeed Husain, Managing Director of OUP Pakistan, remarked, “The convergence of sustainability and the power of words has been truly enlightening. It has been our privilege to have strengthened KLF’s platform to play such a pivotal role in shifting mindsets.

The world needs to become sustainable, not just the environment but our practices and approach towards life as well. I am proud to say that our speakers and participants have come out as ambassadors of change, crafting narratives that not only inform but also inspire us for a better tomorrow.”

Book launches of Development Pathways: India-Pakistan-Bangladesh (1947-2022) by Ishrat Hussain; Jahaan Abaad ki Galiyaan by Asghar Nadeem Sayyed, Rolaak by Rafaqat Hayat, A Life Lived with Passion by Irfan Hussain, and A Lifetime of Dissent: A Memoir by I.A. Rehman took place.

The day started with conversations around Unravelling South Asia with Ikram Sehgal and Aizaz Ahmed Chaudhry and a panel discussion on The Evolving Federation: Two Steps Forward One Step Back with Kaiser Bengali, Faisal Siddiqui, Shabbar Zaidi, and Asad Umar.

Commenting on the importance of strengthening local governments, Asad Umar said, “In the narrative of federal evolution, we need to empower local governments, this will have a significant impact on the overall governance and contribute to sustainable progress. Two steps forward signify our collective progress, while the step back serves as a reminder of the complexities inherent in building a cohesive federation.”

The panel discussion on Sustainability in an Evolving New World Order, had Selma Dabbagh and Nauman Naqvi exploring traditional notions of sustainability, being reshaped by emerging geopolitical trends, technological advancements, and evolving economic paradigms.

Selma Dabbagh said, “Amidst the shifts of power and paradigms, sustainability emerges not only as a necessity but as a moral imperative. It is our collective responsibility to cultivate a future where the needs of both people and planet are harmonized, forging a path towards resilience and prosperity for generations to come.”

Urdu Shairi ke Darakhsan Sitaray was an enlightening conversation between Zehra Nigah and Kishwar Naheed. They spoke about renowned Urdu poets and highlighted the significance of Urdu poetry for its amazing capacity to reflect history, politics, and philosophy without compromising on the aesthetics of linguistics.

The richness and depth of Urdu can challenge the best of literature around the world and the youth must be engaged in exploring history, philosophy, and cognitive diversity, through reading and understanding Urdu poetry.

Education and examinations, the ‘link and the gap,’ were explored in the session Building Future Skills: The Co-Existence of Local and International Examination Boards, where Faisal Bari, Bela Raza Jamil, Shahnaz Wazir Ali, and Arshad Saeed Hussain spoke on the essence of bringing better academic and examination choices for young scholars to select.

The Last White Man was an engaging conversation where Mohsin Hamid in discussion with Claire Chambers, said, “The premise for The Last White Man arose out of my changing circumstances after 9/11 when, as a self-described highly educated brown man with a Muslim name, I lost (the privilege of my) partial whiteness.”

In a tribute to the singing legend Noor Jehan, Ahmed Ali Butt engaged Nazia Ejaz Khan, Arshad Mahmud, and Sonya Jehan, exploring the facets of the woman, an icon, and a celebrity interwoven in the person who ruled the hearts of music lovers. Noor Jehan Suroor-e-Jahan became an engaging and vibrant session with references to her life and her works.

Arshad Mahmud commenting on Madam’s legacy opined that, “Pakistan has few names that top the charts globally in terms of talent, depth, and sheer genius in their art, and Madam is one of them. Her commitment to perfection needs to be looked at, as an institution for the newcomers and those who aspire to make music their career.”

Election Se Zara Hutt Ke was a thought-provoking conversation between Zarrar Khuhro, Wusatullah Khan, and Shahzeb Jillani. Joseph Massad in the conversation titled, Arab Identity in Contemporary Times with S. Akbar Zaidi, remarked, “Arab identity is not monolithic. It has gone through rigorous evolution and has come out as a multifaceted phenomenon that encompasses a wide range of experiences, beliefs, and traditions.”

Miftah Ismail and Shahid Khaqan Abbasi engaged in a powerful session titled, Reforming Pakistan: A New Social Contract.

The discussion revolved around strategies to promote inclusivity, transparency, and accountability in governance, as well as initiatives to enhance access to quality education, healthcare services, and economic opportunities for all segments of society. The panel identified actionable solutions and pathways toward forging a new social contract that prioritizes the well-being and prosperity of all Pakistanis.

Adnan Rizvi moderated the intellectual take on Reimagining the Ustad-Shagird Tradition in Today’s Music and Culture, with Sharif Awan and Rafay Mahmood as participants. Commenting on the significance of the bond, Adnan Rizvi said, “In the timeless echo of the Ustad-Shagird tradition, we find not just music, but a sacred bond between mentor and disciple, carrying the torch of cultural heritage forward. In the footsteps of our mentors, we find the path to our musical journey, each ‘note’ a tribute to the timeless legacy of the Ustad-Shagird tradition.”

Parallel to the main program, highly engaging special sessions that focused on the youth were also being held. These included novelties like Bait Baazi, and an interactive session titled Passion or Profession where Junaid Zuberi highlighted the importance of the performing arts.

The day ended with a Mushaira under the sadarat of Iftikhar Arif, nizamat of Nasira Zuberi, and participation of poets; Kishwar Naheed, Afzal Ahmed Syed, Ashfaq Hussain, Tanweer Anjum, Aqeel Abbas Jaffri, Harris Khalique, Fazil Jamil, Ambareen Haseeb Ambar, Salman Sarwat, Waheed Noor, and Emran Sakeb, the mushaira was a lyrical brilliance, set amidst the literary splendour of the festival.

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