Wakhi Language will be presented at the second International Literacy Festival
Islamabad:The second three-day International Literary Festival starting on April 25 will feature 122 writers, 67 sessions, 101 speakers, 14 book launches, dramas, ‘mushairas’ and dance performances.
This was stated by Ameena Saiyid, managing director of the Oxford University Press (OUP), co-organiser of the gala, in a press conference here on Tuesday. She said that 15,000 people visited the venue in two days last year and this year, they are expecting much more.
She said that the event provides an opportunity for interaction between people, intellectuals, academics, writers and students. She said that ILF intends to create an intellectual space in which the diversity and pluralism in Pakistan’s society is expressed by authors from traditions both within and beyond Pakistan’s borders.
Ameena said that on the debut day, a team from India will present dwindling art of ‘dastan-goi’ (story-telling and Sheema Kermani will present dance performance). NAPA theatrical group will present a drama ‘Taleem-e-Balighan’ on the last day.
There will be continuous parallel sessions on arts. Books to be launched include Barrister Kamal Azfar’s ‘Waters of Lahore,’ Kishwar Naheed’s ‘Defiant Colour,’ and Saadat Hasan Manto’s ‘Pura Manto.’ She said Rittu Menon and possibly Jaswant Singh from India will address the sessions including keynote addresses by Zohra Nigah, Kishwar Naheed and Aamer Hussein. Speakers also include Fehmida Riaz, Feryal Ali-Gauhar, Harris Khalique, Intizar Husain, Jugnu Mohsin, Kristiane Backer, Luca Olieveri, Madeeha Gauhar, Mujahid Barelvi, Mustansar Hussain Tarar, Najam Sethi, Najmuddin Shaikh, Rahat Kazmi, Raza Ali Abidi, Saira Kazmi, Sarmad Khoosat, Shahid Nadeem, Shobhaa De and Zahid Hussain.
She said that authors and artists from Italy, Bangladesh and Britain are also attending the festival and there will be an exhibition of Italian art. She thanked Italian Embassy for sponsorship. The presentation includes Wakhi language from Gilgit-Baltistan also. Speaking on the occasion, an Italian diplomat said that Swat and Gandhara historical sites represent Islam as well as Buddhism and a museum on Buddhism had been established in Saidu Sharif.
Dr Asif Farrukhi, the co-organiser of the festival, said the Islamabad Literary Festival is concentrating on literature as well as social sciences. He hoped the event will be better than last year’s. He appreciated Kamal Azfar’s autobiography in which he discusses modern techniques of writing.
Kamal Azfar said that being progressive, Ameena Saiyid ensures gender equality. He said that Manto is a higher novelist than Maupassant.
In question hour, Ameena said that there will be sessions on political subjects also like on Afghanistan. She said that children festival will be held on May 1 to 3 in a local college. Replying to a question that why terrorism is not a topic, Mr Farrukhi said that there is not much distinction between literature and politics and holding of the festival itself is an activity or civilised protest against terrorism. He said that they want to bring forth new dimensions of Urdu literature.
Ameena and Asif invited the people of the twin cities to participate in the festival where entry is free, and make it successful like the 1st ILF 2013.
-The News International