ISLAMABAD: Writings of 33 female writers from Pakistan, both in Urdu and English, are now part of a publication titled "My City, My Home".
Organised by Rastay Arts, the closing ceremony of the book, comprised of writings by women from Pakistan and Bangladesh, under the banner of Transforming Narratives — a ground-breaking three-year project to establish Birmingham as a global center for contemporary arts from Pakistan and Bangladesh supported by the British Council — took place in the federal capital on August 18.
The event took place in Islamabad’s The Black Hole with Australian High Commission’s First Secretary Michael Kourteff as chief guest.
The ceremony was also attended by foreign dignitaries, literati, artists and activists.
From Pakistan, 12 Urdu and 21 English writers have their writings published in the book.
Irfan Ahmed Urfi, a renowned writer and storyteller, was at the helm of My City, My Home — mentoring young women to express themselves through their writings.
Urfi was praised for his support to the young writers and was lauded for allowing them to think and write creatively in the process.
Reem Khan, a student from Islamabad, was one of the selected writers and recited her published poem from the book at the occasion.
Speaking at the occasion, Faiza Khan — the founder and president of Rastay Arts — thanked the participants for expressing themselves using the project’s platform, while Alina Chaudry, the vice president of Rastay Arts, was commended for her instrumental role in making the initiative successful in Pakistan.
Conducted by Sampad Arts — a South-Asian cultural organisation in Birmingham, United Kingdom — the project was implemented in both Pakistan and Bangladesh with support from local partners including Rastay Arts, which led it as one of the project associates in the region with an aim to encourage young women writers to participate.
Women retreat, an online organisation for women’s wellbeing, also supported the project through their social media platform.
Launched in September 2020, the initiative provided a creative writing platform to women from, or with a connection to, Birmingham, Bangladesh and Pakistan.
The platform gave women an opportunity to tell their own story, in their own voice. The consolidated stories, later, took the form of a publication featuring 184 pieces of writings in English, Urdu, and Bengali.