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Saturday July 13, 2024

From Karachi to London,Pakistan Literature Festival set to captivate audiences

By Our Correspondent
June 09, 2023

Ameena Saiyid and Shayma Saiyid, the founding members of literature festivals in Pakistan, are bringing the Pakistan Literature Festival to London for the first time.A press conference was held at the National Academy of Performing Arts (Napa) on Thursday to announce this exciting development. The festival in London was established and registered in May 2019 by Ameena Saiyid, Farooq Naseem Bajwa, Nadir Cheema, Shayma Saiyid, David Taylor, and Tariq Suleman.

Originally scheduled to take place at Conway Hall in 2020, the first edition of the festival had to be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, the organisers had now confirmed that the festival would be held on Saturday, June 17, at Conway Hall, located at 25 Red Lion Square, London. The event would run from 10 am to 10 pm, providing attendees with a full day of literary and cultural delights.During the press conference, Saiyid revealed the exciting programme of the festival. Attendees could look forward to engaging debates, thought-provoking panel discussions, insightful interviews, mesmerizing dance performances, and a showcase of clips from several movies. The festival aimed to bring together around 100 Pakistani and international authors, intellectuals, and media personalities, creating a platform for literary exchange and dialogue.

Notably, 31 speakers were traveling to London to participate in the literature festival. The lineup included Ali Khan, Ameena Saiyid, Amin Hashwani, Anjum Halai, Asma Faiz, Azhar Abbas, Faisal Mushtaq, Dr Farzana, Fatema Hasan, Fatima Asad-Said, Iftikhar Malik, Inaam Nadeem, Ishrat Husain, Mahvish Ahmed, Makhdoom Ali Khan, Mohammad Waseem, Muhammad Hassan Khan, Pomme Amina Gohar, Qamar Ahmed, Rashed Rahman, Razi Ahmed, Sayeeda Leghari, Shabbar Zaidi, Shahbaz Taseer, Shayma Saiyid, Stephen Lyon, Syed Khawar Mehdi, Tara Uzra Dawood, Tariq Alexander Qaiser, Tariq Suleman, and Zafar Masud.

Ameena Saiyid also shared some notable guests who would be attending the festival. Javed Siddiqui, the legendary playwright and scriptwriter, would travel from India to engage in a conversation with Saif Mahmood, the author of "Beloved Delhi: A Mughal City and Her Greatest Poets." Poet and Supreme Court advocate Khalil ul Rehman would also journey from India to participate in the Mushairah, a traditional Urdu poetry recital.Speakers from the United States attending the Pakistan Literature Festival include Kamran Asdar Ali, Sadia Abbas, Mo Muzammal, and Ghazanfar Hashmi. Kamran Asdar Ali, Sadia Abbas, and Mo Muzammal would contribute their expertise and engage in conversations on various topics. Hashmi would participate in the Mushairah, adding his poetic talent to the event. Former governor of the State Bank, Reza Baqir, would be traveling from Dubai to join the literature festival.

In addition, Sadaf Saaz, the organiser of the Dhaka Literature Festival, would travel from Dhaka to share her insights and experiences. Acclaimed dancer and actress Suhaee Abro, an award-winning artist from Italy, would perform to the music of the late legendary singer Musaddiq Sanwal. Suhaee's performance would be introduced by Musaddiq's life partner, Shehla Zaidi, who is based in the UK. The audience could expect a captivating and soul-stirring performance that pays homage to Musaddiq's incredible musical legacy.Adding to the artistic showcase, Shayma Saiyid, an acclaimed Kathak artist from Pakistan, would present a brief dance tribute honouring the late Sheherezade Alam, Jahanara Akhlaq, and Sandhya Desai.