Saturday May 25, 2024

Sakinan-e-Shehr-e-Quaid Aalmi Mushaira to be held on April 20

By Our Correspondent
April 16, 2024
This representational image shows speakers reading their poetry during a session of the Aalmi Mushaira. — Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi Website/File
This representational image shows speakers reading their poetry during a session of the Aalmi Mushaira. — Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi Website/File

The 29th Alami Mushaira has been scheduled for April 20 at the Karachi Expo Centre. This was announced by the organisers during a press conference at the Karachi Press Club on Monday.

Mehmood Khan, the convener of the Sakinan-e-Shehr-e-Quaid – the organisation orchestrating this poetry gathering, revealed that approximately 40 poets from across Pakistan and from countries such as Canada, Germany and the United Kingdom would share their poetry at the event.

Last year, the mushaira attracted around 20,000 audience, and this year, the expectation was even higher, he said, adding that the organising committee had meticulously selected poets representing a variety of languages and regions within Pakistan as well as those residing overseas.

The event aims to celebrate literary and cultural richness through poetry and prose, he said, extending gratitude on behalf of the organisation to the Karachi commissioner and mayor for their support in making the event possible.

“Although there was an interest in inviting poets from India, the necessary government permissions are still pending. However, there remains hope that these poets will be able to participate if the non-objection certificate (NOC) is granted,” he said.

He mentioned that notable poets such as Iftikhar Arif, Anwar Shaour, Wasi Shah, Sehar Ansari, Mehmood Sham and others would grace the event that would also feature two to three emerging poets.

He added that Ambreen Haseeb Amber, Wajih Sani and Agha Sherazi would be the hosts for the mushaira.

Khan mentioned the challenge of selecting participants from a global pool of poets, highlighting a pre-event mushaira dedicated to discovering young talent. “This initiative allows organisers to listen to young poets and select a few for the main event. Additionally, this year's mushaira will feature food and book stalls, enhancing the overall experience for attendees,” he added.

Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, the founder of the mushaira in 1989, emphasised the event's stature as the largest of its kind in the country. He acknowledged the difficulty in adequately representing all languages and cultures but stressed the importance of doing so to achieve international recognition.

In light of the declining interest in language, culture and literature, he stressed that events like this were crucial for reviving these essential elements.

He believes that poetry, music and literature added depth and versatility to individuals’ personalities. Karachi Press Club Secretary Shoaib Khan remarked on the Mushaira's status as a symbol and hallmark of the city.

Poet Tauqeer A Khan, who will be featured at the event, encouraged the public to attend, suggesting that it would enrich their cognitive abilities.

Politician and businessman Abdul Haseeb Khan lamented the scarcity of literary and entertainment avenues today. He argued that while literature existed in name, it was scarcely reflected in society, underscoring the necessity of such events.

The organisers said the event would be open to everyone free of charge, though the attendees may be asked to show their identity cards for verification purposes. They assured that ample parking space would be available for the public.

Regarding the budget, it was disclosed that this year's mushaira had an allocation close to Rs9 million, with the participating poets receiving an honorarium in addition to coverage of their lodging and transportation costs, especially for those travelling to Karachi from elsewhere.