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February 8, 2019

10th Karachi Literature Festival to kick off on March 1


February 8, 2019

The 10th Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) is to be held from March 1 to 3 at the Beach Luxury Hotel.

The theme for this year’s festival will be “focus for tomorrow”. This was announced by the managing director, Oxford University Press (OUP), Pakis tan, Arshad Saeed Hussain, at a press conference at the Karachi Arts Council on Thursday.

The festival will feature 220 speakers from within the country and 15 from overseas. He said that the festival would feature over 80 sessions and over 20 book launches. Prominent among the overseas speakers would be Anita Weiss, Anna Suvarova, Bettina Robotka, David Waterman, Deborah Baker and Leila Aboulela.

Among the local luminaries will be Anwar Maqsood, Attiya Dawood, HM Naqvi, Hafeez Pasha, Kishwar Naheed, Sheema Kermani and Zia Mohyeddin. The main features of the festival will be talks, interviews, panel discussions, an Urdu Mushaira, poetry readings, book fairs, performing arts and films.

The KLF-Infaq Foundation Urdu Literature Prize will be awarded for the best Urdu poetry or prose book published in 2017-18. Comparing last year’s KLF with the one held in 2010 (the first one), Arshad Saeed Hussain said that in 2010 the turnout of visitors was 5,000m while last year it was 200,000. While in KLF-1 there were 30 sessions, last year there were over 80 sessions. There were speakers and participants from four countries in KLF-1, but last year there were speakers from 11 countries.

Hussain said, “We aim to bring together stalwarts not only from Pakistan’s literary world and academia, but also some of the most creative minds from across borders. Through discourse and discussion, the festival celebrates cultural and literary diversity.” There would be speakers from Pakistan, Russia, the UK, the US, France, Italy, Germany, Belgium, the UAE, India and Canada, Hussain said.

The KLF advisory board members, including Muneeza Shamsie, Arts Council President Ahmed Shah, Mujahid Barelvi and Salman Tarik Kureshi, were also present. Ahmed Shah said that the space for cultural diversity had been reclaimed. He congratulated the OUP team and pledged full support for the endeavour.

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