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December 4, 2019

Urdu Conference to feature more sessions than ever before: Shah


December 4, 2019

The 12th edition of the annual Urdu Conference will start tomorrow (Thursday) at the Karachi Arts Council.

The complete schedule of the four-day moot was announced by Arts Council president Ahmed Shah at a news conference held on Tuesday. He was accompanied by the council’s office-bearers, including writers Haseena Moin and Noorul Huda Shah.

Since its inception in 2008, the Urdu Conference has been one of the much-awaited literary and cultural events in Karachi. This year, the Arts Council has included more sessions at the event than ever before as first time in the conference’s history, multiple sessions will simultaneously take place at various rooms and in the lawn of the council, Shah said.

The Arts Council president thanked the media for making the Urdu Conference the talk of the town. Without the media’s support, the event would not be enjoying the grand stature that it has today, he said.

Shah said many literary luminaries from foreign countries would also grace the event, including Shamim Hanafi from India. He said a session would be organised on Mirza Ghalib on the first day of the conference to commemorate the poet’s 150th death anniversary.

Shah informed the gathering that the Arts Council was planning to hold a national cultural conference to highlight literature of other languages besides Urdu. He, however, added that since the Urdu Conference had become a big brand, they had decided to have such sessions on other languages at the Urdu Conference too.

“There are sessions on all the major languages of Pakistan [at this Urdu Conference]. However, the sessions related to Urdu will not be less. In fact, they will be more,” Shah maintained.

He said the conference would be inaugurated by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Thursday at 4pm. The keynote speeches at the opening session would be delivered by Haris Khaliq and Shamim Hanafi.

The Arts Council has also made arrangements for a food festival and book fair during the conference, Shah said. He added that this year’s conference would be special because of the inclusion of sessions on other languages of the country in it.

“The beauty of this country [Pakistan] and this city [Karachi] is their cultural diversity,” he remarked, adding that conflicts emerged among people of various cultures due to social and cultural injustice.

Copies of the booklet containing the schedule of the conference were distributed on the occasion. The conference would showcase sessions on various genres of Urdu literature, such as fiction, poetry and criticism. Also, there would be one-to-one talks with writers, journalists and artistes, including Amar Jalil, Kishwar Naheed, Abaseen Yousafzai, Hamid Mir, Sohail Warraich and actress Shabnam who will arrive from Bangladesh.

Other sessions include a grand Mushaira, the launch of Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s Kuliyat compiled by Dr Naumanul Haq, a talk on the state of various forms of art in the country, Jashn-e-Fehmida Riaz, readings of works of some greatest humour writers of Urdu, and a discussion on the Urdu translation of Muhammad Hanif’s English novel Phatt-tay Aamon Ka Case (A Case of Exploding Mangoes).

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