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Friday May 24, 2024

Afkar-e-Taza ThinkFest Online from tomorrow

By Our Correspondent
February 10, 2021

LAHORE:The committee of Afkar-e-Taza ThinkFest Pakistan has announced the schedule for Afkar-e-Taza ThinkFest Online which will take the place of the physical ThinkFest in Lahore due to the global pandemic.

According to a press release while announcing the event schedule, ThinkFest Committee Chairman Najam Sethi said that despite COVID-19, the committee was keen in bringing the world’s leading academics, thinkers and opinion makers to Pakistan in a different yet accessible and interactive format.

“Our 2020 summer ThinkFest conversation series was the most watched programme in its genre in Pakistan, with audiences from across South Asia, and we hope that our ThinkFest Online edition will build upon it to bring increased connectivity, interaction and dialogue beyond borders,” he said.

The programme will begin with a keynote session by Prof Nergis Mavalvala, the Karachi-born Dean of the School of Science at MIT, who was part of the team which discovered gravitational waves. She will be speaking on February 11 at 6pm, on “Opening a New Window into the Universe,” with distinguished physicist Professor Pervez Hoodbhoy.

On Friday, two riveting sessions will start with author Diana Darke in conversation with architect Raza Ali Dada on “Stealing from the Saracens: How Islamic Architecture shaped Europe,” at 6pm, followed by an enchanting conversation between Prof Azra Raza from Columbia University Medical Center, and author of “Epidemic of Empire,” Anjuli Kolb, on “Metaphors we Die by: How Literary Language Impacts Public Health.”

The weekend will feature three sessions on Saturday, starting at 5pm, with a panel on the Single National Curriculum, in collaboration with the School of Tomorrow, featuring Ameena Siayid, former MD of Oxford University Press, Shahnaz Wazir Ali, President of SZABIST, Uzma Yousaf, Country Director, Cambridge Assessment, and Rafique Tahir, Joint Education Adviser with the Federal Education Ministry, with Mosharraf Zaidi Senior Fellow, Tabadlab. The recent book of Prof Ishtiaq Ahmed from Stockholm on Jinnah will be launched in conversation with journalist and author, Raza Rumi, followed by a talk on “Why the West Got Rich and the Middle East Did Not,” with author Prof Jared Rubin in conversation with economist Savail Hussain.

Sunday, Feb 14, will feature four panels starting with a keynote talk at 4pm by the 2003 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate, Dr Shirin Ebadi, who will be in conversation with Ms Hina Jillani on women’s rights in Muslim countries. Christopher De Bellaigue’s book, “The Islamic Enlightenment: The Modern Struggle between Faith and Reason,” will be discussed in depth in a conversation with lawyer Salman Akram Raja. Acclaimed historian Ramchandra Guha will discuss his latest book, “The Commonwealth of Cricket” with Senior Editor, ESPNCricinfo, Osman Samiuddin. Rounding of the weekend will be a timely discussion between the doyen of the realist school, Prof John Mearsheimer, who will discuss, “Why a Cold War between China and the United States is Inevitable” with senior journalist Ejaz Haider.

Commenting on the programming, ThinkFest Founder, Dr Yaqoob Bangash, said that the forthcoming weekend was just the start of the ThinkFest Online series which will continue over a couple of months, bringing varied programming to audiences across the world. “While our audience is now the world, our focus is Pakistan, and through ThinkFest Online we hope that people will understand, learn and most especially, dialogue through live questions with our excellent line-up of speakers,” he exclaimed.