Lahore Literary Festival debuts with a bang


For two days, the Al Hamra Arts Council on Lahore’s famous The Mall Road was abuzz with energy as throngs of people came together to attend the Lahore Literary Festival, the first such event ever hosted in the city.
The two-day programme included stirring panel discussions on Urdu and English literature, along with book launches and book readings. Panel discussions included: The Courtesan in Urdu Novels: Legacy of Political Autobiographies: Urdu Writings-Future in the Punjab: The Holy Warrior in Pakistani Cinema: Literature of Resistance: Discovering Pakistan’s English-Language Poetry: Challenges of Language and Storytelling in the 21st Century, and many other informative and thought provoking discussions. The major themes explored during the discussions included politics and culture, and the identity and globalization of Pakistan’s literature. A number of artists and performers also came to participate in the event including a mesmerizing kathak performance by Nahid Siddiqui on day one, and riveting performances by local bands Laal and Qayyas on day two. Internet connectivity services were provided by Wateen Telecom and free water booths were sponsored by Pharmagen.
Panelists and speakers included eminent local and international authors, journalists, artists and intellectuals, such as Bapsi Sidhwa, William Dalrymple, Tariq Ali, Ahmed Rashid, Nayyar Ali Dada, Intizar Hussain and Ayesha Jalal, Daniyal Mueenuddin, Hameed Haroon, Jeet Thayil, Linda Bird Francke, Mohsin Hamid, Nayyar Ali Dada, Salima Hashmi, Tariq Ali, Tehmina Durrani, and Zehra Nigah among others.
Nusrat Jamil Chairperson of LLF’s Advisory Board, commenting on the conclusion of LLF said, “We believe that the first ever Lahore Literary Festival this year is a great step towards re-claiming and celebrating the very essence of our culture particularly amidst such social turmoil. The LLF has all the potential to become the country’s – in fact the whole region’s – favourite and most prestigious literary event.”
Razi Ahmed, the founder of the LLF said “The city government, the sponsors and the people of Lahore have show immense support for the festival over the past two days. We would like to thank all those who volunteered and helped us in conducting a successful festival. We look forward to a bigger and better festival next year. ”