The sixth Alhamra International Literary and Cultural festival concluded on Sunday after three days of eventful sessions.
A total of 38 sessions were held during the three days ranging from art to culture and music to theater. The festival was attended by literary icons and luminaries from all over the world while the local people also participated with great fervor.
On the final day, a special session was held to pay tribute to legendary singer Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan in which Shah Nawaz Zaidi spoke about the art and work of the singer. In another session, experts talked about “100 years of Urdu Short Story”. Famous short story writers Intizar Hussain and Masood Ashar and literary critic Amjad Tufail addressed the event.
In a session titled “Radio Pakistan Lahore Ki Kahani”, speakers recalled the early days of the Radio Pakistan. Veteran artist Irfan Khoosat said on the occasion that there was a time when drama was heard with great zeal on the radio and the institution created a number of great artists. He said that a radio listener creates the image of his hero in his own imagination and the experience cannot be achieved through television. Radio artist Afzal Rehman said that the radio used to reach far flung areas as people in villages listened to it attentively. In another session, speakers talked about the work of Faiz Ahmad Faiz. The session was attended by I.A Rhman and Moneeza Hashmi.
The closing session was presided over by Governor Punjab Malik Rafique Rajwana and attended by Pakistan Academy of Letters Chairman Dr Qasim Bughio, Chairman Lahore Arts Council Attaul Haq Qasmi, iconic writer Intizar Hussain, Asghar Nadeem Syed, Hassina Moeen and Kevil Dheer from India. Asghar Nadeem Syed said that Lahore is a city which gave birth to several literary movements and the citizens of Lahore had proved that they were rich in tradition as they had made the festival successful by participating in huge numbers.
Attaul Haq Qasmi said that the literary festival would generate debate and discussion for the whole year because of its success. He said that people got an ample opportunity to have discussions with the leading poets and intellectuals of the country. Intizar Hussain said that the Lahore Arts Council had become very active since the joining of Atta Qasmi as its chairman. He said that literary festivals have been organized with great enthusiasm during the last few years. “The participation of people in these festivals is a reflection that Pakistanis still have regard for great traditions of our society,” Intizar Hussain concluded.
The Punjab governor said in his address that poets and intellectuals are an asset for the country as their writings play an important part in shaping a society. “I am honored to come here in this festival of thinkers, poets and writers”, he said. He further added that the festival represented a symbol of federation in its essence as writers from all the provinces participated in it. “I congratulate the team of Alhamra and Lahore Arts Council by holding such an eventful festival,” he said.