Over a hundred luminaries to shine at Faiz festival


Over 70 sessions planned this year

LAHORE: The third Faiz International Festival is going to be kicked off from November 17 to pay homage to one of the greatest poets of the sub-continent Faiz Ahmad Faiz on the eve of his 33rd death anniversary as the legendary poet died on November 20, 1984, in Lahore.

The three-day Faiz Festival jointly organized by the Faiz Foundation Trust and Lahore Art Council would be held from November 17 to 19 at Lahore’s Alhamra Hall.

According to the details, topics related to art, culture, music, film, politics, theatre and poetry would come under discussion in more than 70 different sessions during the three days. The Festival will commence with a play ‘Lo Phir Basant Ayi’ that would be staged by the Ajoka Theatre on the very first day.

Literary sessions would be addressed by the prominent people including renowned poet Zehra Nigah, Mustansar Hussain Tarrar, Amjad Islam Amjad, Dr Arfa Syeda Zehra, Asghar Nadeem Syed, Yasmeen Hameed and Dr Tahir Kamran.

Several sessions on poetry and different genres of literature would be held and a special session ‘70 years of poetry’ would discuss the poetry of Pakistan during the last seven decades. Moreover, a session on Daastaan Goyi (Story Telling) has also been scheduled for the festival.

The sessions on film would be graced by leading artists Javed Sheikh, Nabeel Qureshi, Shaan Shahid, Mian Yusuf Salahuddin, Samiya Mumtaz, Samina Peerzada, Sarmad Khoosat, Bushra Ansari and Mahira Khan.

Renowned artist Bushra Ansari will mesmerize the audience with her powerful performance and Mahira Khan will talk about her upcoming film ‘Verna’. Moreover, a special session to pay homage to one of the greatest filmmakers of the past Riaz Shahid has also been scheduled. Syrian artist Nahel Al Halabi and Palestinian architect Shatha Safi would also participate in the festival.

The sessions on music would be attended by legendary composer Arshad Mahmud, Jawad Ahmed, Nadeem Farooq Paracha and Shafqat Ali Khan. A special discussion on Qawwali has also been planned for one session. Musical performances of British singer Tanya Wells and Tina Sani would also mesmerise the audience while young singers would also sing the poetry of Faiz outside Alhamra hall.

A special session has also been arranged for the Punjabi language and it would be addressed by Mushtaq Soofi, singer Arif Lohar, Bahar Begum and Punjabi poet Dr Sughra Sadaf.

Moreover, two sessions for book launch have also been arranged during the festival. A session on ‘A Sentimental Journey’, the book of renowned Indian author Pran Nevile would be held on the second day of the Festival. Senators Hasil Bizenjo, Aitzaz Ahsan, Afrasiab Khattak, Rubina Khalid, Bushra Gohar, Khushbakht Shujaat, Nuzhat Sadiq, MNA Asad Umar and MPA Shunila Ruth would address the political sessions on the second and third day.

Debate competitions between students hailing from different schools, colleges and universities have also been planned on the second and third day and a theatre workshop for children.

The photographic exhibition of Faiz Ahmed Faiz would remain on display throughout the Festival at Alhamra.

Adeel Hashmi, grandson of Faiz Ahmed Faiz told Pakistan Today that more than one hundred celebrities including some luminaries from outside Pakistan are also going to grace the Faiz International Festival this time to make the three-day festival more.

“The special sessions on art, culture, music, politics, theatre and film would be held simultaneously in all the halls of Alhamra including the gallery and Adbi Baithak to enlighten people,” he said.

He further added that the message of peace given by Faiz would be spread all over the world through this festival as he was confident that people would come in droves to make another Faiz Festival a success.