Adab Festival attracts thousands of literature lovers

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KARACHI: The first-ever three-day long Adab Festival Pakistan concluded at the Sindh Governor’s House on Sunday attracting thousands of writers, poets, intellectuals and literature lovers during the three days of the festivity.

Ameena Saiyid and Asif Farrukhi, the founders of the Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) a few years back are the co-founders of the Adab Festival, spoke at the festival that featured various sessions on various topics at the festival. The three-day festival started on February 1, 2019.

While talking to Pakistan Today on the sideline of the festival, Asif Farrukhi said that the idea of arranging Adab Festival Pakistan was aimed at establishing a new route through which culture, tradition, literature and arts can travel to join the world’s assembly of diversity.

“At the festival, the various session highlighted the diverse culture and literature of Pakistan and a number of books launched, talks and interviews were held while different books stalls, food and theatre were also arranged to entertain those visiting the festival,” he said.

“We did not use the name of ‘Pakistan Literature Festival’ as the Oxford University Press had filed legal proceedings against restraining us not to use such name on a temporary basis. We are rigorously contesting such legal proceedings but since there is no legal restraint against us holding literature festivals, we have decided to hold it in the name of the Adab Festival Pakistan.

“Pakistan’s historically rich and diverse literature and cultures have long been facing challenges, resulting in stifled diversity of expression and in stereotypes we sometimes internalise. The overall public response at the festival remained as great,” he added.

On the third day of the festival, a number of sessions were arranged; however, the launch of Iftikhar Salahuddin’s book ‘If Stones Could Speak, Echoes from the Past’ attracted a large number of audiences. The book launch event was held by prominent writer Javed Jabbar in the Thar Foundation Pavilion.

While launching the book, the author Iftikhar Salahuddin, a renowned physician and traveller said that he and his wife used to visit different countries and take photographs there but thought of going beyond photography to find the history behind each photograph later.

“I took photographs included them in the book with a brief history on them so that the readers could have a real image of that era,” he concluded.