The Decade: Karachi Literature Festival #khilf

The tenth Karachi Literature Festival opened its doors at the scenic backdrop of the Beach Luxury Hotel grounds in Karachi, Pakistan with an amazing footfall of the literary world coming to enjoy the event which spanned over three days. Welcoming guests, both foreign and Pakistani with warmth, organisation (and style) it was a set over the weekend with intellectual discourse in their panel discussions and meetings with writers and intellectuals from all over the world. The evenings brought about a different flavour with Urdu poetry readings and even music concerts to lend more depth to the culturally infused character of the festival. Pepsi, one of the sponsors of the event organised a battle of the bands which created excitement and fanfare amongst music lovers.

One could see the patronage brought about by the immense crowd on different scheduled events. The festival outside of the main area had a food court to eat and buy refreshments, regroup and rest one’s tired feet only to go back for other sessions taking place throughout the day. Each day brought a jampacked schedule. I found myself split into various and diverse aspects of Pakistani culture. I could sit in an analysis concerning economic policy or only a few hours later, be transported to another world with famous actors such as Asif Raza Mir discussing the cinematic industry. From the historically preserved craft of string puppetry, showing the original mastery of the traditional Pakistani theatre, presented by the Thespianz Society, to classical dance performances, the festival covered it all. The culmination of the rich colour of all aspects in Pakistan was captured and presented to awed audiences.

My favourite moments of course as a blogger were the different spots in parts throughout the event set up where one could take a snapshot for a memory. A photo booth with guests and visitors was present too. The book fair section in the event was huge…I could’ve spent hours browsing through. It seemed that 3 days just didn’t seem enough and one had to say goodbye to the event.

We must continue such endeavours and support them if even only by attending. It is in these moments with such cultural exchange and dialogue strengthened by diversity from invitees and presentations, one sees Pakistan in its true element; a place of learning and culture and development

The Karachi Literature Festival is the event of the year for writers, critics, thinkers, philosophers, entertainers and of course bibliophiles. Their outlook with the change of times has caught on and fresh blood has entered the scene. The new head of the Oxford University Pakistan (OUP) is Arshad Saeed Hussain who has taken over the reins. Raheela Baqai is Chairing the Literature Committee in organising and she was seen as a maestro on each event. The decision to upgrade its look was brought about by the exit of old guns who although gave it the standpoint it is, but were unable to push it beyond the limits for the ever-changing world today. Growing with the new is now an adopted philosophy and it was very much seen with the blend of acknowledgement and respect paid to senior writers and influencers alongside the integration of young and emerging talent thus showing the definitive change that is overtaking the “New Pakistan” which stands today. What better way than for the intellectuals of society to focus on the youth which will be our leaders to follow.

With the central theme “Focusing on Tomorrow” aiming at the youth of Pakistan. The revolutionary steps which have taken place in Pakistan as now citizens are realising that although change is inevitable, it is very much here for us as part of Pakistani mindset.

The Honourable chief guest, Governor Sind Mr Imran Ismail supported the positive role of such events for Pakistan.

A note to take into consideration was the efficiency of Pakistani student volunteers from different universities and schools such as Bahria College and University, Hamptons School, IBA etc. The boys and girls touting their red Oxford University tees were noted assisting guests throughout the event. What joy to see such synchronicity and volunteer work displayed by the youth of Pakistan.

We must continue such endeavours and support them if even only by attending. It is in these moments with such cultural exchange and dialogue strengthened by diversity from invitees and presentations, one sees Pakistan in its true element; a place of learning and culture and development.

The Karachi Literature Festival is sponsored by the Oxford University Press and the British Council. Sponsor Partners included names such as JS Bank, Martin Dow and KE Electric and PEPSI.

The writer is a Lifestyle Blogger and writer, covering all positive things from Pakistan.

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