Book Lover or not, this is a festival one should not miss out on. Starting from 5th February 2016, this three day event will be the seventh one in the country. It is to be held at the Beach Luxury Hotel, Karachi; Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) brings together and celebrates both Pakistani and International authors’ writings in diverse languages.
KLF Founder/Director and Oxford University Press Managing Director Ameena Saiyid said, ‘An event like KLF, the seventh in this city, is like a beacon whose light spreads out far beyond the grounds of the Beach Luxury Hotel, indeed, far beyond this city itself.’ The festival will be a top-notch event with talks, panel discussions, readings, book launches, English and Urdu mushaira, author signings, performing arts, exhibition, film screenings, book fair, literary awards, food courts and so much more. The festival has been a major success in the previous years with attendance which was roughly from 5,000 in 2010 to 125,000 in 2015.
With participants not only from Pakistan but from all over the globe including India, UK, US, Germany, France, Italy and Austria, this event is much more than just an event, it is an International event. And for the very first time, Urdu fiction and non-fiction work would be recognized an awarded.
Saiyid also mentioned that around 224 Pakistani and 38 international authors and speakers from different countries would attend the event. Not only that, there will be around 21 book launches and more than 90 sessions, which are to be held, with five sessions running simultaneously at one time. Additionally, an ‘Italy Reads Pakistan’ award will also be announced in which a Pakistani book will be translated into Italian and will be launched at the KLF in 2018.
According to further details, Pervez Hoodbhoy and Fahmida Riaz will be the keynote speakers at the inauguration, while the closing ceremony will be addressed by Ziauddin Sardar and Rakhshanda Jalil. Among many participating journalists, academics, literary personalities, some of the notable names include Ali Akbar Natiq, Amar Jaleel, Anwar Masood, Arshad Mahmud, Anupam Kher, Asghar Nadeem Syed, Attiya Dawood, Ishrat Husain, Hina Rabbani Khar, Imdad Hussaini, Sarmad Khoosat, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Tapu Javeri and many more.
In regards to the sessions that are to be held, some of them include a session on Rumi by Fehmida Riaz, several sessions on comedy, ‘Chaap Tilak: Amir Khusro’s Harvest of Folk Songs’ and ‘Abhi to Main Jawaan Hoon: A Tribute to Malika Pukhraj.’
The shortlisted books for KLF Best Non-Fiction Book Prize include ‘Rethinking Identities in Contemporary Pakistani Fiction: Beyond 9/11‘ by Aroosa Kanwal, ‘A Princely Affair: The Accession and Integration of the Princely States of Pakistan 1947-1955′ by Yaqoob Khan Bangash and ‘Purifying the Land of the Pure: Pakistan’s Religious Minorities’ by Farahnaz Ispahani. Six books have also been shortlisted for three German Peace Prize awards. The books shortlisted for the KLF Urdu Fiction/Non-Fiction Book Prize are ‘Ma’aani sey Ziada’ by Najeeba Arif, ‘Dhoop Kiran’ by Imdad Husaini and ‘Alamgeeriyat aur Deegar Mazamin’ by Nasir Abbas Nayyar.
This annual event is all about promoting the reading and writing culture in the country, enhancing people’s minds. As always the entry will be free and the timings will be from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. during the 3 day event. This year the USAID-Funded Pakistan Reading Project is the title sponsor of the event.