7th Karachi Literature Festival starts

The seventh Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) will be held on 5, 6, and 7 February 2016 at the Beach Luxury Hotel, Karachi. KLF brings together and celebrates Pakistani and international authors writing in diverse languages. The festival will feature talks, panel discussions, readings, book launches, English and Urdu mushaira, stand-up comedy, author signings, performing arts, art exhibition, film screenings, separate art strand, music, dance, book fair, literary awards, food court, and much more. This was announced by Ameena Saiyid OBE, Managing Director, Oxford University Press (OUP), and Founder/Director, Karachi Literature Festival, and Co-founder, Children’s Literature Festival, in a statement.

“An event like the Karachi Literature Festival, 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,” said Ameena Saiyid. “The Festival has grown rapidly. Attendance rose from roughly 5,000 in 2010 to 1, 25,000 in 2015,” she added.

“KLF is not merely a local affair. With participants and visitors from all over the country, from all four provinces and all of our major cities, this is truly an all-Pakistan event. More so, with participants from India, UK, USA, Germany, France, Italy, and Austria, it is truly an international event,” said Asif Farrukhi, Co-founder of the Karachi Literature Festival.

Ameena Saiyid disclosed that 224 Pakistani and 38 international authors and speakers from seven countries will attend the festival this year. Pervez Hoodbhoy and Fahmida Riaz will be the keynote speakers at the inauguration. The closing ceremony will be addressed by Ziauddin Sardar and Rakhshanda Jalil. There will be 21 book launches and more than 90 sessions.

Among the many literary luminaries, academics, and journalists participating, both from Pakistan and abroad, some of the notable names include Ali Akbar Natiq, Amar Jaleel, Anwar Masood, Arshad Mahmud, Asghar Nadeem Syed, Attiya Dawood, Ayesha Omar, Azra Abbas, Barbara D. Metcalf, Barkha Dutt, Bina Shah, Ishrat Husain, Feryal Ali-Gauhar, H. M. Naqvi, Harris Khalique, Haseena Moin, Hina Rabbani Khar, Imdad Hussaini, Intizar Husain, Jamsheed Marker, Kamila Shamsie, Khurshid Mahmud Kasuri, Kishwar Naheed, Laxmi Narayan Tripathi, Mahtab Akbar Rashdi, Mirza Waheed, Mohammed Hanif, Mustansar Hussain Tarar, Najmuddin Shaikh, Nisar Ahmad Khuhro, Noor ul Huda Shah, Saad Haroon, Sadia Shepard, Sahar Ansari, Salman Khurshid, Sanam Saeed, Sania Saeed, Sarmad Khoosat, Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy, Syed Salim Raza, Tahira Syed, Tapu Javeri, Uzma Aslam Khan, Zaheda Hina, and Zehra Nigah.

Ameena Saiyid also announced that the KLF Coca-Cola Best Non-Fiction Book Prize, KLF Embassy of France Best Fiction Book Prize, KLF Peace Prize (Consulate General and Embassy of Germany) and the KLF Urdu Fiction/Non-Fiction Book Prize will be awarded through the platform of the seventh KLF. The panel of judges for the prizes, including some of Pakistan’s most eminent critics, writers, and scholars, have shortlisted three books for each prize category.

The shortlisted books for the 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.

The books shortlisted for the KLF Urdu Fiction/Non-Fiction Book Prize, being awarded for the first time from the KLF platform, are Ma’aani sey Ziada by Najeeba Arif; Dhoop Kiran by Imdad Husaini; and Alamgeeriyat aur Deegar Mazamin by Nasir Abbas Nayyar .

The annual Karachi Literature Festival is about the promotion of reading, writing, and authors, and of bringing enrichment to people’s minds. As always the entry to the event will be free and the timings will be from 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on 5, 6, and 7 February. This year the USAID-Funded Pakistan Reading Project is the title sponsor of the event. Sponsorship support is also being provided by United Bank Limited; Consulate General of the Federal Republic of Germany, Karachi; Goethe Institute; Embassy of France, Islamabad; Consulate General of France, Karachi; Alliance Francaise, Karachi; U.S. Consulate General, Karachi; Embassy of Italy, Islamabad; Consulate  of  Italy,  Karachi;  British  Deputy  High  Commission;  Lifebuoy;  Lipton; Lays;  British Council; American Institute of Pakistan Studies; South Asian Institute, University of Texas; Coca-Cola; Tehzeeb Foundation; and ArtNow.

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