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KLF kicks off today. Here’s what it has to offer this year

SAMAA | - Posted: Feb 9, 2018 | Last Updated: 4 years ago
Posted: Feb 9, 2018 | Last Updated: 4 years ago

KARACHI: The Karachi Literature Festival (KLF), which has been a yearly affair for the past nine years, is starting today. Like every year, the event offers a wide variety of panelists. The three-day festival, which begins today, will end on Sunday.

As per custom, the festival offers book launches and mushairas as well as panel discussions on a variety of topics. Moreover, there will be the usual book fair, author signings and food court. New features have been added to the festival this year: an open mic and a speakers corner. This year’s KLF features around 76 sessions with 235 speakers and/or performers.

Today, the event will open with welcome speeches by Ameena Saiyid, Asif Farrukhi and Adrian Mellor, followed by speeches of festival sponsors. An awards ceremony of KLF-Pepsi (Non-Fiction), KLF-Getz Pharma (Fiction), and KLF-Infaq Foundation (Urdu Literature) Prizes will then be held, followed by keynote speeches by Francis Robinson and Noorul Huda Shah. Shayma Saiyid will then deliver a Kathak performance.


Lovers of the Sindhi language can also rejoice today as a poetry recital is scheduled for today. For those with a penchant for English poetry, a simultaneous panel discussion will be taking place, titled “The Other Muse: Poetry in English”. Since poetry is on the cards, there is yet another session that is being offered today. This one, titled “Aik Hi Shakhs Tha Jehan May Kia: Jaun Elia”, is all set to pay homage to legendary Urdu poet Jaun Elia.

Mubashir Zaidi

Apart from poetry, an important session on “Saving our Children from Predators: Role of Civic Society” is scheduled for today. Journalist Mubashir Zaidi will be among the speakers.

Another interesting panel discussion, titled “Universities or Nurseries of Terrorism?” will also be held today.

What’s up on Day Two

On Saturday (tomorrow), we will find panellists Aurélie Salvaire, Nafisa Shah, Kami Chouhdry, Haris Gazdar and moderator Bina Shah discuss the gender issues that prevail today.

Bina Shah

Pakistani filmmaker Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy will also speak at a session, titled “To Write or Not to Write? Student Voices against the Odds”.

Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy

And perhaps the most number of people will be found listening to the discussion on “Reality catches up with Satire” due to the remarkable speakers.

Zarrar Khuhro

Zarrar Khuhro and Fasi Zaka are the panelists while Nadeem F. Paracha will moderate the session.

Nadeem F. Paracha

Fasi Zaka

Another interesting feature of the festival on Saturday you might not want to miss is “‘Don Akhbar’: Documentary Screening and Discussion on Lyari’s Local Media”.

Zia Rehman

Dostain Baloch, Zia Rehman and Waheed Noor will speak at the session while the moderator will be Nida Kirmani.

The final day

The launch of Dr Kaiser Bengali’s book, “A Cry for Justice: Empirical Insights from Balochistan” is among the most interesting sessions scheduled for Sunday.

Kaiser Bengali

The renowned economist will himself be speaking on the panel. He will also moderate a discussion, titled “When Money Talks”.

Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani

Meanwhile, we will find our charismatic leftist stalwart, Raza Rabbani, gracing a discussion on “The Question of Power: A Constitutional Issue”.

Sheema Kermani

Kishwar Naheed

Be it Sarmad Khoosat who produced the film Manto recently, contemporary Urdu and English poet Harris Khalique, Pakistani heartthrob Fawad Khan, feminist writer Kishwar Naheed or Sheema Kermani, who played an active role in the movement against a sexual harassment case at Karachi University, you will find them all during the course of the event. Bengali author Rosinka Chaudhuri and former Indian diplomat Mani Shankar Aiyar will also attend the event.

Harris Khalique

Stay tuned for a detailed coverage of Karachi’s most awaited festival!

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