The 8th annual Karachi Literature Festival (KLF), sponsored by the Oxford University Press ended on Sunday. It was the conclusion of a stunning and fascinating weekend that breathed new life and colour into the metropolis and its people.
Thousands of people, including literary icons, politicians and showbiz personalities, attended various sessions of the festival. People also showed a keen interest in book stalls set up at the event.
Throughout all three days of the event, thousands of citizens showed up to buy books, attend sessions or have snacks from the food court.
The event was attended by renowned speakers from Pakistan and abroad.
A large number book stalls were set up for customers. A mobile book shop was set up in the main garden of the hotel. Throughout the three days, over 200 speakers informed, amused and entertained the audience.
Veteran actress Shabnam was also present in the KLF. Shabnam, while speaking about her real and reel life names, said, “I worked in over 150 films. Initially, it was difficult for me to work in Urdu films, but slowly and gradually I became more confident.”
Shabnam—who ruled the Pakistani film industry for three decades—shared that she worked with all the actors of her time. “I had great respect for Muhammad Ali; therefore, I had a relation of respect with him. On the other hand, I had family terms with Nadeem, due to which we were quite close and good friends, too,” she said. “Mehnaz’s voice went really well with my personality.”
“By looking at the atmosphere in Pakistan today, I really want to work again; I will definitely work if I will get a good role,” she said. “Pakistan is my nation and I feel happy when I am here.” “I followed Pakistani dramas on a channel in Bangladesh… but it’s difficult to get [Pakistani] films there,” she added.
Shabnam thanked all her fans for remembering her and giving her so much respect on her visit to Pakistan.
A tribute to Junaid Jamshed was also paid.
Bina Shah opened her session with a moment of silence for former Sindh education minister Dr Hamida Khuhro, who had passed away on the same day.
Syed Shafaat Ali entertained the crowd in the main garden with his popular impressions of political figures.
Laleh Khalili talked about the need to take a holistic approach to the understanding of the conflicts in Syria and Palestine.
Ashraf Jehangir Qazi said, “Endless human suffering, misery and bloodshed…There seems to be no solution in sight for Syria and Palestine.”
Hamna Zubair was the moderator for Nadeem Farooq Paracha’s book launch. The author of the book Paracha said he disappoints a lot of people because he is not what they expect.
Introducing the book ‘Ajmer Sharif: Awakening of Sufism in South Asia’ by Reema Abbasi, Ameena Saiyid said, “It is not a coffee table book, although it has 200 beautiful photographs. It’s a wonderful look at Ajmer Sharif and its pilgrims.”
It was believed by Mohiuddin Chisty during a session that hunger is above any doctrine.
Adeel Hashmi recited the poetry by his grandfather and leading figure in Urdu poetry, Faiz Ahmed Faiz.
Faisal Raza’s documentary on transgender issues won first place.
The festival gives voice, visibility and readership to writers and authors,” KLF founder and Oxford University Press Managing Director Ameena Saiyid said of the annual event.
Bobby Sager and Muhammed Hanif were the keynote speakers of this year.