LAHORE: The two-day Children Literature Festival (CLF), in collaboration with the Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA), concluded at the historic Lahore Fort.
The festival was inaugurated at Deewan-e-Aam Bagh by Punjab Minister Rana Mashood Khan. This year, CLF celebrated the idea of peace, heritage and 70 years of Pakistan and highlighted the cultural treasure trove of the country.
Organised by CLF and WCLA, it brought children from all parts of the city together to promote literature, heritage and young talent. The festival was a colourful educational learning platform that promoted culture and learning through multiple expressions.
An enriched event of cultural festivities, workshops, storytelling sessions, discussions and interactive sessions took place with renowned resource persons, ambassadors of CLF and institutions associated with the festival.
True to its word, CLF kicked off its first day with a celebration of the young talent it encouraged through months of pre-festival school engagement. The District Education Authority and Special Education Department’s support for the children’s festival was apparent in the huge number of visiting students.
Amjad Islam Amjad, Salima Hashmi and Arfa Syeda Zehra appreciated the winners from the art, singing and writing categories of the talent hunt. Insightful conversations with Ameena Saiyid, Zubeida Mustafa, Faisal Bari and Dr Fouzia Khan were followed by theatrical performances and puppet shows by Sufi Tabassum Theatre Group, Atif Badar, Suneha Puppet Group and Fawad Khan.
Moreover, the event was webbed with interesting book stalls and displays like – ‘Bill gates da adda’ by Microsoft and storytelling corners created by Alif Laila Book Bus Society, the British Council Libraries, Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi, Harsukh and Hast-o-Neest. Keeping the literary theme of the festival alive, The Happiee Place and the Oxford University Press conducted how to bind a book and the art of illustration workshops respectively.
In addition to that, the Maktab Khana of the fort showcased sufi stories – the art of calligraphy by Naqsh Art School, while Bagh-e-Maktab was instilled with illustrative workshops by the British Council.
Another area of the venue featured as Kahani-Aangan – Khawab Gah Shah Jahan was supported by Beaconhouse School System, where story telling sessions by Narmeen Hamid, Sara Tehseen, Rumana Hussain, Amra Alam and Hareem Sumbul took place.
Science Fuse, ITA, Citizens Archive of Pakistan and AzCorp Entertainment lent more variety to the learning activities planned for children. Sheherezade Alam and potters from Harappa engaged visitors in recreating seals from the ancient Indus Valley civilisation. The Naqsh School of Arts conducted calligraphy workshops while Fauzia Minallah’s 100-feet long Amai’s Scarf of Peace simmered in the sunlight in front of Dewaan-e-Aam.
“Due to circumstances beyond our control, we had to postpone the CLF and re schedule it. We deeply regret the inconvenience caused. We are back today to make our children happy; multiply the love for stories, storytelling, creativity and reading for expanding our imagination,” said Baela Jamil while announcing the need to celebrate learning, reading, storytelling, and children focused activities.
“Lahore is a city steeped in heritage and culture; we are extremely proud of this collaborative effort with the WCLA,” she said. Commenting on the event, Kamran Lashari said that it has been a great pleasure collaborating with the CLF team to help create this amazing event for everyone. “We are confident that it will provide a source of entertainment and education for all, and are hopeful that such collaborations will take place in the future.”
The first day of the festival ended with Ali Noor and Rakae Jamil’s performance with students selected through the young voices of CLF event that was earlier judged by Noor Zehra and Mian Yousaf Salahuddin. The event had a footfall of more than 50,000 visitors. Ali Hamza’s performance with Rakae Jamil concluded the two-day festival amongst much fanfare and appreciation from the literary circle and general public alike.