LAHORE: People from all over the provincial capital thronged to the Alhamra Arts Council for the first full-fledged day of the fourth Faiz International Festival.
The fourth edition of the festival honouring the life and work of the great Urdu poet kicked off with a talk between two of the language’s greatest living poets, Amjad Islam Amjad and the visiting Javed Akhtar from across the border.
Moderated by Ambreen Salahuddin, the back and forth between the two authors kept the audience enthralled through out.
The next time slot was occupied by a mesmerising dance performance by students from Lahore Grammar School, which wowed the audience.
Salima Hashmi and Imran Abbas also took to the stage at the same time for a talk titled “Blurring the Boundaries: Imagine the Film.”
Another fascinating event that took place was a talk by Natasha Jozi titled “Space, Place and Art: A Discussion on Art for Public Spaces and People”. Talking about her recent curation of an exhibition of performing art titled “Body Becoming”, she discussed her experience in putting the exhibition together and how Pakistan was opening up to the new art form never introduced in the country before.
Javed Akhtar and Amjad Islam Amjad took to stage again later for a session of recitation. Reciting their new and old poetry, the tete a tete between the poets kept the crowds enthralled with the beauty of their words.
Two talks were also of a deeply political nature, with the first being moderated by Dr Ali Madeeh Hashmi and the guests being MNA from Waziristan and Pashtun Tahafuz Movement leader Ali Wazir, AWP leader Ismat Shahjahan, and Dr Aasim Sajjad Akhtar. However, Ali Wazir was reportedly not allowed to speak at the event.
The second talk was titled “Pakistan: The Way Forward” with leaders from all major political parties participating. The ruling PTI was represented by Dr Yasmeen Rashid, the PML-N by Shaista Pervaiz Malik, the PPP by Raza Rabbani Khar and the ANP by Afsariab Khattak.
The night’s main event, of course, was Ziya Moheyuddin, who did his signature readings of the late Mushtaq Ahmed Yusufi.
Already a master at delivering the short, nuanced humor of Yusufi, the talk was made all the more poignant by the constant realisation that Yusufi is no longer among us.
A fitting tribute to the late satirical giant, the talk was the ideal ending to the second day of the festival.