The virtual edition ends with stimulating speeches, debates


Islamabad: The third and final day of the 8th Islamabad Literature Festival (ILF) held virtually and hosted by Oxford University Press (OUP) was once again a day filled with stimulating speeches, debates and launches by books.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the ILF continued as a virtual event with a few face-to-face sessions and a select audience observed the full COVID SOPs.

The virtual edition of the 8th ILF was supported by numerous sponsors with Bank of Punjab as the main sponsor of the event.

The day started with a session on Cartooning: No Laughing Matter. The famous cartoonists Nigar Nazar, creator of “Gogi” and Shaukat Mahmood, creator of “Maxim” with Ricardo Martinez Ortega and Mahnaz Yazdani share that creating wit and humor in images is indeed not a question of to laugh.

The panel of speakers at Yaad e Raftagan had Fateh Muhammad Malik, Asghar Nadeem Syed, Najeeba Arif, Harris Khalique and Hameed Shahid and moderator Humaira Ishfaq paying tribute to those who have passed away while leaving behind a rich legacy of their literary works. for future generations.

The morning session also saw Kishwar Naheed, the matriarch of the resistance writing, in conversation with Mujahid Barelvi, for the launch of his book, Buri Aurat ki Doosri Katha [The Bad Woman’s Second Story]—A sequel to his autobiography, Buri Aurat Ki Katha [The Bad Woman’s Story].

Kishwar Naheed remains one of Pakistan’s most prolific Urdu poets and chroniclers. There were two other book launches.

In Dying to Serve: Militarism, Affect and the Politics of sacrifice in the Pakistan Army, author Maria Rashid, in conversation with Nida Kirmani, explained how the book portrays morale and engagement in military culture. from Pakistan with compassion.

The Autobiography of Bacha Khan: My Life and My Struggle is a lucid and historical English translation of the original Pushto had a panel which included the translator, Imtiaz Ahmed Sahibzada with Rafiullah Kakar, Xenia Rasul Khan and was moderated by Fasi Zaka.

Changing Landscapes: A Conversation on Climate in Literature and Society, an expert panel consisting of Ahmad Rafay Alam, Elizabeth-Jane Burnett and Bilal Zahoor and moderator Zaighum Abbas discussed raising awareness of human activities that have been the main driver of climate change.

The Afternoon Hairat ka Bagh session saw author Hameed Shahid discuss his new work, a short story collection and a novel, steeped in the mysteries and wonders of life.

Moderator Fasi Zaka engaged with author, Omar Mukhtar Khan in Once upon a time in Murree which captures the writer’s nostalgic love for the magical hill station.

A special ILF panel with Vaqar Ahmed, Ashfaq Yousuf Tola, Aliya Hashmi Khan and moderated by Rashid Masood Alam discuss the impact of offshore tax havens during the session: Panama, Pandora and Pakistan, a hot topic of topicality.

The session on Digital Education: A New Standard began with an introduction by Fathima Dada, MD, Education Division, OUP UK in which she spoke about a new global report released by OUP UK, the largest press scholar in the world, exploring the digital divide in education, following the switch to digital learning during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This was followed by a panel discussion between Tallah Munir Khan, Nusrat Baquee, Sarah Farooq, moderated by Daniel Atif, further highlighting the trends shaping the digital learning landscape around the world, with a focus on Pakistan .

Book launch: Woman’s plaining: Navigating Activism, Politics and Modernity in Pakistan edited by Sherry Rehman highlights the potential of Pakistani women, their innovative thinking and their commitment to activism.

Launch of the book: Marginalization, Contestation and Change in South Asian Cities, edited by Nida Kirmani, enabled Rohit Negi, Kabeer Dawani and Nida Kirmani to discuss struggles for space, resources, identities and meaning that take place in the cities of Southeast Asia.

The late afternoon sessions included Pakistan: Current Challenges and Priorities with Maleeha Lodhi and Owen Bennett-Jones in conversation with Arifa Noor on the current challenges Pakistan faces.

The powerful session on We the People: What Does the Constitution Say? where the eminent panelists, Wasim Sajjad, Raza Rabbani and Ahmer Bilal Soofi, moderated by Mujahid Barelvi, aimed to dispel errors and expose the facts of the 1973 Constitution.

Web Series: The Future of Digital Entertainment in which leading figures in the arts and entertainment, Beo Zafar, Mehreen Jabbar and Sania Saeed with moderators, Khalid Anam discussed the scope and scriptwriting for web series in the digital age.

The final day ended with closing speeches by Francis Pritchett, Najiba Arif and Owen Bennett Jones. Alia Zafar, Group Leader, People and Organizational Excellence, The Bank of Punjab congratulated Oxford University Press Pakistan for organizing a wonderful event and reiterated the Bank of Punjab’s commitment to supporting Literature Festivals organized by Oxford University Press.

MD Oxford University Press Pakistan, Arshad Saeed Hussain thanked all the sponsors, especially Bank of Punjab, and said: “The deliberations of the last three days have examined and analyzed the most important and most economic, environmental or educational issues – and have helped each of us to form an opinion about them. And that’s not all this 8th ILF was about. It was about the creative spirit and directions and developments in fiction, theater, media and the world of ideas… and it was about the fun of poetry in Urdu and English. On social media, ILF was able to reach 671,000 (671,103) people through posts, stories, videos and was able to involve a number of 40,000 (40,000) people. As of Friday evening, live sessions have recorded 60,000 (60,000) views and were increasing daily.

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