Islamabad Literature Festival 2017 begins

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Over 100 Pakistani and international authors, academics, artists to attend Islamabad Literature Festival 2017

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More than 100 Pakistan and foreign authors, academics, journalists, and artists are attending Islamabad’s fifth literary festival, which began on April 14 and will continue till April 16.

The festival being held at the Margalla Hotel will celebrate and analyze 70 years of literature in Pakistan.

Speaking at a press conference, Oxford University Press Managing Director Ameena Saiyid said the Islamabad Literature Festival (ILF) is about celebrating writers, poets, reading culture and interacting with the international community. “ILF aims to provide a forum for local and international writers and readers to interact, exchange ideas and engage in dialogue, debates and readings,” she said.

Islamabad Literature Festival 2017 will feature talks and interviews, panel discussions, a book fair, book launches, mushairas, dramatic readings and signings. This year’s festival will include some new sessions as well as English mushairas, dance performances and sessions conducted in Pashtu and Punjabi.

Speakers from around eight countries, including USA, Canada, India, Bangladesh, Italy, France, and Germany, would participate in the festival. Some 150 speakers will be taking part in the festival. Amardeep Singh and A.G. Noorani from India, David Waterman from France, Elisa Jori from Italy and Charles Kennedy from the US are some of the international writers who will be attending the three-day event and speaking at the sessions.

The festival will include 50 sessions and seven book launches, and literature in English, Urdu, Hindi, French, German, Punjabi and Pashtu will be featured. Pakistani speakers include the Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani, Aitzaz Ahsan, Anwar Maqsood, I.A. Rehman, Kishwar Naheed, Nafisa Shah and Sherry Rehman.

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Islamabad Literature Festival 2017

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The dramatic readings will include a presentation of Allama Iqbal’s Shikwa Jawab-i-Shikwa, where the shikwa will be read out and the jawab-i-shikwa will be sung and the highlights include a one-person mushaira, where the performer will read out poems in the voice of their authors.

Renowned poet Kishwar Naheed said this was a celebration of the literature produced in the 70 years since partition and to tell the younger generation what was and what was not included in the history recorded since.

There has been an increase in the number of people attending the ILF over the years which shows an increase in reading culture, which in turn will lead to the development of the country, Defense analyst retired Lt Gen Talat Masood commented.

According to a handout provided at the press conference, 15,000 people attended the 2013 ILF, 10,000 had come to the one held in 2014, 30,000 attended in 2015 and 60,000 visitors came to last years’ festival.

Here is the complete programme of the 5th Islamabad Literature Festival so you can decide beforehand which sessions you would like to attend.

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