6th Islamabad Literature Festival Kicks Off Amidst Fanfare

6th Islamabad literature festival 2019
Photo Credit: Abdul Basit

Islamabad Literature Festival (ILF) returned to the country’s capital after a two years’ break. The return of the beloved annual event has has given the residents of the twin cities of Islamabad and Rawalpindi the opportunity to once again listen to and learn from some of the finest minds in Pakistan.

From scholars to revered journalists and from veteran politicians to the country’s most loved personalities from the entertainment industry, Islamabad Literature Festival managed to pull quite a feat this year.

The opening ceremony that was held on Friday, 27th September, commenced with a welcome address from Arshad Saeed Hussain, Managing Director, Oxford University Press. Addressing the large crowd that enthusiastically attended the opening ceremony, Hussain also gave a snapshot of how the festival was expected to pan out over the weekend.

“Over the next two and half days, the various scholarly and creative minds gathered here will deliberate on many issues.There will also be sessions on the economy covering the current economic challenges and the impact of current taxation regime on the common man, on Pakistan’s foreign relations and our geopolitical positioning; on the educational issues of today and the emerging classrooms of tomorrow.”

-Arshad Saeed Hussain

More than 150 speakers covering 55 sessions on various subjects will feature in this three-day event; this also includes 10 international speakers. Additionally, 9 books will also see their launch during the 6th Islamabad Literature Festival.

Islamabad Literature Festival

A recap of the first day of ILF 2019

The first day of ILF saw a beautiful dance performance on the theme of peace and tolerance by Iftikhar Masih.

This was followed by a powerful, musical rendition of Habib Jalib’s poetry by Laal Hartal.

With the mood set right by these soul-stirring performances, former Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Hina Rabbani Khar, former DG ISPR Athar Abbas and Arif Kamal took center stage to talk about, Kashmir: The Valley Seized. This widely attended session was moderated by Ikram Segal.

The first day of the festival also saw the launch of the much anticipated book, The Begum: A Portrait of Ra’ana Liaquat Ali Khan. This book that is jointly written by Deepa Agarwal and Tahmina Aziz documents the life and times of the country’s former First Lady.

Pakistani folk artists and their struggles received limelight on the first day of Islamabad Literature Festival with the documentary film, Indus Blues. Produced by Jawad Sharif, this documentary film was an important step in the right direction to preserve the country’s rich folk traditions that local artists are trying to keep alive with little outside support.

The first day of IFL 2019 finally concluded with yet another powerful performance. This time, it was the Bakhshi Brothers who enthralled the audience with Jahan-e-Sufi – a fusion of folk and qawwali.

What to expect from day 2 and 3?

Apart from speaking events, the festival will also feature stalls from various publishers and organizations from across the country throughout its three-day run.

Islamabad Literature Festival

The 6th Islamabad Literature Festival will continue through the 28th and 29th of September with celebrated Pakistanis such as Nadeem Farooq Paracha, Maheen Usmani, Humayun Saeed and Umar Saif slated to feature during different sessions.