Friday, December 8, 2023

Karachi Literature Festival Bids Farewell with a Magnificent Last Day

KLF bids farewell with a magnificent last day With every hall, session and panel packed to the brim, KLF said good bye to Karachi after a long and educational three days. Hosting a large crowd due to it being a Sunday, the festival was a raging success and every seat in the area was filled with people eager to hear the guests speak and humor them.

With big celebrity literary names like, Muneeza Shamsie, Tariq Rehman, Yasmeen Hamid, Anwar Maqsood, Moni Mohsin, Hameed Shahid, Zulfiqar Kalhoro, Iftikhar Arif, Kishwar Naheed and Ahmed Rashid along with experts in the field of climate change, television, economy and geo politics such as Rashheedah Watts, Ishrat Husain, Michael Kugelman, Shahnaz Wazir Ali, Jehan Ara, Miftah Ismael, Ikram Sehgal, Nadeem Hussain, Syed Salim Raza, Hamid Khan, Makhdoom Ali Khan, and Raza Rabbani gracing the stage the attendees were holding on their every word.

It was with great honor that KLF welcomed two booker prize winners to the event namely; Shehan Karunatilka and Damun Galgut who had so much wisdom to share with the attendees. It was a heartwarming sight to see so many interested students, young adults and the elderly coming together to appreciate literature- the very reason the festival exists in the first place.

The KLF 2023 had a remarkable spell with each day topping the one before it. The sheer amount of intellectual discourse and creative communication that took place at the event was a reminder to the rest of the country that Karachi is still the hub of intellectual events like these. This year’s theme- People, Planet and Possibilities was integrated in every aspect of the festival and of the 60 sessions and 24 book launches, most were connected to it.  The showcasing of short films and the Noori concert added to the quaint charm of the event that very cleverly knows that their audience is sometimes simply looking for unassuming things and that serious conversations need light breaks. The event’s book stalls also wrapped up today with decent sales and the art exhibit at the event exposed the common man to a more refined taste.

Perhaps the sweetest moment of the third day was the casual and adorable conversations between Anwar Maqsood and his wife Imrana Maqsood, recollecting lovely moments from their lives and discussing how they make their relationship work. That in addition to the sessions on the Pakistani economy and politics held great interest for the attendees as they got to ask their burning questions and were rewarded with instant gratification of having them answered.

These three days of KLF 2023 were possible because of companies like Habib Bank Ltd. (HBL), Getz Pharma, EBM, NEO Paints who selflessly sponsored the event as well as the awards that were granted to authors who have published their works in both Urdu and English. The international community was also integral to the event and appeared in the form of The British high commission, The French Embassy, British Council, The Lincoln center and the US embassy. KLF by OUP has continued support from these channels so that it can bridge the literary gaps in the city.

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