Karachi Literature Festival 2017

Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) is the literature festival that provides the connection between the author and the reader. It is also a platform for art performers and cultural programs.

The festival starts with the welcome speeches by the organizers followed by the performance by  Asif Sinan.

In her keynote speech Ayesha Jalal  said that, “Pakistan needs to focus on gaining consumer rights before political rights.”


Asif Sinan performing at KLF

Then there was an Award ceremony of KLF Pepsi and the winner of the prize for the non-fiction book of the year was “The Raj at War” by Yasmeen Khan. The Getz Pharma Prize for fiction went to Omar Shahid Hamid for his “The Spinner’s Tale”. The Infaq Urdu literature prize went to Nasir Abbas Nayyar.

First day was concluded by a captivating ‘Kathak’ performance by Shayma Saiyid.


Shayma Saiyid at KLF

This year there were 18 book launches at KLF but I really wanted to attend the launch event of Omar Shahid’s new book “The Party Worker” but unfortunately couldn’t reach the festival on day 2  cos I got sick.

So I went to the festival on day 3 and at the entry there was stall of Tapal Danedar where people were standing in queues to get Chai/Tea proves that how much we love Tea.

Tapal at KLF2017

First I attended ‘Celebrating Faiz’ where  Zehra Negah an Urdu poet  praised his work by saying  that, “He was an evergreen, extremely generous and down-to-earth man who was open to criticism.” Adeel Hashmi  concluded the session by reading  Faiz’s sublime poetry.

After that I had to the Book Fair, first stop was Liberty Books to buy my copy of ‘The Party Worker’.

The Party Worker

And I found the some great collection Marvel and DC Comics at the some book stall at the end of the Book Fair.

Comics at KhiLF

Last session of the day was ‘Memories and Reflections’ by  Zia Mohyeddin who needs no introduction. It was a treat for me to listen him reading  the paragraph from his book “The God Of My Idolatry”.


Zia Mohyeddin at KLF

Then  there was closing speeches by Ameena Saiyid and Asif Farrukhi followed by Performences by Shayma Saiyid and Suhaee Abro and a concert by Saif Samejo.


KHIBookSwap – Story so far

The Beginning:

I had a dream that there should be a book club where readers from twitter should gather and share their love for the books. Back in August, 2014 that dream became reality thanks to Ifrah Waqar. Together we made Pakistan’s first ever Book-Swapping Book Club called KHIBookSwap. We had our first meeting in August with only three members and now we have 130 members at our Facebook Group.

How it works:

Every month we decide and announced theme for our meetup. It could be ‘Genre of the Month’ or ‘Book of the Month’. Then we meet and discuss it accordingly and swap books at the end of our meeting. In between we do different activities like Book Shopping or Blind Date with a Book.


Currently there are three projects in progress. There is an instagram hash-tag series #KBSKitabReview where our members upload a book cover photo which they’ve finished recently on instagram with a small review and its rating out of 5. Recently I started two new projects Word Inc. and KBSSnailMail.

Word Inc. is a yearly online magazine where I include selected prose and poetry shared by our members via email. If you want to be part of it, kindly share your prose or poetry at First issue can be read here.

KBSSnailMail is a project where I combine snail mail with book swap, rules for this project can be found here.

Alhamdulillah! Now we have completed 2 years. In these years we have become a family, where we shared our favorite quotes and books, explored different genres and celebrate birthdays together. It was not possible without my partner in crime Ifrah . . . who always listened to me every time and gave suggestions to make our book club better and our regular members who are always present at our meetups shared their reviews and filled it with so much laughter and unforgettable memories.

If you want to become a part of our book club you can join us here.

Find us here:



Facebook Group:




Magical Times at Dolmen Mall

Pakistan’s first international standard mall, Dolmen mall, is renowned for always staying a step ahead of its competitors. As summer 2016 approached its end, Dolmen hosted the city’s biggest Back to School Festival. Held from 29th to 31st July 2016 across all three Dolmen Malls, the festival aimed at school going kids and families; giving them a chance to celebrate and be excited about the beginning of another scholastic year.

Harry Potter Launch Party

The Marketing Head at Dolmen, Anum Nadeem said, “We’re holding this event for the first time and are expecting families to shop, eat and have fun. We’ve brought together some great shopping options for our customers.

Harry Potter Launch Party

At Dolmen Mall Clifton, the Back to School edition of the Dolmen Bazaar saw leading retailers like Hub, Leisure Club, KidzDunya & Sindbad as well as budding entrepreneurial ventures like Magic Hands and Paperworks showcase their Back to school range. From school bags, notebooks and stationery to a delightful display of balloon art, the little ones thoroughly enjoyed themselves in this maze of amazement. Parents, on the other hand, rejoiced the rare opportunity for their kids to have fun in a safe and family-friendly environment.

Harry Potter Launch Party

Adding some magic to the cauldron of excitement, Dolmen Mall conjured up the launch of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child in collaboration with Liberty Books on the third day of Back to School Festival.The launch of the 8th Harry Potter book was held on Harry Potter’s birthday, 31st July. The response was staggering; the event saw a union of three generations of Potterheads. From five year old HP fanatics flaunting painted scars on their foreheads, to tweens donned in wizard’s robes -even grownups didn’t shy away from swishing their wands and crying out ‘WingardiumLeviosa”. Fans lined up at 9:30 AM to receive their copy of the awaited book on this unique occasion where Harry Potter fandom was so majestically celebrated in Pakistan. Thematic décor, wands, hats, trivia games, giveaway for the best dressed fans and countless photo opportunities with a truly magical ambiance and music, the event was a memorable one.

Harry Potter Launch Party

Dolmen Mall capitalized on the organic pull of Harry Potter fandom and took Back to School Festival to a whole new level. The event exceeded expectation on all fronts, and provided visitors with three days of festivity in a completely family-friendly environment. Dolmen aims to continue surprising its visitors with more such events in the future.

Harry Potter Launch Party

Bloggers and Key Opinion Leaders were hosted by Dolmen Mall and given out special Harry Potter themed giveaways. They shared the impact the book has had on their lives and also relived their back to school memories. They were provided refreshments in the form of crispy and grilled chicken from Golden Chick and delicious cupcakes and coffee from Lals. Everyone left the vicinity of the mall happy and content, with their copy of their favorite book with them.

Exclusive Tour of the New British Council Library in Karachi

As a co-founders of KHIBookSwap, yesterday I and Ifrah Waqar were invited by the British Council for a exclusive tour of their newly opened library located at the British High Commission on Shahrah-e-Iran, Clifton.

Rabeea Arif, Manager of Libraries and Outreach Services and Maarya, Director Libraries at British Council Pakistan gave us a very brief tour of the library.

I was expecting a librarian at the reception and the place will be filled with lots of bookshelves but I was wrong. It was very grey and bright space designed by an award winning architect. Library was equipped with lots of high-tech stuff. First there was a digital booth to check-in and checkout the books. A self-service counter, where you can checkout up to six books and four DVDs at one time.

On the opposite side there was a huge shelve filled with lots of graphic novels. They’ve 800 graphic novels including all the famous Marvel and DC comics.

Currently they have 12,000 books available in 20 different genres. All the bookshelves have wheels so they can easily be moved to create more space. They have one auditorium which can accommodate 100 people for hosting different literary events along with two study halls and they all had collapsible walls. They’ve planned some events for Roald Dahl 100th anniversary as Rabeea told us.

British Council Library

Story telling and reading area for children

At one corner there was very a colorful reading area for the children surrounded by children books.

At the end of our tour Maarya gave us a demo of the Digital Table. It can be used to browse digital library, which has a huge collection of e-books, magazines, articles, digital media, newspapers. It also provides access to JSTOR – another digital library for academic journals, books, and primary sources. In between Rabeea Arif posted this picture on twitter.

Right now there are 3 different memberships available:

  • Individual Membership for 6000Rs*
  • Digital Membership for 3500Rs
  • Family Membership for 15000Rs*

* Individual and Family membership are only available for the residents in Karachi while people outside Karachi can avail Digital Membership.

The library will be open for public in August 2016.

More info can be found at

From Photo Walk to a Book Shopping

Today I organized Howdy Stranger! A Flickr Photowalk at Frere Hall, Karachi. As usual people were late so I checked out the Sunday Book Bazaar at Frere Hall. I really had a great time searching books and found some rare books from early 20th century. Some bookstalls have really great collection. Book shopping is like a therapy to me. It gives me relaxation. Searching books from these book stalls is like a treasure hunt and sometimes you can find some gems or a jewel in the crown.

Some Urdu Books

Some Urdu Books

These are some examples I’ve found during my treasure hunt.

A rare Urdu with price of 5 rupees and 8 aaney

A rare Urdu with price of 5 rupees and 8 aaney

There is a one book stall which has some very different books. Like UFO analysis and data book, book on psychology,  history of Sindh and many other books.

A book about history of Sindh

A book about history of Sindh


Urdu book printed in 1963

Urdu book printed in 1963

Every Sunday they setup this small book bazaar at Frere Hall, Karachi from 10am-9pm where you can find almost any book you like to read.