Literature

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.”

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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.

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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”.

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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.

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 https://www.britishcouncil.pk/