Choosing Literature

By Aanya Niaz
The Huffington Post, March 4, 2014

Huff Po

Some 45,000 of the young, the talented, and the curious attended what was a most auspicious and successful three-day Lahore Literary Festival last month.

LLF’s second edition featured more than 100 speakers, including The Reluctant Fundamentalist director Mira Nair, authors Ahmed Rashid and Kamila Shamsie, former ambassador to the U.S. Maleeha Lodhi, dancer Nahid Siddiqui, historian Ayesha Jalal, Moeed Yusaf of the U.S. Institute of Peace, and foreign speakers from India, Bangladesh, the U.S., the U.K., Egypt, France, and Germany, among others. The discussions played to packed halls brimming with optimism.

During LLF, Lahore came alive with conversations of construction, shifting the mindset from despair (“Look at what’s happening”) to hope (“This is how things can change”). LLF offered a respite from everyday news of bomb blasts, foreign-policy issues, lack of aid, and politics. It provided thought-provoking conversations on the arts, literature, economics, and sociology. With LLF, private citizens achieved what the government had forgotten to: created space for civilized dialogue and a sanctuary for the thinking.

Session moderators ensured high-quality discussion and engagement. The book launches, the Kathak, the jazz, and the food and book stalls made for a lively setting. The Lahore Literary Festival is a platform for change. It is a sanctuary for the people, the nation; and most of all it is a platform that helps Lahore in reclaiming its cultural primacy.

See the original article here.

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