The once a year event, which drew to a close Sunday 12th February 2017, attracted record audience, has seen a consistent rise in turnout over the years initially from a mere 5,000 back in 2010. Open and free to all, its sparkling gather together featuring celebrities from Shabnam, Nadem, and Mustafa Qureshi to Bushra Ansary, and literary greats like Mushtak Ahmad Yousafe, Zia Muhi Uddin Mustanser Husain Taraar, Aysha Jalel, Muneza Shamsi and so many more this year, also reaffirms its importance as a premiere literary affair in Karachi’s cultural and social calendar.
The latest edition, welcomed 200 speakers and performers for its 75 sessions from all provinces of Pakistan as well as abroad, has been the most victorious in its seven-year history, says the MD of Oxford University Press Ameena Saiyid who is also the festival founder and has been directing the yearly event since its inception in March 2010. Thrilled with the event’s success this year Saiyid attributes the record numbers and packed sessions to the variety in programming and lineup. Bringing together diverse genres and languages this edition has something for everyone appealing to all tastes which makes the three day celebration as their best yet, enlightens the director. There are 18 book launches and more than 70 sessions. A vibrant programme, encapsulating talks, panel discussions, readings, book launches, English and Urdu mushaira, stand-up comedy, author signings, performing arts, art exhibition, film screenings, art strand, book fair, literary awards, and a food court, has been lined up for the festival.
Ameena Saiyid Managing Director, Oxford University Press, and Founder/Director, Karachi and Islamabad Literature Festivals, in her closing ceremony speech thanked everyone for contributing towards the success of this event. She specifically thanked all the speakers and performers who set the underlying theme of the Festival.
“Whether you have travelled all the way from Italy, France, Germany, Switzerland, Bangladesh, the UK, US, India, or Maldives, or other parts of Pakistan; or you have commuted from somewhere within this Karachi: thank you for being here to inspire and enlighten all of us”, she said.
“This is not the end but the beginning of another wonderful adventure, the preparation for the next Islamabad Literature Festival to be held at Margala Hotel on 14, 15, and 16 April 2017 and the Karachi Literature Festival ‘London’ in partnership with Bloomsbury Pakistan and Southbank Centre London on 20th May 2017. With an unparalleled creative culture and diverse communities, London is the ideal city for KLF to launch itself outside Pakistan. KLF London will offer a unique and inclusive experience at a mainstream venue. We plan to celebrate Pakistan’s 70 years of creation and complex history and culture through its literature and arts,”she added.
8th Klf ended with remarkable classical dance performance by Shayma Saiyid and Suhaee Abro, a concert by Saif Samejo and dhamaal by Sufi group.