Metro Matters By Manzar Naqvi 28-11-2023

Adab Festival: A resounding culmination of literary brilliance and cultural celebration

Metro Matters
Manzar Naqvi

The Fifth Adab Festival Pakistan for the year 2023 concluded its two-day celebrations during the reported week, culminating on the second and final day at Habitt City. This literary spectacle left attendees enriched, awestruck, and culturally awakened. The event unfolded a diverse array of intellectual discussions, book launches, and unique happenings that contributed a fresh dimension to the cultural tapestry of Pakistan. Serving as a melting pot of ideas, the festival provided a platform for free expression, empowering the audience to share their thoughts and creations during an engaging open mic session.
The day commenced with a riveting interview featuring Ambassador and Additional Foreign Secretary Mumtaz Baloch, skillfully conducted by Sarmad Ali. Following this, a profound discussion on “The Reality of Artificial Intelligence” unfolded with Syed Irfan Hyder, Rabeel Waraich, and Bina Shah, moderated by Umer Khan.
The discourse on “Human Sciences Education in the Anthropocene,” led by Muhammad Haris, Shama Dossa, and Anum Asi and moderated by Nauman Naqvi, explored the pivotal role of education in addressing contemporary challenges such as environmental sustainability and social justice.
The captivating performance “Adab ki Dastak” by teachers and performers Atif Badar and Yasmin Motasim showcased the art of dramatic readings and Dastan Goi, immersing the audience in the rich tapestry of storytelling.
“Building a Generation: Are Schools Passing their Exam?” featured speakers Salma Alam, Rana Hussain, Hassan Khan, and Faisal Mushtaq, critically examining the modern role of schools in shaping responsible citizens.
“Breaking Boundaries: Inspiring Men in Humanities” brought speakers Jehan Ara, Muhammad Ashar Khan, Rehan Sheikh, and Hamza Bin Sajjad together to discuss breaking stereotypes and promoting boys in social sciences, moderated by Inaam Nadeem.
A thought-provoking dialogue featuring KishwarNaheed, Afzal Syed, and Iftikhar Arif, led by Zehra Nigah and moderated by Shoaib Arshad, explored the significance of Mushaira in Pakistan and its role in intellectual and academic discussions.
The clash between social media and traditional media was dissected in a session featuring Shahab Rizvi, Sarmad Ali, and Bilal Ahmad Memon.
Kishwar Naheed’s latest book, “Tar Tar Pairahan,” was celebrated with recitals by the legendary poet herself, alongside speakers Noor-ul-Huda Shah and Syed Jaffar Ahmed.

The audience delved into sessions on Higher Education with Anjum Halai, Talib Karim, Anzar Khaliq, and Moeed Yusuf, moderated by Shahnaz Wazir Ali, and “A Forest in Peril,” featuring a documentary screening and discussions on mangroves led by Tariq Alexander Qaiser and Umber Khairi.
Shahbaz Taseer’s gripping experiences during captivity were shared in a session on his bestselling book, “Lost to the World: A Memoir of Faith, Family, and Five Years in Captivity,” with Razi Ahmed, Framji Minwalla, and Omayr Aziz Saiyid.
The intersectionality of storytelling, media, and mental health was explored by Dr. Ayesha Mian and Ziad Zafar in a meaningful discussion moderated by Aliya Iqbal-Naqvi.
Literature, education, and societal reflections were encompassed in discussions on books by Syed Kaleem Imam and Ishrat Hussain, along with a session on the works of poet Tanveer Anjum.
Zahid Hussain’s book, “Face to Face with Benazir,” brought Sherry Rahman, Raza Rabbani, Ghazi Salahuddin, and the author together to discuss Benazir’s life and legacy.
Additional sessions covered books like ‘Betrayal’ and ‘Qaidi’ by Omar Shahid Hamid with Inaam Nadeem and Aysha Baqir, and ‘Pakistan ki Zarkhez Zabanein,’ exploring the growth of Pakistani languages.
The festival reached its zenith with the performance ‘Art Ya Aata’ by GRIPS Theatre, paying tribute to the late Imran Aslam and featuring actors Khaled Anam, Faiza Kazi, Khalifa Sajeeruddin, Ameed Riaz, and Aysha Sheikh.
Adab Festival Pakistan 2023 solidified its standing as a dynamic platform for intellectual exchange and cultural celebration, thanks to the support of sponsors like Lightstone Publishers, Getz Pharma, British Council, Habib University, and others. The festival’s commitment to nurturing Pakistan’s literary and cultural landscape echoed through its diverse sessions, performances, and book launches, creating a lasting impact on the cultural tapestry of the nation.