karachi: There is no institution to have dialogue or a thought process about which direction Karachi should be headed.”
Sania Saeed said that “I was born during the time of dictatorship so we were just thrown into democracy. We didn’t know what to do because we were told what to do and what not to do. So we never saw political dialogue.” She added, “Theatre has a respectful engagement of the presenter and audience it is non threatening and non confrontational and more engaging and has a longer impact and if it can be continued then it reflect more positively in people’s attitudes. However, art doesn’t come under the politicians’ radars, which has allowed us to get away with a lot of things.” It’s difficult to get people out of their comfort zone because they’ve accepted and are living in this garbage, and to shake them out of this and get them out of it is difficult,”. “So it’s a psychological issue too. There are limited theatres in Karachi, it you don’t get along with Arts Council, pack up and leave, you can perform on the streets, not that even.” To this DurriyaKazi responded that I think the artists bridges the gap between chaos and order.
Shahida Hassan, Irfan Sattar&Mahjabeen Ghazal Ansari had an interesting discussion in the session Safar aurKhwab: Shairiki Yaadain aur Baatain
At the Book launch of ‘Governing the Ungovernable’, author Ishrat Husain talked with Mani Shankar Aiyar, Y. Venugopal Reddy and moderator SimaKamil on his book, Governing the Ungovernable: Institutional Reforms for Democratic Governance*. Venogopal said “A leader can make a difference at an opportune point in time.” Ishrat Husain said, “I looked at the explanations of Pakistan’s decline. First and foremost, Pakistan is a fragile flailing state with nuclear power, extremism roaming about, tension with India and the US.” He added, “Whenever Pakistan has received generous foreign assistance, Pakistan has done well. This has been in relation with military governance.”
In the session Harf-e-Baryab, Iftikhar Arif had a conversation with moderators Asif Farrukhi and NasiraZuberi and also performed a few readings. In the session Francis Robinson talks with Mahmood Jamal and Hameed Haroon on his book Jamal Mian: The Life of Maulana Jamaluddin Abdul Wahab of FarangiMahall 1919–2012, Francis Robinson was in Conversation with Mahmood Jamal and Hameed Haroon on his book.
At the Book launch of ‘Of Pearls and Pecks of Straw’ author Iqbal Akhund talked with Ashraf Jehangir Qazi and moderator Maniza Naqvi on his new book, Of Pearls and Pecks of Straw: Recollections, Essays, After-thoughts. He said, “I am one of the last few Indians left. Many of you were born and bred here. I was born there and I was not at all in favour of Pakistan; we lived happily with Hindus, Christians and Parsis. Eventually I came around to the idea but I must confess I still have a certain nostalgia for that country that was.” About the book he said, “In 18 years I wrote 20-30 pages but then the book started to write itself and it was done in 2 years.”
In the session To Write or Not to Write? Student Voices against the Odds, Mushba Said &Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy along with the moderator SabynJaveri had an interesting discussion. Jurgen Wasim Frembgen, Amardeep Singh, Ghazala Rahman Rafiq with moderator Zulfiqar Ali Kalhoro had a detailed discussion in the session Shrines and Sufi Legacy
SecunderKermani, Ghazi Salahuddin, Huma Baqai sit with moderator FasiZaka in session Electronic Media: Making and Breaking News discussed the trends of electronic media. Huma Baqai said that 80% of producers, when I appear on TV, tell me to not speak like an academic, to simplify my ideas.
Chup: A Short Play directed by Sunil Shanker with the cast of Fawad Khan, Bakhtawar Mazhar, Kaif Ghaznavi, Sunil Shanker, &Erum Bashir was much admired by the crowd. In the session Building Educational Institutions of Excellence, the speakers ShamshKassim-Lakha, Ishrat Husain, Wasif Rizvi, Sabahat Rafiq with moderato rAmin Hashwani shed light of the educational system.
The session Education of Girls: Perceptions and Realities in a Changing Pakistan was addressed by the speakers Rahat Kazmi, Sania Saeed, Nadia Naviwala. Riaz Kamlanimodrated the session. Nadia Naviwala said that “Surveys show that 75% of Pakistani parents think that education for girls is as important as boys… Gender gap in education is 10% in Pakistan and most of this gap exists in rural areas. She added, “Access to schools is the problem; the stigma isn’t girls schooling but girls going to school – meaning, mobility’s the issue.” According to Nadia, “You need to make school safe for girls by having more female teachers… You can get girls to schools but you also need to have quality education. Schools and education aren’t the same thing, and that’s where we’re failing”
In the session, Reality catches up with SatireZarrarKhuhro, FasiZaka&Nadeem F. Paracha the croud took special interest and were fully thrilled by the thought provoking discussions. Khayal: An Evening of Indian Classical Singing by Amit Chaudhuri, accompanied by Yousuf Kerai on the table entertained the crowd.
‘Don Akhbar’: Documentary Screening and Discussion on Lyari’s Local Media was well presented by Dostain Baloch, Zia Rehman, Waheed Noor with Nida Kirmani The evening ended with AriebAzhar’sConcert along with Mushaira that was attended by top poets including Iftikhar Arif, Inaam Nadeem, Afzal Ahmed Syed, Ajmal Siraj, Anwar Shaoor, Aqeel Abbas Jafri, Fatema Hassan, Harris Khalique, Irfan Sattar, KhwajaRazi Haider, KishwarNaheed, NasiraZuberi, Peerzada Salman, Salman Sarwat, Sarwat Zehra, Shahida Hassan, Tanveer Anjum, Usama Ameer Shaikh, Waheed Noor, Zakia Ghazal. Concluded