The 9th Islamabad Literature Festival (ILF), a grand celebration of literature and arts, concluded on a high note, marking the end of an inspirational and successful event. The festival, which commenced on November 3, 2023, served as a vibrant platform for authors, readers, and literary enthusiasts to engage in academic exploration and discussion.
The festival was packed with enriching experiences, engaging conversations, and a deep appreciation for the impact of literature on society. It covered a wide range of activities including book launches, author signings, film screenings, panel discussions, and art exhibitions.
One of the key discussions at the festival was about the issues within the realm of curriculum and textbooks. Arshad Saeed Hussain emphasized the need for dialogue between all stakeholders to ensure that textbooks taught do not have any degree of institutional contempt. Mian Imran Masood highlighted the urgent need to depoliticize education for the country to achieve true progress.
The festival also featured a series of specially designed panel discussions on various topics such as Pakistan’s Foreign Policy and Economic Challenges, Human Rights, Business and Economy, and the Power of Storytelling. These discussions delved into the history of Pakistan’s relationship with its neighbors, especially in the context of economics.
Muhammad Azfar Ahsan, Founder & CEO, Nutshell Group, spoke about the evolving economic landscape in Pakistan and stressed the need for a long-term sustainable plan to improve the investment climate of the country.
The festival also celebrated the power of poetry as a source of solace in times of unpredictability. Anwar Masood, a poet and critic, praised poets like Iqbal and highlighted the importance of literature for a civilized society and a brighter future.
The closing ceremony comprised keynote speeches by Senator Sherry Rehman and Anwar Masood. Senator Rehman expressed her appreciation for the revival of the Gandhara Citizens Club and emphasized the importance of a sustainable planet.
The grand finale of ILF 2023 was a memorable ghazal night by Ustad Hamid Ali Khan, where he rendered classical pieces by renowned poets of Pakistan. The festival’s diverse planning ensured that there was something for everyone, making it a truly memorable event.