A tour of the Wazir Khan Mosque was arranged on Saturday as part of the Social Innovation Mela 2016 organised to highlight the heritage, culture and traditions of Lahore.
The tour was part of the three-day event, which commenced on Friday and ended on Sunday (today). The mela, premised on the theme of Lost Lahore, was organised by the Social Innovation Lab (SIL) of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).
On the second day of the Mela, tours aimed at experiencing the city through thematic guided tours titled Sacred Lahore and Sikh Lahore by Lahore Shinasi Foundation and the Philosophy of Conservation led by Archeology Director Salimul Haq. Guests were taken on a food tour of Lahore by TurrLahore.
Later, guests visited the Wazir Khan Mosque with architect Taimur Khan Mumtaz.
He shed light on the various characteristics of the historic mosque. Mumtaz also spoke about the history and traditions related to the mosque and the artistic aspects of its architecture.
Talking to The Express Tribune, University of Minnesota Associate Professor Ross VeLure Roholt described the experience as stunning. He said he had been particularly struck by the use of different colours throughout the mosque. Roholt said cities the world over had been struggling between tradition and modernity.
He said that the nation had a rich culture and the mosque was a part of it.
LUMS SIL Director Maryam Mohiyuddin said that the mela was an effort to reclaim and rediscover Lahore. “This beautiful city, rich in culture and heritage, is all around us, but we are so lost that we cannot appreciate the beauty that surrounds us,” she said.
Mohiyuddin said the mela strived to narrate the story of Lahore by showcasing its history and art in an educational context.
She said social entrepreneurs, students, academics and people from all walks of life nationwide and Chile, Mexico, the US, the UK, South Africa and India had taken part in the mela.
Mohiyuddin said these people had gathered here to remember the ancient culture of the city embedded in its art, history and literature in addition to contemplate over ways to bridge the gulf between tradition and modernity.
The second day concluded with a panel discussion on education in which Beatrice Rodriguez from Mexico and Ross VeLure Roholt participated along with Maulana Jahangir and Basit Koshal.
Visitors on the first day expressed delight at the information made available to them about the city’s heritage.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 27th, 2016.