The Children’s Literature Festival ended here at the Federal College of Education on Saturday after crossing a milestone figure of 30,000 participants including a galaxy of renowned literary figures, writers, authors, poets and artists.
The two-day festival was organised by the Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) and Oxford University Press in collaboration with the Open Society Foundation, FCE, the European Union, Alif Ailaan and others.
Big names from literature and creative artists such as Haseena Moin, Farooq Qaiser, Hamida Khuhro, Chintan Girish Modi, Fauzia Minallah, Sehar Tariq, Rumana Husain, Nasim Zehra, Ayub Baloch, Mosharraf Zaidi, Khaled Anum, Nasreen Iqbal, Samar Minallah, Ameena Saiyid, Bushra Shahab, Tahira Abdullah, Sheherzade Alam, Khursheed Hyder, Faisal Bari, Baela Raza Jamil, Asad Umar, Asad Mian Bakhtawar Shah from Kalaash, students and teachers of different schools and a large number of public were among the participants, said a press release.
ITA Programmes Director Baela Raza Jamil, while expressing her thoughts on the last day of the CLF, said, “As always, the CLF and TLF was not simply an experience beyond expectation in terms of numbers but also the engagement of children and teachers with learning through multi-sensory approaches and respecting the diversity and beauty of Pakistan.”
OUP Managing Director Ameena Saiyid said, “I am impressed by the children of Islamabad. They ask a lot of questions and challenge perceived wisdom.”
“This is my third visit to Pakistan and I am delighted to be here. I am grateful to the CLF for inviting me to Islamabad and providing the opportunity to interact with children and teachers,” said Indian writer, researcher and founder of “Friendship across borders: Aao Dosti Karein” Chintan Girish Modi.
On the last day of the 14th CLF, renowned creative writer Farooq Qaiser of Uncle Sargam fame presented his famous puppet show to the children.
TV anchor Nasim Zehra, Mosharraf Zaidi, Tahira Abdullah, Ameena Saiyid participated in a conversation on the role of media in popularising and unlocking the power of reading. The session was moderated by Faisal Bari. Modi shared his personal experiences with the children by urging them to contribute to peace and love. A special session titled “When nature strikes and Qudarti Haadsay” was addressed by Patrice Khan, and Lisa Lassaro. Panelists discussed the importance of harmony in promoting peace in the country at a session “Brokering peace, tolerance and citizenship in our class rooms”.
Renowned historian and scholar Hamida Khuhro discussed ‘writing history books for children’ while for different age groups of children many session under the name “Bol Keh Lub Azad Hain Teray” were arranged as well.
During the festival children were provided the opportunities to attend different interactive sessions regarding creative writing, poetry, painting, literature, drama, acting, and history along with different creative activities.
On the occasion awards for best school banners were also distributed. At the CLF, the OUP also launched over 20 books on environment, customs, traditions, history and heritage.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 4th, 2014.