15th Karachi Literature Festival: All set to celebrate the Crystal edition for Cultural and Intellectual Exchange

15th Karachi Literature Festival: All set to celebrate the Crystal edition for Cultural and Intellectual Exchange
15th Karachi Literature Festival: All set to celebrate the Crystal edition for Cultural and Intellectual Exchange

Three-day celebration to take place from February 16 to 18 at Beach Luxury Hotel

KARACHI – The Karachi Literature Festival (KLF), one of Pakistan’s most anticipated cultural events, is back for its 15th edition. Scheduled from 16 to 18 February 2024, at the prestigious Beach Luxury Hotel in Karachi, the festival promises to be a vibrant celebration of literature, art, and intellectual discourse.

Under the theme of ‘Sustainability: Words changing Mindsets,’ the 15th KLF will feature over 200 local and international speakers representing 8 countries participating in 75 sessions covering a diverse range of topics including literature, economy, environment, education, and current affairs. Additionally, guests can expect 25 book launches alongside engaging activities such as drama, satire, exhibitions, film screenings, and various artistic expressions.

The inaugural event on Friday16 February, will be open to the public and will include keynote speeches by renowned figures such as Pakistani architect and activist Arif Hasan, as well as British-Palestinian lawyer and writer Selma Dabbagh, followed by a performance on Faiz’s poetry by the talented Nighat Choudhry.

Over the weekend, KLF will host distinguished speakers including Jordanian academic Joseph Massad, political scientist Dr. Martin Axmann, and award-winning journalist Hasnain Kazim, acclaimed novelist and writer Mohsin Hamid, French journalist and novelist Kenize Mourad, fiction writer Claire Chambers, poets Michael Cirelli and Ronya Othman, poets Zehra Nigah and Kishwar Naheed, short story writer Noorul Huda Shah, and novelist Bina Shah among others.  There will be sessions on Urdu poetry, sustainability, political reforms, and a grand Mushaira presided over by the legendary Iftikhar Arif.

 KLF offerings will feature insightful discussions on books, ethical governance, urban dynamics, comedy, storytelling, human rights, and sustainability offering guests a rich tapestry of intellectual engagement. The much-awaited book of Maleeha Lodhi titles “Pakistan: Search for Stabilty” published by OUP will be launched. A special homage to the legendary Madam Noor Jehan in a session aptly titled “Noor Jahan Suroor Jahan” with Nazia Ejaz Khan, Salima Hashmi and Ahmed Ali Butt. Another session, “Sustainability and the Evolving New World Order” will debate on ideas that are stable, inclusive, and beneficial for all.

The Crystal Edition celebrations will close with keynote speeches by eminent scholars Najeeba Arif and Joseph Massad and will honour KLF literary legends followed by a soul-stirring Sufi Qawwali performance by Qawal Najmuddin Saifuddin & Brothers.

Managing Director, OUP Pakistan, Arshad Saeed Husain, emphasized the festival’s role as a global bridge connecting hearts and minds, and encouraged the guests to “participate in conversations that inspire change and challenge perspectives.” The idea is, not just to talk about these critical issues but to deliberate on finding solutions. I hope that is what the intellectuals, scholars, and thought leaders will engage in over these three days. This festival is a testament to the power of the written word and the vital role it plays in shaping our communities.”

Ali Habib, Chief Marketing & Communications Officer, HBL, stated, “this is the second year in a row, HBL is spearheading the Karachi Literature Festival (KLF), a celebration of intellectual and cultural pursuits. At HBL, we believe strongly that a growing economy, a dynamic society, and a sustainable natural environment, all have an interdependent relationship towards achieving impact and sustainability in the communities we serve. Our investment in the social uplift of Pakistan, through platforms such as KLF, is a testament to HBL’s commitment to being “More Than Just a Bank”.

The festival organizers are grateful to the title sponsor, Habib Bank Ltd (HBL) for their generous support and appreciate the contribution extended by Getz Pharma, NEO paints, the British Council, US Consulate and Lincoln’s Corner, Goethe Institut, NBP Funds, UBL Funds, and Tapal. A Special thanks to SMS Security for continuing to partner with us to ensure the continuation of KLF’s legacy as a premier platform for cultural and intellectual exchange in Pakistan. Curated by Oxford University Pakistan (OUP), the festival remains dedicated to showcasing the rich diversity of Pakistani society.

The Karachi Literature Festival invites all enthusiasts to embark on this intellectual journey, celebrating the transformative power of words and nurturing a deeper appreciation for literature.