Lahore (NUT DESK) The first day of the THAAP Seminar on Punjab Culture: Heritage, Conservation and Tourism took a successful start in Lahore on the 12th of March 2022. The Seminar is organized by THAAP with the initiative of addressing and promoting the central role played by the local communities in the process of conservation. Which would potentially, lead to the sustainable development of cultural and creative industries and ultimately uplifting and empowering the community as a whole.
The session was commenced by Ar. Mehreen Mustafa, Secretary to THAAP. She warmly welcomed the guests and the noteworthy speakers. Prof Pervaiz Vandal, the Managing Director of THAAP, delivered the welcome address. He began by highlighting what THAAP stands for and its approach to conservation. He stressed the need to see the tangible and intangible cultural histories as the core of our regional heritage. He urged to take notice of the ever-growing gap between the process of conservation and the local communities.
These notions were taken forward in the morning session by Mr. Maqsood Ahmad Malik, Director Archeology Punjab. He presented the various initiatives of the Punjab Archaeology department in the different cities across Punjab. And highlighted the important work done by the organization in protecting Pakistan’s heritage.
The second presenter of the session, Mr. Najam us Saqib, Director Conservation and Planning and Building Control presented WCLA’s extensive work done in the walled city of Lahore with the help of technical assistance as well as community participation. Thus, positively impacting the lives of the locals of the Walled city. Furthermore, architect Umair Ajmal and Ms. Mina Arham from AKCSP presented the detailed analysis and restoration of a few houses at WKC and the surface conservation of the north façade of Wazir Khan Mosque.
The efforts done by the AKCSP included employing various local artisans to keep traditional methods of architecture alive. Professor Sajida Haider Vandal, CEO THAAP, with the help of THAAP Heritage initiatives in Gurdawara Rohri Sahab, Gurduawara Sacha Sauda and Qila Kohna Singh; presented THAAP’s approach to conservation. The morning session was concluded with lunch and music interlude played by young boys from Gilgit Baltistan.
The book launch for the book titled “Flames Prefer to be Naked: Selected Poetry of Nasreen Anjum Bhatti and Sara Shagufta” translated from Punjabi into English by Naveed Alam was held on the second half of the day. He recited excerpts from the collection first in the original Punjabi and then his own translated English. This session was followed by a discussion panel composed of Nain Sukh and Zoya Sajid that discussed feminism in Punjabi literature and the relevance of Punjabi in contemporary times.
Thus, addressing the intangible heritage that THAAP emphasizes as a part of its ethos. The Seminar ended with an intense performance on the poem of Nasreen Anjum Bhatti by Sana Jafri and Abuzar Madho. The day ended with rousing closing remarks by Asad ullah Faiz, secretary tourism Punjab followed by tea.