Home Culture #LLF2015 Day One, In Your Words

#LLF2015 Day One, In Your Words

by Newsweek Pakistan


A heaving hit!

Despite the downpour, tens of thousands flocked to the inaugural day on Friday of the third Lahore Literary Festival for intellectual respite, queuing patiently in the rain to attend the day’s 15 scheduled talks featuring a host of local and foreign luminaries, including historian Romila Thapar, actor Naseeruddin Shah, columnist Roger Cohen, and author Mohsin Hamid.

The festival officially kicked off at 11 a.m. with Iqbal Z. Ahmed, chairman of the LLF Board of Governors, and Nusrat Jamil, president of the LLF Advisory Board, welcoming delegates in Hall 1 and declaring the festival open. This short ceremony was followed by Ayesha Jalal introducing Thapar, whose keynote address received a standing ovation.

Day One saw many popular sessions, including Politics, Pluralism and Khushwant Singh’s Punjab with Aitzaz Ahsan, Basharat Qadir, Rahul Singh, Shobhaa De, and F. S. Aijazuddin; The Trials of Writing a First Novel with Bilal Tanweer, Mahesh Rao, Saba Imtiaz, Soniah Kamal, and Mohsin Hamid; and Hero and Antihero with Shah, Mira Hashmi and Sarmad Khoosat.

All five halls were packed to capacity for the majority of the sessions. LLF’s Streaming Lounges at the Alhamra Arts Center provided the spillover crowds with live feeds from Halls 1, 2 and 3.
Other Day One speakers included Laurent Gayer, Aakar Patel, Jean Lambert, Naresh Fernandes, Unver Shafi Khan, Andrew Small, Laila Bokhari, Rashed Rahman, Salil Tripathi, Lyse Doucet, Razia Iqbal, Aminatta Forna, Kamila Shamsie, Richard Heller, Peter Oborne, Nayyar Ali Dada, Intizar Husain, M. Asaduddin, Kishwar Naheed, Zulfikar Ghose, Muneeza Shamsie, Ahmed Saleem, Saeed Bhutta, Mushtaq Soofi, and John Zubrzycki. The rock band Poor Rich Boy also performed in the evening.

LLF is being supported by the Punjab government, which provided several layers of security at the newly refurbished Alhamra Arts Center (which now has ramps for wheelchair access to four of the five halls where LLF sessions are taking place).




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