9th KARACHI LITERATURE FESTIVAL / JASHN-E-ADAB: 9 - 11 FEBRUARY 2018
*Every effort will be made to adhere to this programme. However, the KLF organizers reserve the right to change the programme at any time.
Full-Day Fringe Events throughout the Festival: • Author Signings • Food Court • Book Fair • Media Rooms • Open Mic (Red Terrace)
FRIDAY, 9 FEBRUARY 2018
INAUGURATION, MAIN GARDEN
5- 5:30 pm: Arrival of Guests
5:30 pm to 7:20 pm: Welcome Speeches by Ameena Saiyid OBE, Asif Farrukhi, and Adrian Mellor. Speeches by Festival Sponsors. Award ceremony of KLF-Pepsi (Non-Fiction), KLF-Getz Pharma (Fiction), and KLF-Infaq Foundation (Urdu Literature) Prizes. Keynote Speeches by Francis Robinson and Noorul Huda Shah. Kathak by Shayma Saiyid
7.45 – 8.45 pm
Aik Hi Shakhs Tha Jehan May Kia: Jaun Elia
Shakeel Adilzada, Aqeel Abbas Jafri, Muhammad Ahmed Shah, Saif Mahmood
Moderator: Peerzada Salman
Sadarat: Imdad Hussaini
Aasi Zamini, Ayaz Gul, Haleem Baghi, Sahar Imdad, Shah Muhammad Pirzada
Nizamat: Yasir Qazi
Universities or Nurseries of Terrorism?
Wasif Rizvi, Muhammad Ali Shaikh, Talib Karim, Mehtab S. Karim, and Farrukh Iqbal
Moderator: Baela Raza Jamil
The Other Muse: Poetry in English
Ilona Yusuf, Mehvash Amin, Adrian Husain, Amit Chaudhuri, Sadaf Halai, Tehmina Ahmed, Farida Faizullah, Harris Khalique, Ibrahim Waheed Ogaru, José Oliver, and Shireen Haroun
Moderator: Salman Tarik Kureshi
Saving our Children from Predators: Role of Civic Society
Shershah Syed, Sadiah Ahsan Pal, Murad Moosa Khan, Mubashir Zaidi, Uzma Noorani
Moderator: Nausheen Ahmad
SATURDAY, 10 FEBRUARY 2018
Sat 10 Feb
11 am - 12 pm
Home Fire: Rosinka Chaudhuri in conversation with Kamila Shamsie
Book Launch: Remnants of a Separation: A History of the Partition through Material Memory by Aanchal Malhotra
Aanchal Malhotra, Naz Ikramullah Ashraf, Shahnaz Aijazuddin, Reema Abbasi
Moderator: Saif Mahmood
Book Launch: Bhopal Connections: Vignettes of Royal Rule by Shaharyar M. Khan
Shaharyar M. Khan &
Mani Shankar Aiyar in conversation
Moderator: Sadaffe Abid
Award Ceremony of KLF-German Peace Prize Winners with Dr Christoph Hein (Leading German Journalist on Asia)
Slam-Bam Verse! Utterances of the Age
Zohab Khan, Zoha Jabbar, Batool Hassan, Shameneh Majid, Mariam Paracha, Hamza Iftikhar
Introduced & Moderated by Zohab Khan
Book Launch: Pirani & Other Short Stories by Jamal Abro
Mahtab Akbar Rashdi, Attiya Dawood, Shah Muhammad Pirzada
Moderator: Masood Lohar
Sat 10 Feb 12.15 - 1.15 pm
#MeToo: Gender issues today
Aurélie Salvaire, Kami Chouhdry, Haris Gazdar
Moderator: Bina Shah
Why is Shakespeare Shakespeare?
Readings by Zia Mohyeddin
Introduction by Ameena Saiyid
The Madness that is Cricket
Richard Heller, Shaharyar M. Khan, Mohsin Khan
Moderator: Sohaib Alvi
Launch of three books on Socio-Economic and Governance Priorities for Pakistan
Hafiz A. Pasha, Sakib Sherani, Vaqar Ahmed
Moderator: Abdul Qadir
Nasri Nazm aur Nayee Shairi
Afzal Ahmed Syed, Tanveer Anjum, Azra Abbas, Arfa Ezazi
Moderator: Syed Kashif Raza
Sat 10 Feb
1.30 - 2.00 pm
Autobiographies: A Conversation.
Zubeida Mustafa’s My Dawn Years & Kesho Scott’s The Habit of Surviving & Tight Spaces
Book Launch: Travels in a Dervish Cloak by Isambard Wilkinson
Moderator: Victoria Schofield
Book Launch: The Three Innocents and Ors.: Chughtai on Childhood Translated by Tahira Naqvi
Shahnaz Aijazuddin & Sabyn Javeri
Moderator: Saman Shamsie
Book Launch: A Thousand Cups of Tea: Among Tea Lovers in Pakistan and Elsewhere in the Muslim World
by Jürgen Wasim Frembgen
Jurgen Wasim Frembgen
Moderator: Arfa Sayeda Zehra
Sat 10 Feb
2.15 - 3.15 pm
Going Bananas with the Boys
(Banana News Network) Murtaza Chaudhery,
Mustafa Chaudhery,Faisal Chaudhery
Book Launch: The Faltering State: Pakistan’s Internal Security Landscape by Tariq Khosa
Tariq Khosa, Babar Ayaz, Hamid Khan
Moderator: Javed Jabbar
EACPE Video Competition:
Fostering Tolerance in Pakistan
Screenings of Short Films followed by Award Ceremony
Maheen Zia & Arieb Azhar
Moderator: Aamer Naseer
The Power of the Individual Story: Pakistani Women’s Autobiographies
Attiya Dawood, Azra Abbas, Samina Rahman, Kishwar Naheed
Chaired by: Kesho Scott
Can Art and Culture Save the City?
Durriya Kazi, Sania Saeed, Faraz Hamidi, Yawar Jilani
Moderator: Naila Mahmood
Safar aur Khwab: Shairi ki Yaadain aur Baatain
Shahida Hassan & Irfan Sattar
Moderator: Mahjabeen Ghazal Ansari
Sat 10 Feb
3.30 - 4.30 pm
Book Launch: Governing the Ungovernable: Institutional Reforms for Democratic Governance by Ishrat Husain
Ishrat Husain, Mani Shankar Aiyar,
Y. Venugopal Reddy
Moderator: Sima Kamil
Harf-e-Baryab: Readings and Conversation with Iftikhar Arif
Moderators: Asif Farrukhi & Nasira Zuberi
Francis Robinson in Conversation with Mahmood Jamal and Hameed Haroon on the book Jamal Mian: The Life of Maulana Jamaluddin Abdul Wahab of Farangi Mahall 1919–2012 by Francis Robinson Moderator: Bari Mian
Book Launch: Of Pearls and Pecks of Straw: Recollections, Essays, After-thoughts by Iqbal Akhund
Iqbal Akhund and Ashraf Jehangir Qazi
Moderator: Maniza Naqvi
To Write or Not to Write? Student Voices against the Odds
Mushba Said & Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy
Moderator: Sabyn Javeri
Shrines and Sufi Legacy
Jurgen Wasim Frembgen, Amardeep Singh, Ghazala Rahman Rafiq
Moderator: Zulfiqar Ali Kalhoro
Sat 10 Feb
4.45 - 5.45 pm
Electronic Media: Making and Breaking News
Secunder Kermani, Ghazi Salahuddin, Huma Baqai
Moderator: Fasi Zaka
UBL Literary Awards
Chup: A Short Play directed by Sunil Shanker
Fawad Khan, Bakhtawar Mazhar, Kaif Ghaznavi, Sunil Shanker, & Erum Bashir
Book Launch: Mr and Mrs Jinnah: Hindustan ki Hairankun Shadi by Sheela Reddy
Mohammad Zubair, F.S. Aijazuddin
Moderator: Kamran Asdar Ali
Building Educational Institutions of Excellence
Shamsh Kassim-Lakha, Ishrat Husain, Wasif Rizvi, Sabahat Rafiq
Moderator: Amin Hashwani
Education of Girls: Perceptions and Realities in a Changing Pakistan
Rahat Kazmi, Sania Saeed, Nadia Naviwala
Moderator: Riaz Kamlani
Sat 10 Feb
6 - 6:30 pm
6-8 pm: Mushaira Sadarat: Iftikhar Arif. Nizamat: Inaam Nadeem.
Afzal Ahmed Syed, Ajmal Siraj, Anwar Shaoor, Aqeel Abbas Jafri, Fatema Hassan, Harris Khalique, Irfan Sattar, Khwaja Razi Haider, Kishwar Naheed, Nasira Zuberi, Peerzada Salman, Salman Sarwat, Sarwat Zehra, Shahida Hassan, Tanveer Anjum, Usama Ameer Shaikh, Waheed Noor, Zakia Ghazal
6-7 pm: Reality catches up with Satire
Zarrar Khuhro & Fasi Zaka
Moderator: Nadeem F. Paracha
6-7 pm: Khayal: An Evening of Indian Classical Singing by Amit Chaudhuri, accompanied by Yousuf
Kerai on the tabla
6-7 pm: 'Don Akhbar': Documentary Screening and Discussion on Lyari's Local Media
Dostain Baloch, Zia Rehman, Waheed Noor
Moderator: Nida Kirmani
6:30 to 8 pm: Arieb Azhar in Concert
7 - 8 pm
SUNDAY, 11 FEBRUARY 2018
Sun 11 Feb
11 am - 12 noon
Adeeb ki Gawahi: Readings and Conversation
Asif Farrukhi in conversation with Noorul Huda Shah
Fiction Has the Power to Affect Politics
Qaisra Shahraz, Kishwar Naheed, Kesho Scott, Claire Chambers, Arfa Syeda Zehra, Sarvat Hasin
Moderator: Maniza Naqvi
History from the Margins
Ali Usman Qasmi, Ali Raza, Bani Abidi
Moderator: Kamran Asdar Ali
Book Launch: A Cry for Justice: Empirical Insights from Balochistan by Kaiser Bengali
Kaiser Bengali, I.A. Rehman, Ashraf Jehangir Qazi
Moderator: Hifza Shah
Book Launch: Interior Design of Pakistan by Maria Aslam
Shahid Abdulla, Naheed Mashooqullah, Maria Aslam
Moderator: Iftikhar Azam
Italy Reads Pakistan Award
Omar Shahid Hamid, Anna Ruffino, Ameena Saiyid
Moderator: Bina Shah Presented by
Sun 11 Feb
12.15- 1.15 pm
Chaar Chand: Behnain aur Baatain
Bushra Ansari, Neelam Basheer, Asma Abbas, Sumbal Shahid
Moderator: Asif Farrukhi
The Flames of Separation
Anam Zakaria, Sheela Reddy, Nauman Naqvi
Moderator: Kamila Shamsie
A Writer's Odyssey
Muneeza Shamsie in conversation with Amit Chaudhuri
The Punjabi Muse
Harris Khalique in conversation with Amarjit Chandan (followed by poetry recitation)
Sandscript – Poetry from Germany
Arsalan Isa in conversation with José Oliver
Sun 11 Feb
1.30 - 2
Book Launch: The Impact of Afghan-Soviet War on Pakistan by Imrana Begum
Imrana Begum & Asad Sayeed
Moderator: Sarosh Hashmat Lodhi
Sneak Preview: Beloved Delhi : A Mughal City and Her Greatest Poets by Saif Mahmood
Arfa Sayeda Zehra in conversation with
Saif Mahmood & Readings by
Book Launch: The Quest Continues: Lost Heritage: The Sikh Legacy in Pakistan by Amardeep Singh
Moderator: Zulfiqar Ali Kalhoro
Book Launch: From Mountains to Mangroves of Pakistan: Protecting Pakistan’s Natural Heritage by Rina Saeed Khan
Rab Nawaz, Babar Khan, Javed Jabbar
Moderator: Rina Saeed Khan
Sun 11 Feb
2.15 - 3.15 pm
Generation and Genres: The Drama and Change
Asif Raza Mir, Samina Ahmed, Zain Ahmed, Mehreen Jabbar, Sarmad Khoosat, Irfan Khoosat
Moderator: Khurshid Hyder
Love Thy Neighbour? India-Pak Relations
Mani Shankar Aiyar, Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, Asad Sayeed
Moderator: Khalida Ghaus
Harris Khalique, Sheema Kermani, Arfa Sayeda Zehra
Moderator: Mujahid Barelvi
Does Indian Poetry in English have a History?: Reasons for Marginality
Moderator: Ilona Yusuf
Book Launch: Wavell: Soldier and Statesman by Victoria Schofield
F.S. Aijazuddin, Victoria Schofield, Isambard Wilkinson
Moderator: Anam Zakaria
Sun 11 Feb
3.30 - 4.30 pm
Dil Dil, Boom Boom, Jazba Junoon: The Impact of Pop Culture on Pakistani Society and the World
Amin Hashwani in conversation with Salman Ahmad
The Literary Traditions of Sindh
Jami Chandio, Syed Sardar Shah
Moderator: Izhar Soomro
Sheeshay ka Slipper: Performance by Zambeel Dramatic Readings on Ibn-e-Said’s Mehwar and Roshniyoun Ka Shehar Introduction by Sayeed Hasan Khan
When Money Talks
Ishrat Husain, Salim Raza, Y Venugopal Reddy
Moderator: Kaiser Bengali
Book Launch: Pakistan Heritage Cuisine: A Food Story by Sayeeda Leghari
Hussain Haroon, Sayeeda Leghari
Moderator: Niilofur Farrukh
Aaj ka Urdu Adab
Asghar Nadeem Syed and Anwaar Ahmad, Moderator: Kishwar Naheed
Sun 11 Feb
Launch: Uljhay Suljhay Anwar by Imrana Maqsood
Anwar Maqsood, Imrana Maqsood, Hoori Noorani
Moderator: Asif Noorani
Book Launch: Cityscapes of Violence in Karachi: Publics and Counterpublics by Nichola Khan
Arif Hasan, Nida Kirmani, Nichola Khan, Nadeem F. Paracha, Razeshta Sethna
Moderator: Kamran Asdar Ali
Lahore Amateur Theatre Zealots presents “Art”: A Play by Yasmina Reza
Entrepreneurship today: Start-ups and Angel Investors
Nadeem Hussain, Amir Adnan, Hareem Bari
Moderator: Vaqar Ahmed
Book Launch: Moon Rise by Bilal Hamid
Salman Tarik Kureshi, Bilal Hamid
Moderator: Raisa Vayani
CLOSING CEREMONY, MAIN GARDEN, SUNDAY, 11 FEBRUARY 2018
6 - 6.50 p.m. Speeches by Ameena Saiyid and Asif Farrukhi. Keynote addresses by Amit Chaudhuri, Mani Shankar Aiyar, and Anwar Maqsood. Folk Dance by Sumaira Ali, Kathak by Shayma Saiyid, Sufi dance by Sumaira Ali and Mani Chao
7.30- 8.30 p.m. Qawwali by Saami Brothers Presented by
ABOUT THE KARACHI LITERATURE FESTIVAL
The Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) was launched in March 2010. Inspired by the success of the first two KLFs (2010 and 2011), the Children’s Literature Festival (CLF) launched at the end of 2011. The momentum begun in Pakistan with the KLF led also to the Islamabad Literature Festival (ILF, launched in 2013), the Teachers' Literature Festival (TLF, launched in 2014), and many others. This momentum reflects the depth of Pakistan's literary and cultural roots, and the desire and energy here to celebrate the pursuit of knowledge, understanding, and creativity. In celebration of Pakistan's 70th birthday the KLF was also held in London last year in partnership with Bloombsbury Pakistan at the Southbank Centre, as part of the Alchemy Festival.
The ILF and KLF are directed by Ameena Saiyid, founded by Ameena Saiyid and Asif Farrukhi, and produced by Oxford University Press. The KLF, ILF, CLF and TLF are open to all and free. The first of a kind in Pakistan, the ILF and KLF bring together and celebrate authors writing in diverse languages, genres, and traditions. They are open to all and free, and bring together authors writing in diverse languages and genres. They feature debates/ discussions, talks, English and Urdu mushaira, a book fair, book launches, readings, signings, satire, theatre, film screenings, music, dance and art programming. From 2010 until 2015 they featured parallel children's programming such as storytelling, puppetry, painting, singing, and creative movement.
KLF attendance rose from roughly 5,000 in 2010 to 10,000 in 2011; 15,000 in 2012; 50,000 in 2013; 70,000 in 2014; 125,000 in 2015; 175,000 in 2016; and 2,00,000 in 2017. In 2010 we had 34 sessions with 35 speakers/performers; in 2011, 46 sessions with 104 speakers/ performers; in 2012, 62 sessions with 139 speakers/performers; and in 2013 we had around 129 sessions with over 200 speakers/performers in Karachi. In 2015 we cut back on the number of sessions, but still featured over 200 speakers/participants. In 2016 we had 99 sessions with 204 speakers/performers; in 2017, 70 sessions with 178 speakers. This year’s 9th KLF features around 76 sessions with 235 speakers/performers.
Each year, the speakers/participants have been outstanding, including, but not limited to, these keynote speakers: Shamsur Rahman Faruqi (2010); Karen Armstrong (2011); William Dalrymple (2012); Intizar Husain and Nadeem Aslam (KLF 2013); Intizar Husain, Kamila Shamsie, and Zia Mohyeddin (ILF 2013); Kamila Shamsie, Rajmohan Gandhi, and Raza Ali Abidi (KLF 2014); Aamer Hussein, Kishwar Naheed, Muneeza Shamsie, and Zehra Nigah (ILF 2014); Nayantara Sahgal and Zehra Nigah (KLF 2015); Anatol Lieven, Ataul Haq Qasmi, Paul Harding, and Zehra Nigah (ILF 2015); Fahmida Riaz, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Arfa Sayeda Zehra and Ziauddin Sardar (KLF 2016); Hina Rabbani Khar, Masood Ashar, Amjad Islam Amjad, and Christophe Jaffrelot (ILF 2016); and Mustansar Husain Tarar, Ayesha Jalal , Bobby Sager and Mohammed Hanif (2017). This year’s keynote speakers are Francis Robinson, Noorul Huda Shah, Anwar Maqsood, Amit Chaudhuri, and Mani Shankar Aiyar.
Five literary prizes will be awarded at the KLF. The KLF-Pepsi Non-Fiction Prize will go to the best non-fiction book originally written in English in 2015-2016 by a Pakistani or Pakistan-origin foreign national; the KLF-Getz Pharma Fiction Prize promotes fiction originally written in English in 2015-2016. The author of the best novel or short story collection should be a Pakistani or a Pakistani-origin foreign national. The KLF-Infaq Foundation Urdu Fiction/Non-Fiction Prize is awarded to a poetry or prose book originally written in Urdu in 2015-2016. The KLF-German Peace Prize is a joint project of the KLF and the Consulate General of Germany in Karachi. It goes to a fiction or non-fiction book that promotes peace, tolerance and international understanding, published anywhere worldwide in any language translated into English, and written by a Pakistani or a Pakistani-origin foreign national residing anywhere worldwide, or any foreign national who is a resident of Pakistan. Italy Reads Pakistan is a project of the Consulate-General of Italy in Karachi, under which a Pakistani novel, originally written in English or Urdu, will be translated into Italian and published in Italy.
See you at the Beach Luxury on the 9, 10, and 11 February! Don’t register in advance: just turn up!
Aanchal Malhotra is an artist and oral historian working with memory and material culture. She is the author of Remnants of a Separation: A History of the Partition through Material Memory. Aanchal is co-founder of the Museum of Material Memory, a digital repository of material culture from the Indian subcontinent, tracing family histories and social ethnography through heirlooms, collectibles, and objects of antiquity. She lives in New Delhi.
Abdul Qadir is currently working as Programme Coordinator and Advisor at the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) Pakistan. He has experience of initiating large number of innovative programmes in areas of politics and society including policy reforms dialogue in Pakistan.
Adrian A. Husain is a scholar, literary critic, and poet in the English language. He presently teaches at the College of Business Management, Karachi. Husain is the author of Politics and Genre in Hamlet Oxford University Press, and a monograph on Richard II titled Time and the King. His articles and poetry have been published in well-known literary journals and anthologies such as Pieces of Eight and The Blue Wind. He is the author of Desert Album, a selection of poems published by Oxford University Press in 1997. A recipient of the Guinness Poetry Prize, Husain was given the tribute by the late Khalid Hassan as ‘the finest living Pakistani poet writing in English’.
A leading contemporary Urdu poet, Afzal Ahmed Syed is well-known for his experimental style of writing. He has published three collections of prose poems and one of ghazals. Translations of his poetry have been published in English, Sindhi, Hindi, Bengali, Arabic, and German. His translation of the complete Persian works of Mir Taqi Mir was published by Oxford University Press in 2013 under the title Divan-e-Mir: Farsi maa Urdu Tarjuma.
Ajmal Siraj is an Urdu poet, based in Karachi. With a Master’s degree from Karachi University, he works as a Magazine Editor with the Daily Jasarat. His collection of poems, Aur Men Sochta Reh Gaya, appeared in 2005 and was republished in 2010 by the Arts Council of Pakistan.
Ali Raza’s major work (and forthcoming book) is on interwar South Asian History. He has done some important research on Pakistan’s early years.
Ali Usman Qasmi is Associate Professor of History at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). He is the author of Questioning the Authority of the Past: The Ahl al-Qur’an Movements in the Punjab and The Ahmadis and the Politics of Religious Exclusion in Pakistan (KLF-German Peace Prize, 2014) as well as numerous academic articles. His most recent publication is an edited volume entitled Muslims against the Muslim League: Critiques of the Idea of Pakistan.
Singapore-based Amardeep Singh has been a corporate executive for 25 years. Simultaneously, he has passionately maintained pursuits in the literary and creative arts as another facet of his personality. He is the author of Lost Heritage: The Sikh Legacy in Pakistan and its sequel book, The Quest Continues: Lost Heritage, The Sikh Legacy in Pakistan.
Amarjit Chandan is a London-based Punjabi language poet. He has edited and translated over 30 anthologies of poetry, fiction, and creative non-fiction. A frequent participant at literary festivals in England and elsewhere, Chandan was one of the 10 British poets selected by Andrew Motion, the Poet Laureate, for the National Poetry Day in 2001. His poems have been variously anthologised and broadcast.
Ameena Saiyid OBE is the Chair of Oxford University Press Pakistan, founder and director of the Karachi and Islamabad Literature Festivals, and co-founder of the Children’s and the Teachers’ Literature Festivals. She is the first Pakistani woman to be appointed head of a multinational in Pakistan; awarded the OBE by the British Queen in 2005; and elected President of the Overseas Investors’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry in its 150 years history. The government of France awarded her a Knighthood (Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) for her contribution to Arts and Literature in 2012.
Amin Hashwani is a businessman, social activist, and an English language poet. He has founded and continues to support initiatives in the field of education, health, youth development, art, culture, and peace building. Internationally, he has led delegations, organized cultural, and media events, promoted peace between nations and societies, spoken at conferences, universities, think tanks, and the United Nations.
The year 1990 saw the evolution of men’s fashion in Pakistan when Amir Adnan, a business graduate by profession, stepped out to realize his own individual style. Amir’s desire to revive the sherwani was due to the realization that fashion to him would not be about modernizing culture but more about making one’s identity universally acceptable. Today, almost a decade later, Amir Adnan’s design philosophy has evolved clearly, marking itself permanently on the map. His is the largest enterprise of designer clothing in Pakistan, creating a retail and manufacturing structure that can rival an international competitor.
Amit Chaudhuri is the author of seven novels, the latest of which is Friend of My Youth. He is also a poet, essayist, musician, and composer. His collection of poetry is titled St Cyril Road and other Poems. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. Awards for his fiction include the Commonwealth Writers Prize, Betty Trask Prize, Encore Prize, Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction, and the Indian government’s Sahitya Akademi Award. In 2013, he was awarded the first Infosys Prize in the Humanities for outstanding contribution to literary studies.
Anam Zakaria is an author, development professional, psychotherapist, and educationist, with a special interest in oral histories, identity politics, and conflict narratives.
Anna Ruffino holds a degree in Political Science and a degree in International Relations. After graduation she completed a Master in Diplomacy from the Institute of International Political Studies (ISPI) in Milan. She entered Diplomatic Service and got nominated as Secretary of Legation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Rome. She has served as First Secretary at the Embassy of Italy in Madrid (Spain) and joined the Consulate of Italy as Head of Mission from 2 January 2018.
Anwaar Ahmad is an Urdu short story writer, scholar, and academic. He has been associated with Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan and Government College University, Faisalabad as a teacher, researcher and departmental head (Urdu) for over 40 years. He has also served as the Chairman National Language Authority, Pakistan. He has to his credit, 21 literary books, over 90 research papers and has produced 21 PhD scholars.
Anwar Maqsood Hameedi is a well-known entertainment personality. He is a television scriptwriter, television host, satirist, humourist, and occasional actor. Associated for many years with Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV), Maqsood served as a presenter for a variety of shows, including Studio Dhai, Studio Ponay Teen, and Show-Sha. He has written scripts for several television series and plays, including Fifty-Fifty, Show Time, Aangan Terha, Fanoon-e-Latifey, Talaash, Aisa Bhi Hota Hai, Sitara aur Mehrunnisa, and Nadan Nadia. His stage plays, which were a resounding success, include Pawney 14 August, Sawa 14 August, Anwar Maqsood ka Dharna, and Siachen. He is a recipient of the Hilal-e-Imtiaz award.
Anwar Shaoor is one of the most prolific Urdu poets of our time. He has a large following amongst admirers of Urdu poetry and has received high accolades from critics and contemporaries alike. With three collections of ghazals to his credit, Andokhta, Mashq-e-Sukhan, and Mee Raqsam, his work is read in literary journals around the world.
Aqeel Abbas Jafri is an author, script writer, and poet. In 2010, he was awarded the Best Urdu Feature Writer Award by the All-Pakistan Newspapers Society (APNS). He is presently engaged as Chief Editor, Urdu Dictionary Board, Karachi.
Arfa Ezazi writes poems in Urdu and English. With a Master’s in English Literature, she is co-editor of the bilingual literary magazine Zau. Her poetry is featured in the upcoming anthology of Asian Women, My Lot is a Sky. Her research and writing interests include feminism, modern confessional poetry, and Urdu prose poetry.
An eminent professional, scholar, literary critic, analyst, educationist, culture expert, gender specialist, human rights activist, and social nationalist, Arfa Sayeda Zehra has gained a prominent position in society due to her exemplary work in these areas. Her achievements are attributed to her skills to articulate her intellect, powered by her conviction, dedication, knowledge, and insight. Among her many achievements, her role as Chairperson, National Commission on the Status of Women (NCSW) and her contribution to promotion of the arts and culture stand out.
Arieb Azhar is an acclaimed musician, culture promoter, producer, columnist, and a pioneer of Contemporary Sufi music in Pakistan. Arieb has over 25 years of experience in cultural management, both in Pakistan and Europe. He founded the Music Mela Festival of Islamabad which he curated for three years, and is the Founder and Director of Art Langar Festival — a project that connects Music and Arts with the spirit of charity and integration of communities. Arieb is a regular speaker on the topics of culture, performing arts, and Sufi poetry from Pakistan. He has produced several documentary films on music and musical heritage.
Arif Hasan is a Karachi-based architect and an expert on urban planning and development issues. He was the principal consultant of the landmark Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) and, since 1999, Chairperson of OPP’s Research and Training Institute. Founder and Chairperson of the Urban Resource Centre, Karachi, Arif Hasan has taught at Pakistani and European universities, and has authored a large number of books on development, planning, and social change. He has received several national and international awards for his contributions.
Arsalan Isa is a writer, critic, and photographer. He holds a BA in Literature and an MA in Philosophy, Birkbeck College, University of London. He specialises in literary and art criticism. He also consults as an editor and creative director. His most recent exhibition (October, 2017) was in conjunction with the Creative Process Collective and the group show was titled ‘Of Other Spaces’. His first novel is forthcoming. He is also compiling a poetry collection and a photography book. He currently resides in Karachi.
Asad Sayeed is an economist and researcher whose focus is political economy. He has been associated with several social and economic policy research and development think tanks. He is currently Director at the Collective for Social Science Research, Karachi, and a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development and Economic Alternatives (IDEAS), Lahore. Sayeed has researched institutional and political economy issues in the areas of labour markets, corruption, industrial policy, gender, health, social protection, conflict, and corruption in Pakistan and Thailand.
Asghar Nadeem Syed is one of the most popular Pakistani writers around. He has written television plays, poetry, short stories, drama serials as well as scripts for news columns.
Asghar has written popular television drama serials such as Hawaian, Chand Grehan, Nijat, Ghulam Gardish and Piyaas. He also writes a column in Herald.
Former senior diplomat and retired Foreign Service professional, Ashraf Jehangir Qazi hails from Balochistan. Amongst his various assignments, Qazi has served as Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India, and as Ambassador to the USA, China, Russia, then-East Germany, and Syria. He has also served as Director of East Asia, Director General for Policy Planning and Afghanistan, and Additional Foreign Secretary for Policy Planning, Afghanistan, Soviet Union, and Eastern Europe. In 2004, he was appointed as Special Representative of the Secretary-General in charge of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Iraq. In 2007, he became Special UN Representative in Sudan. From 2011 until recently, he held the position of Director General, Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad.
A founder member of the Karachi Literature Festival, Asif Farrukhi is an author, critic, translator and man of letters. Seven collections of his short fiction and two collections of his critical essays have been published. He has also published translations of prose and poetry from contemporary writers and two drama adaptations have been staged. He is the editor of the literary journal Duniyazad and a new series of selections from major Urdu short stories, being published by Oxford University Press. For his distinguished work, he was awarded the Prime Minister’s Literary Award by the Pakistan Academy of Letters in 1997 and the Tamgha-i-Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan.
Asif Noorani is a well-known journalist, author, and literary personality. He writes on cultural subjects, such as literature, art, music, and movies. His writings are often laced with wit and humour. An ardent crusader for closer relations between India and Pakistan, he conveys his viewpoint through his writings and occasionally through the talks he gives in India, Pakistan, and the USA. His first book, Tales of Two Cities, co-authored with Kuldip Nayar, was a best-seller and translated into Marathi. His books Mehdi Hasan: The Man and His Music and Journey through Pakistan are also perennially popular.
Asif Raza Mir has been associated with the media industry for over four decades, in front and behind the camera. He has acted in numerous popular television dramas, making his mark as one of the best actors in the industry. Asif is also owner and CEO of Blazon Advertising, rated among the top 10 advertising agencies in Pakistan; CEO of A&B Productions, the largest production house in the country which is creating content for multiple entertainment channels; COO and Shareholder, Geo Entertainment Holdings (GEH); and Founder and CEO of Hollywood Scene, a film and television post-production facility.
Asma Abbas is an established TV actor, with several drama serials to her credit. Her acting style is very popular amongst her fans. Avid viewers anxiously await for her upcoming televised projects. Asma is the sister of Bushra Ansari and the youngest amongst her siblings.
Attiya Dawood is a celebrated Sindhi poet, writer, and activist. She has been hailed as ‘the most important feminist writer in Sindhi’ by Shaikh Ayaz, the renowned Sindhi poet. Through her writings, Dawood highlights the oppression of women in the Pakistani society in the name of tradition. Her poems have been translated into English and Urdu, and German by Annemarie Schimmel. She has published seven books, the latest being Ek Thaka Hua Sach. She is a recipient of the Sindh Adeeb Award from Akhil Bharat Sindhi Boli Ain Sahit Sabha, India.
Aurélie Salvaire is a French social entrepreneur and gender activist who has been working for the past 10 years in the social innovation field, collaborating with Oxfam, Ashoka, Unreasonable Institute, and Impact Hub. She founded and curated different TEDx events, especially TEDxBarcelonaWomen. She recently shot a documentary on masculinity in Pakistan called ‘Maard Ban’. She is also a very active speaker, promoting greater diversity and shedding light on lingering stereotypes through her platform Shiftbalance.
Urdu poet Azra Abbas is a literary personality in her own right. In 1981, she published Neend ki Musafatain, an extended prose poem written in the stream-of-consciousness style. Since then, she has published four collections of poetry, her memoirs, a compilation of short stories, and a novel. Oxford University Press recently published a translation of her work, titled Kicking up Dust, in which she reminisces on various aspects of her childhood.
Babar Ayaz has been associated with the news media for over 40 years. He has supervised the production of over five hundred television programmes. In 1988, Babar founded The Mediators, the first independent public relations consultancy firm of Pakistan. He is the author of What’s Wrong with Pakistan?
Babar Khan is a natural resource management professional, who is currently heading a large scale coastal programme in Sindh-Balochistan. Before taking the charge of the coastal programme, he worked in the mountains of Pakistan for about 10 years. He has been awarded the Aizaz-e-Sabqat by the President of Pakistan, a Youth Green Skills Award from the Aga Khan Development Network, and Special Dissertation Award by Chinese Academy of Sciences.
Baela Raza Jamil, CEO of Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) Centre for Education and Consciousness, is a public policy specialist in education and an activist at heart. She is the founder of the Children’s and Teachers’ Literature Festivals and leads the citizen-led assessment and accountability initiative, the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER), Pakistan. Her passion is to see social transformation through education in Pakistan.
Bakhtawar Mazhar is an experienced theatre actress. She holds a Master’s degree in Marketing Communications and a three-year acting diploma from NAPA. She has acted in several theatre productions with renowned theatre directors such as Zia Mohyeddin, Rahat Kazmi, Khalid Ahmed, Gregory Thompson, Zain Ahmed, and Shahid Shafaat.
Mustafa Chaudhery, Murtaza Chaudhery, and Faisal Chaudhery are the pioneers of the first satirical political talk show, the ‘4-Man Show’ in Pakistan. From here on they have gone on to films, stand-up, and direction.
Murtaza is the director and concept head. Faisal is the writer behind the team and the backbone of the trio. Mustafa is also a writer and a great talent in stand-up, mimicry, and acting. The sudden and unexpected popularity of their TV show on AAJ TV, the ‘4-Man Show’ was their take off point. They moved on to create several hits like ‘Banana News Network’ (Geo TV), ‘Media Azaad Hai’ (Express News), ‘Lagti Ha Tu Lagay’, and ‘Dil Pay Mat Lay’ at BOL TV which were extremely popular. They have also made the critically acclaimed film, Quetta.
Bani Abidi’s art practice basically undermines historical facts and stereotypes, she is also interested in the question of memorialization and how memory works. My own work is at the intersection of all these three participants. We conceive the panel as a dialogue with the panelists and the audience as a provocation to open up the question of nationalist narratives to rethink the place of other stories, events and people/groups, who have been left out of history writing on Pakistan.
Bari Mian Firangi Mahali is a well-known scholar and social figure. He is President of the Hasrat Mohani Memorial Society and has been an active member of Karachi’s literary and art scenes. Bari Mian is a connoisseur of Urdu poetry.
Batool Hassan is an A-level student at Cedar College. In 2017, she achieved second place in the Pakistan National Poetry Slam. She was also part of the Jumma Hafta Art Bazaar showcase of T2F, featuring the top 10 intra-city slam finalists and other artists of Karachi. She has two spoken word videos selected by Leisure Club Pakistan and Spoken Stage as part of their Independence Day series, and poet of the month features, respectively. Apart from this, she is a part of Cedar College’s Improv troupe.
Bilal Hamid is a Pakistani poet in the English language. Educated in Indonesia, the USA, and Canada, he has worked as a writer in different capacities: as a journalist, literary editor, and copy and script writer. He recently wrote a script for a short film on jewellery, and has contributed photographs to websites and magazines. He has a love for Russian literature, ontological philosophy, psychology, jazz, photography, and all things art. With his belief that linguistics is a key to utopia, he has published Moonrise, a book of poems.
Bina Shah is a Karachi-based author and novelist. Her novel, A Season for Martyrs, received critical acclaim. Her feminist dystopian novel, Before She Sleeps, is coming soon. A regular contributor to The New York Times, Al Jazeera, and The Huffington Post, Bina is a frequent guest on the BBC. She has contributed essays and op-eds to Granta, The Independent, and The Guardian, and writes a regular column for Dawn. She is currently president of the Alliance Franaise de Karachi and works on issues of women’s rights and female empowerment in Pakistan and across Muslim countries.
Well-known comedienne, actor, and TV presenter Bushra Ansari is a multi-talented performer and artist, who started as a child performer in the 1960s and has remained a major personality for over four decades. She has been featured in some of TV’s most-watched shows, including Angan Terha, Show Time, Show Sha, Rang Tarang, Emergency Ward, and Fifty Fifty. Bushra is known to be equally at ease with comedy or serious drama. She is also an accomplished singer, a lively compere, a gifted mimic, and has written some very popular drama serials and plays including Neeli Dhoop (her first script), Makaan and Kucch Dil nay Kaha. She has received many awards over the years, including the most prestigious Pride of Performance Award.
Claire Chambers is a Senior Lecturer at the University of York, where she researches and teaches literature from South Asia, the Arab world, and their diasporas. She has authored several books, her latest being Rivers of Ink: Selected Essays that has recently been published by Oxford University Press. She publishes widely in numerous journals and is Co-Editor of the Journal of Commonwealth Literature and of the series Global Literature: Twenty-First Century Perspectives.
Dostain Baloch is a film director, screenwriter, and documentary film-maker. Since graduating from the IDSP film school in 2014, he has written screenplays and made five short films, including his internationally nominated short film Mirror of a Madman.
Durriya Kazi is an artist based in Karachi. Currently she heads the Department of Visual Studies, University of Karachi, which she helped establish in 1998.
As an artist, an art educator, Durriya Kazi has contributed to both the theory and practice of art and culture. She has presented papers on art & culture at national and international conferences, and contributed to popular media, exhibition catalogues, academic journals, and books.
Fakir Syed Aijazuddin OBE, is an internationally recognized art historian, writer, and educationist. He has served in various senior managerial positions in both the private and public sectors in Pakistan and in Abu Dhabi (UAE). Since 1994, he has been serving as Honorary British Consul for the United Kingdom at Lahore, for which he was awarded the OBE. A regular feature writer for Dawn, he has also published eighteen books on the history of art, politics, diplomacy, cartography, and Pak-China relations.
Faraz Hamidi is the Co-Founder, Partner, and Chief Creative Officer of D’Hamidi Partnership. Hamidi is a widely published poet and short story writer who has authored two books of poetry: Diva and Skin. His column, ‘Above-the-Line’, for DAWN Media Group’s Aurora magazine, is the longest-running column on advertising by a single author. Faraz is also a visiting professor and member of the Academic Committee at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture.
Farida Faizullah is a Karachi-based educationist and English language poet. Currently a Visiting Faculty of English Literature at Aga Khan University, she was formerly Associate Professor of English at Abdullah Government College for Women. She has co-authored English Skills for Classes 11 and 12, English language textbooks published by Oxford University Press. As a student and young poet, she used to participate in the poetry circle Mixed Voices.
Dr Farrukh Iqbal serves as Director, Institute of Business Administration, Karachi. He has more than thirty years of Research and Management experience in the World Bank across a diverse range of countries and sectors. Among countries, he has worked on Korea, Philippines, Indonesia, China, Iran, Egypt, and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). Among sectors, he has worked and published on various aspects of economic development including growth, poverty, small and medium enterprises, trade and foreign investment, health insurance, local government development, and political economy issues.
Fasi Zaka is a Pakistani television host, columnist, satirist, and political commentator. He is a co-host of the political commentary programme Do Raaye on Dawn News and host of The Fasi Zaka Show on Radio1 FM91. He has written extensively for the Pakistani press as a columnist. Outside the media, Zaka primarily works in public policy and research communications for the development sector as an independent consultant. He is currently a Goodwill Ambassador for the World Wildlife Fund in Pakistan and is a Mentor at the National Incubation Centre for start-ups in Islamabad. Zaka was also declared a Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2012.
Fatema Hassan is a well-known literary personality. Three collections of her poetry have been published: Behtay Huway Phool, Dastak se Dar ka Fasla, and Yaadein Bhi Ab Khwab Huween, as well as their compilation, Yaad ki Barishain. She has also published a selection of short stories, Kahaniyan Gum Ho Jati Hain. A selection of her poetry was translated by Dr Satyapal Anand and Dr David Mathews, and was launched at the Dhaka International Literature Festival 2016. She is Honorary Secretary of Anjuman Tarraqqi-e-Urdu Pakistan. She was awarded Tamgha-e-Imtiaz by the Government of Pakistan.
Fawad Khan is a theatre practitioner with an interest in acting, writing, and direction for stage. He is a graduate of the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA). Along with acting and direction, he is also a practitioner of the storytelling genre of Dastaangoi and has been commended for his achievements in the field. Fawad has been a performer with Zambeel Dramatic Readings since early 2015.
Francis Robinson is a scholar and Professor of History of South Asia at the Royal Holloway, University of London. He is a specialist in studies on Islam and on South Asia. He has published numerous books and monographs, his latest one being Jamal Mian: The Life of Maulana Jamaluddin Abdul Wahab of Farangi Mahall, recently published by Oxford University Press.
Ghazala Rahman Rafiq is the founding director of the Sindh Abhyas Academy at SZABIST. She is one of the founding mothers of the Women’s Action Forum (1981) and served for eleven years on its working committee. During these same years, she founded one coastal village and two inner city schools for Sindhi and Balochi speaking children.
Ghazi Salahuddin is a senior journalist, writer, literary figure, and political analyst. Salahuddin was the first editor of The News, Karachi, and also writes for the Urdu daily Jang. He recently hosted a television show on books, Geo Kitab. Salahuddin was awarded Bibliophile of the Year by the National Book Foundation in 2011. He served as President of the Karachi Press Club in 2006.
Hafiz A. Pasha is a distinguished economist of Pakistan. He has served till 2007 as a United Nations Assistant Secretary General and Director of the Regional Bureau for Asia and the Pacific United Nations Development Program. He has served as Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, Commerce Minister, Education Minister, Deputy Chairman/Federal Minister of the Planning Commission, Chairman, Advisory Panel of Economists to the Planning Commission, Convener, Economic Advisory Council of the Prime Minister of Pakistan, and Chairman, Tax Advisory Council of Federal Board of Revenue. Prior, he was the Vice Chancellor of the University of Karachi, Dean and Director of the Institute of Business Administration Karachi, and Research Professor and Director of the Applied Economics Research Centre Karachi.
Hameed Haroon is the Chief Executive Officer of Herald Publications, publishers of the Dawn Group of Newspapers, one of the oldest and most prestigious media companies in Pakistan. He was instrumental in establishing Dawn News television and has also made significant contributions to the development of popular radio in Pakistan. He is a collector and patron of the arts, and an active promoter of cultural heritage preservation, arts and literature, education, health, and environmental initiatives. He is a recipient of several awards, including the Sitara-i-Imtiaz (2004) and the Hilal-e-Imtiaz (2012).
Hamid Khan is a Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and a founding partner of Cornelius, Lane & Mufti, a leading law firm. He is a former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan and the Lahore High Court Bar Association. Hamid Khan’s publications include Constitutional and Political History of Pakistan, The Islamic Law of Inheritance, Principles of Administrative Law, Comparative Constitutional Law, Administrative Tribunals in Pakistan, A History of the Judiciary in Pakistan, and The Eighth Amendment.
Hamza Iftikhar is a Karachi-based spoken word poet, visual artist, and medical student. He began writing and performing spoken word poetry in 2016; his writing channels feelings of being on the outside and not neatly fitting into conformist social landscapes. Hamza is currently enrolled at the Aga Khan University and holds the title of National Champion of spoken word poetry, which he attained in April 2017 at the Pakistan Poetry Slam finals in Lahore.
Hareem Sumbul Bari is a trained accountant. Her journey through multinationals and an International NGO as its founding director in Pakistan, has been mentoring startups and running her own consultancy for growing businesses, helping them scale their enterprise, process development, and control environment building for almost two decades. She has recently embarked on her entrepreneurial journey, as the Director of Ánesi Private Limited, a Lifestyle Brand based on the premise to ensure its consumers remember to take a break and relax through their hectic lifestyle using various products and services available on its exclusive web portal.
Haris Gazdar works with the Collective for Social Science Research as Director and Senior Researcher, conducting multidisciplinary research on social policy. He has published on a range of issues including poverty, hunger, marginality, migration, and urban violence. His current research is focused on women’s work and its implications on their health, and nutrition of young children.
Harris Khalique is a poet, writing in both Urdu and English. With eight collections of verse to his credit, he also writes non-fiction, besides contributing regularly to literary and news publications. His major poetic works include Ishq ki Taqveem Mein, Between You and Your Love, and the award-winning collection Melay Mein. He has spoken widely on themes straddling literature, culture, politics, human rights, and international development. In 2017, Oxford University Press Pakistan published his essays titled Crimson Papers: Reflections on Struggle, Suffering, and Creativity.
Hifza Shah Jillani is a writer and journalist for both, print and broadcast media. She has hosted a current affairs satire show on Express News and has served as anchor person for News One. She is currently a news anchor for Express News’ upcoming English language channel. She is also an associate producer for stories on Sindh for Aljazeera English. Hifza Shah recently did a travel show in Afghanistan for PTV Home, Express Home, and A-Plus, which was simultaneously aired in Afghanistan on their leading channel Tolo TV. She was nominated by the US State Department as a ‘Future Woman Leader’.
Hoori Noorani runs the Karachi-based publishing house Maktaba-e-Danyal, which she inherited from her late father Malik Noorani. Her love for literature and linguistics led her towards a Master’s degree in Philology with a major in Russian and World literature from the People’s Friendship University in Moscow. Maktaba-e-Danyal has published works of renowned authors that include Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi, Syed Sibte Hassan, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Iftikhar Arif, Fahmida Riaz, and Habib Jalib. Currently, the publishing house is working on translations of Russian classical literature into Urdu. Hoori is also a trained classical dancer.
Dr Huma Baqai is Associate Dean at the IBA, Karachi. She has been associated with teaching and research for over 20 years. She works with both national and international media an as international relations expert and political analyst and has anchored current affairs programmes on Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV), News One, and Channel 24. She is also a certified corporate trainer from the International Academy for Leadership, Gummersbach, Germany.
Hussain Haroon was Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United Nations from 2008 to 2012. He is a businessman, social activist, and a former Sindh Assembly Speaker. He belongs to the well-known Haroon family. He has been on the board of various educational institutions, sports associations, and charity organizations. He has also served as a delegate to the United Nations General Assembly. After completing his education, Haroon began his career in public service as Election Coordinator for Pakistan Muslim League in 1970.
I. A. Rehman has been associated with journalism for over 60 years. He served as Editor-in-Chief of the Pakistan Times. During the East-Pakistan/Bangladesh crisis, he worked as the managing editor of an Urdu daily, Azad. He spent the Zia period (1978-88) as the executive editor of weekly Viewpoint. Besides hundreds of articles and papers contributed to national and foreign publications, he has three books to his credit: Jinnah as a Parliamentarian (co-editor), Arts and Crafts of Pakistan, and Pakistan under Siege, a collection of columns. I. A. Rehman worked as Director of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and as its Secretary-General till 31 December 2016.
A man of varied talents, Ibrahim Waheed ‘Ogaru’ is a household name in the Maldives, where he lives. He is an educator, public speaker, internationally published author, television personality, musician, poet, and artist. He served his country’s government in various senior capacities for over three decades before retiring in 2013. Waheed remains active as a writer and on television where he has his own name-branded television programme, Witness with Waheed. He writes regularly for magazines and other publications, both locally and overseas. He is active in organizations working on environment, international relations, regional culture, and literature.
Iftikhar Arif is a prominent Urdu poet, scholar, and literary personality. Several collections of his poetry have been published, including the rendition of his poetry into English, titled Written in the Season of Fear Oxford University Press. Arif has headed the Pakistan Academy of Letters, National Language Authority, and the National Book Foundation. He has been President of the ECO Cultural Institute in Tehran, Iran. He presently heads the National Language Promotion Department, National History and Literary Heritage Division, Islamabad. He has received numerous awards, including the President’s Pride of Performance Award.
Iftikhar Azam is the Principal Architect and CEO of his practice, h3 Consultants, in Karachi. He is a Life Member of the Pakistan Council of Architects and Town Planners and Institute of Architects Pakistan. He is also an Associate Member of American Institute of Architects and Rice Design Alliance. Azam has been an adjunct faculty and a member of the Board of Studies of Indus Valley School of Architecture. He has been a jury member for several national architectural competitions and award programs.
Ilona Yusuf is a poet, printmaker, and designer. She also freelances for Newsline, writing on art, books and writers, and has contributed essays on Pakistani poetry in English to literary journals, mostly abroad. Her poems have been published once in book form and thereafter in literary journals such as The Atlanta Review, The Journal of Commonwealth and Post Colonial Writing, The Critical Muslim, and Papercuts and the Anthology of the Pakistan Academy of Letters. She has worked as an editor for the short lived Alhamra Literary Review in the mid nineties and as guest editor with Blaine Marchand for a special issue of Pakistani poetry in English for Vallum. Most recently she guest edited The Aleph Review. As a printmaker she integrates word and image in the form of artists’ books; lighting design and conversation piece furniture are her bread and butter.
Poet and educationist Imdad Hussaini writes in both Sindhi and Urdu. Hussaini has published four volumes of poetry in Sindhi and one volume in Urdu. He has translated Mirza Qaleech Baig’s novel Zeenat and rendered the Sindhi folk tale Dodo Chanesar into Urdu. He also translated a selection of Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poetry into Sindhi. Hussaini has been honoured with the Josh Malihabadi Award and the Pride of Performance Award. His collection of Urdu poetry, Dhoop Kiran, received the Allama Iqbal Award.
Dr Imrana Begum is Assistant Professor, NED University of Engineering and Technology, Karachi. She acquired her Master’s in History and PhD in European Studies (2010) from the University of Karachi. Her most recent book, The Impact of the Afghan-Soviet War on Pakistan, published by Oxford University Press, delves into both Afghanistan’s history and the involvement of superpowers in shaping its present situation.
Imrana Maqsood is a highly regarded novelist and playwright, and wife of celebrated entertainment personality Anwar Maqsood. A versatile writer, she has also written cook books and is a three-time winner of the President’s Award, National Book Foundation for Children’s Supplementary Readers. Her most recent work is a biography of her husband titled Uljhe-Suljhe Anwar.
Inaamullah Nadeem is a poet, author, critic, and translator. An exponent of modern Urdu ghazal, his first collection of poetry, Dar-e-Khwab, was published in 2003. He has extensively translated pieces of literature in different languages. He is also interested in various musical art forms, particularly film music of the subcontinent. Nadeem holds Master’s degrees in Urdu Literature and Economics. He presently works at Habib University as an Assistant Professor.
The diplomatic career of Iqbal Akhund spanned four decades. From 1971 to 1978, he was Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations and served as Chairman of the Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and President of the Security Council. In 1979, as UN Assistant Secretary General, he was the Secretary General’s Special Representative in Lebanon and, later, he headed the Centre against Apartheid at the UN headquarters in New York. In 1988, he joined Benazir Bhutto’s cabinet as Adviser on Foreign Affairs and National Security. His books include Trial and Error: The Advent and Eclipse of Benazir Bhutto and Memoirs of a Bystander, both published by Oxford University Press.
Irfan Khoosat is a Pakistani actor, producer, and well-known comedian. He is famous for his comic role as Hawaldar Karamdad in the TV series Andhera Ujala, in which he played the role of a low-ranking policeman who is a simpleton and a blabbermouth. He is also a stage artist of repute and has acted in several films. He received the Nigar Film Award for his comic role in the 1985 movie Hum Se Hai Zamana.
Hailing from Karachi, Urdu poet Irfan Sattar moved to Canada in 2010. He is considered amongst the leading exponents of the Urdu ghazal in modern times. Irfan’s diction is deeply embedded in the classical tradition of the Urdu ghazal, yet his ideas and subjects are essentially contemporary. A management professional, he also hosts a popular television show, Hum-sukhan, on TAG TV Canada.
Isambard Wilkinson started working for Country Life magazine before leaving for Pakistan to explore the country. He had been a foreign correspondent for the Daily Telegraph in Spain and later in Pakistan. His recently published book, Travels in a Dervish Cloak, is about his experiences in Pakistan. He currently works as a journalist and writer based in Hong Kong.
Following a distinguished two decades with the World Bank, Dr Ishrat Husain served as Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan. He has also served as Dean and Director of the Institute of Business Administration, Karachi. He is currently a Member of the Middle East Advisory Group, IMF; Member, President’s Advisory Council, IDB; Convener, Economic Advisory Council, Ministry of Finance; and Member, Advisory Council to the Minister for Planning, Development, and Reforms. His publications include Pakistan: The Economy of an Elitist State and Economic Management in Pakistan, 1999–2002 Oxford University Press. Dr Husain is a recipient of the Hilal-e-Imtiaz and the Nishan-e-Pakistan, the highest civilian award conferred by the Government of Pakistan.
Izhar Soomro is a renowned writer, educationist, senior journalist, founder and chief organizer of the Hyderabad Literature Festival which has been taking place for the last three years. The festival is organized by the Academy for the Promotion of Art, Literature, and Literacy (APAL) of which Soomro is the Managing Editor. He has been with Sindhi and Urdu print and electronic media since the last three decades in various capacities, currently working as Editor daily Jeejal, a Sindhi language newspaper from Hyderabad. Besides, he is also a poet, writing composed and free verses in Sindhi. He is also Director of Allied School Hyderabad Campus, a franchise of Punjab Group of Colleges.
Jami Chandio is a renowned writer, scholar, literary critic, and activist. He is executive director of a think tank, Center for Peace and Civil Society (CPCS) based in Hyderabad, Sindh. He is an author of more than ten books on literature, politics, and society, and has been delivering lectures as a visiting faculty across the globe in universities and think tank organizations. He has worked with various international think tanks in Pakistan and abroad as an expert and resource person on democracy, secularism, and federalism. Chandio edits a quarterly journal Freedom—and his fields of interests include literature, politics, history, and philosophy.
Javed Jabbar’s range of activities and concerns covers writing, filmmaking, voluntary services, advertising and communications, environmental issues, politics, and public affairs. In addition to fifteen books including anthologies, and one screenplay to his credit, the third edition of Jabbar’s book, Pakistan—Unique Origins; Unique Destiny?, was published in 2017, along with its Urdu and Sindhi language translations. As a minister in three federal cabinets and as a senator, he has played a major role in enhancing freedom of the media in Pakistan. He drafted the laws which introduced private electronic media to Pakistan and the Freedom of Information Ordinance.
José Oliver is one of the most ‘important poets of his generation in Germany’, and one of the most significant inter-cultural writers of German language today. He writes predominantly in German but is also influenced by Spanish poets such as Federico Garcia Lorca. To date he has published more than fourteen volumes of poetry, and has received numerous awards. Oliver was also guest professor and writer-in-residence at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, (2002), and at the University of Warwick, UK (2007).
German scholar Jürgen Wasim Frembgen is Adjunct Professor at the Institute of Near and Middle Eastern Studies, Ludwig-Maximilians University, Munich. Dr Frembgen has more than 130 English and German language publications to his credit. He has written extensively on the cultures of the Eastern Muslim world, focusing particularly on Pakistan where he has been conducting ethnographic fieldwork since 1981. He was awarded the Tamgha-i-Imtiaz for his work by the Pakistan Government.
Kaif Ghaznavi is a Karachi-based actor who performs both on television and stage. She has appeared in television serials Mein Adhoori, Khatoon Manzil, Sang e Mar Mar, Sirf Dost, and Ladies Tailor, and in stage plays Badhshahat ka Khatma, Sheri, Yahudi ki Larki, and Chup.
Economist Dr Kaiser Bengali has over thirty-five years of experience in teaching, research, and policy advisory. With a Master’s in Economics from Boston University and a PhD in Economics from the University of Karachi, he has been associated with several prestigious institutions in Pakistan. He has also worked with international organizations. Dr Bengali has held a number of key positions with the governments of Balochistan and Sindh. He has authored several books and has written extensively for prestigious journals and newspapers.
Kami Chouhdry identifies herself as a transgender woman. She is the first transgender fashion model not only in Pakistan but in all Islamic countries. Kami is a member of the core working group of Youth Voices Count (YVC), a Bangkok based organization, and of the Task Force group working on the first ever Transgender Protection Bill 2017. She has represented Pakistan and the LGBTQ community all over the world. Kami has also been on the Steering Committee of Asia Pacific Transgender Network. She runs an organization Subrang which works for the advocacy of transgender and other minority groups.
Kamila Shamsie is regarded as being among the most accomplished Pakistani novelists writing in English. Hailing from Karachi, she is the author of seven novels, including Home Fire, which was longlisted for the Booker Prize and shortlisted for the Costa Prize. Her novels have been translated into over twenty languages. Three of her novels have won awards from the Pakistan Academy of Letters. In 2013, she was listed as one of the ‘Best of Young British Novelists’ by Granta magazine.
Kamran Asdar Ali is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Texas. He has conducted ethnographic research in Mexico, Egypt, and Pakistan. Based on these studies, his publications are on topics relating to health, gender, sexuality, urban issues, popular culture, and labour history. He has currently taken a break from UT Austin and has joined LUMS as Dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences.
Kesho Scott is an internationally renowned Diversity Trainer/Consultant, an Associate Professor of American Studies and Sociology at Grinnell College, and an award-winning writer. In over two decades of developing unlearning racism work, Kesho has led hundreds of professional and community-based workshops; she has been keynote speaker for national conferences as well as a participant on several dozen national and local radio debates, discussions and public service announcements. Grounded in this extensive experience, Kesho developed an “affirmative duty” technique for facilitating unlearning racism workshops.
Dr Khalida Ghaus has thirty years of teaching and research experience, and has worked extensively on foreign policy, development, and gender issues. She has been involved in policy-making with the federal and provincial governments on gender-related issues, and is a member of several technical, public policy advisory committees, and professional bodies. Dr Ghaus is currently serving as Managing Director, Social Policy and Development Centre (SPDC), Karachi.
Khursheed Hyder is currently working with Hum TV as PR Publication head and editor Glam.She began her career in the teaching profession before moving to journalism. With the Dawn Group, she launched Images, a showbiz section of Dawn. She is President of South Asia Women in Media (SAWM), Sindh Chapter, and is on the executive committee of South Asia Free Media Association (SAFMA) and the Jinnah Society.
Khwaja Razi Haider is a writer, researcher, poet, and translator. He began his career as a journalist with the daily Hurriyet, Karachi, in 1966. He moved towards research-based work and rose to the position of Deputy Director, Quaid-i-Azam Academy, Karachi. He has several publications to his credit, including books on Pakistan’s history and politics, a collection of Urdu poetry,
as well as several booklets and numerous articles on history and literature.
Kishwar Naheed is one of the best-known feminist poets of Pakistan. Her first collection of poems, Lab-i-Goya (1968), won the prestigious Adamjee Prize for Literature. Kishwar is the founder of Hawwa (Eve), an organization striving to empower women financially. She was also Director General of the Pakistan National Council of Arts. Kishwar has received numerous awards, including the prestigious civil award Sitara-e-Imtiaz in 2000.
Lahore Amateur Theatre Zealots, or LATZ, is the brainchild of a passionate group of theatre veterans: Huma Ijaz Zaman, Tughral Turab Ali, Omair Rana, and Tülin Khalid Azim. For their first show, they adapted a Neil Simon classic, The Last of the Red Hot Lovers, into an Urdu piece for a contemporary Pakistani audience, titled Dil-e-Nadaan. For their second play, LATZ chose to do an English play, The Good Doctor, also by Neil Simon, which ran successfully at Alhamra, Lahore, and at NAPA, Karachi. For their third play LATZ has chosen to do the acclaimed play ART by French playwright, Yasmina Reza in English language.
Maheen Zia is a Pakistani filmmaker whose work has been aired on Al Jazeera, NHK, and Nat Geo. In 2008, her short fiction film ‘Match Factor’ received the Berlin Today Award. In 2015, her documentary co-production ‘Lyari Notes’ premiered at IDFA (International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam) and broadcasted on Al Jazeera Witness. It received several awards including a Silver Award for Best Long Form Feature by the Indian Documentary Producers Association, 2017; Golden Bodhisattva Award for International Documentary Feature, 2017; and Excellence in Feature Length Documentary Award, ARY Film Festival, 2017.
Mehjabeen Ghazal Ansari is an Urdu language poet. Well-known for her style of recitation and her melodious voice, she has taken part in mushairas both nationally and internationally, and has presented her work on radio and television. Two collections of her poems, Adhuray Khawaab and Sunehray Khawaab, have been published. In 2011, she co-founded the Yorkshire Adabee Forum, a literary organization aiming to promote literature with a focus on the Urdu language.
London-based Mahmood Jamal is a poet and film-maker. A member of the famous Firangi Mahal family, he worked with Professor Francis Robinson on the biography of Jamal Mian Firangi Mahali. He is an Hon. Research Fellow at Royal Holloway College, London, and a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Jamal has several publications to his credit that include Islamic Mystical Poetry, Faiz-Fifty Poems Oxford University Press, and Sugar-Coated Pill. He has recently written and produced a feature film Rahm which is an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. He is also the producer of the ground-breaking series Islamic Conversations that is telecast on Channel Four Television.
Mahtab Akbar Rashdi is a well-known television host and anchor person, government servant, politician, and a campaigner for human rights. Mahtab has held various posts in the government and is the first woman to obtain the position of Secretary in the Sindh government. Her articles are regularly published in newspapers and journals in Sindhi, Urdu, and English. She has also written a book on Indo-Pak Relations. Mahtab has been honoured with a number of awards including the Pride of Performance by the President of Pakistan. She is currently on the board of directors of HUM TV and NAPA, and is President of RAHNUMA FPAP.
Munawar Chao has been performing as a classical dancer for 27 years. A disciple of Sheema Kermani, he specializes in Bharatanatyam but also performs Kathak, Modern, Folk and Sufi. He graduated from the Karachi School of Art in Commercial Design and since 2001 he’s been a senior teacher of Arts, Dance and Movement at the prestigious Karachi Grammar School. Chao also taught Movement at the National Academy of Performing Arts for nearly four years starting in 2011. Chao has choreographed and directed many dance productions. He has performed in India, Germany, Sri Lanka, India, Indonesia, China, Bangladesh, and many Pakistani cities. His 'Chao's Dance and Theatre' company launched in 2014 with its first event being the successful dance 'Dance Democracy' show organized by Chao, featuring eminent and talented dancers. In 2017 Chao organized the Karachi Dance Festival for the Arts Council of Pakistan Karachi, featuring approximately 156 dancers from all over Pakistan. At KLF’s closing Chao will perform his own choreography, a duet to Coke Studio’s Haq Maujood sung by Amanat Ali & Sanam Marvi.
Indian political figure and retired diplomat, Mani Shankar Aiyar was posted as India’s first-ever Consul General to Karachi from 1978 to 1982. From then began his life-long interest, amounting even to obsession, with Pakistan. He has visited the country about thirty-five times in the last thirty-five years. He published his Pakistan Papers in 1994 and has been regularly writing, commenting, and delivering lectures on India-Pakistan relations. Conferred the Outstanding Parliamentarian Award in 2006 by the President of India, he has spoken often on India-Pakistan issues during his several terms in Parliament (1991–2016) and as India’s Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas.
Maniza Naqvi is a novelist and short story writer. She has written four novels: Mass Transit, On Air, Stay with Me, and A Matter of Detail. Sarajevo Saturdays is a collection of her short stories and poems. Her short story, An Impossible Shade of Home Brew, is included in the anthology And Then the World Changed. She writes fiction and essays as a Monday columnist for 3Quarksdaily.com and contributes essays for the monthly magazine, Herald.
Maria Aslam is an architect, architecture and environmental historian, writer, and publisher. An Indus Valley graduate with a Master’s from McGill, she established her practice ArchWorks in 2007. Her interest in architectural documentation led to the launch of the magazine ADA–Architecture Design Art in 2008. Maria has been serving in the leading universities of Pakistan in various capacities, and has presented papers on the socio-urban psychometrics and architecture dynamics in international conferences. Her debut book Interiors of Pakistan showcases the creativity of Pakistan’s architects and designers in the field of interior design.
Mariam Riaz Paracha is the co-founder of Spoken Stage – an organization that promotes freedom of expression through art, performance, and writing in Pakistan. Spoken Stage represented Pakistan in 2016 at India’s first national poetry slam in Bangalore. Mariam recently completed her Master’s in Theatre Education from Emerson College, USA. Mariam is currently Assistant Director at Mano Animation Studios, Pakistan’s first hand drawn animation studio.
Masood Lohar is an environmentalist and development specialist based in Hyderabad, Sindh. He is the National Programme Manager, UNDP-GEF Small Grants Programme Pakistan. Winner of the Benazir Bhutto Human Rights Award 2010, and Gender Equality and Climate Change Award 2014 by the UN Women’s National Committee Canada, Lohar is known for his outstanding contribution in promoting energy-efficient housing and cooking. He is also a poet and columnist.
Mehreen Jabbar is a prolific and critically acclaimed director and producer. Her two-decade long career includes popular television series such as Daam, Doraha, Kahaniyaan, Mera Naam Yousuf Hai, Jackson Heights, and others. Her first feature film, Ramchand Pakistani, premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in 2008. It was awarded the FIPRISCI Prize by the International Federation of Film Critics, Satyajit Ray Award at the London Film Festival, and was screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Her second feature Dobara Phir Se was released in 2016 and received positive response nationally and internationally. It was showcased at the South Asian Film Festival in Seattle and Chicago in 2017.
Dr Mehtab Karim is the founding Vice Chancellor of Malir University of Science and Technology. From 2010–16, he was Research Professor in the School of Public Policy at George Mason University, USA. Previously, Dr Karim has held academic appointments at the Aga Khan University, Princeton University, Johns Hopkins University, London School of Economics.
Quaid-e-Azam University, and University of Karachi. Last year he completed an extensive study on youth radicalization in Pakistan. He has authored or co-authored three books and more than sixty research articles.
Mehvash Amin is an English language poet based in Lahore. Her poems have been published in an anthology as well as in various literary journals, like Vallum, New International Poetics (Canada), Sugar Mule (USA), The Missing Slate, and Abay Khanna’s book, Capitals (Bloomsbury). Mehvash has started a publishing house, Broken Leg Publications, and is publisher and Editor in Chief of The Aleph Review, a yearly anthology of creative writing.
Mohammad Zubair is currently serving as the 32nd Governor of Sindh, a member of the Pakistan Muslim League (N). He served as the Chairman of the Privatisation Commission of Pakistan with the status of junior minister from 2013 to 2017. He received his master’s degree in business administration from the Institute of Business Administration. At IBA, he became the member of the Board of Directors in 1980 and taught Financial Management from 1981 to 1986. After completing his MBA, he joined IBM from 1981 until his resignation in 2007.
Journalist and television personality, Mubashir Zaidi co-hosts the popular current affairs show Zara Hut Kay on Dawn News. He is a former editor with Dawn TV and DAWN.COM. He writes for India’s leading newspaper The Hindu, and has earlier worked as special correspondent for BBC, LA Times, Hindustan Times and Voice of America. Mubashir has written extensively on politics, terrorism, and nuclear black market.
Mohammad Ahmed Shah’s interest in literature began at a very early age. He has dabbled with many arts and is a writer and a producer. He has written a drama serial which gained much popularity in its time. He is the first elected President of the Arts Council and has been organizing numerous events in that capacity. He created the Annual World Urdu Conference in Karachi which has been a successful platform for Urdu writers for five years running. He created the Youth Festivals where the youth have a chance to showcase their art in different competitions. He is a social and cultural activist.
Muhammad Ali Shaikh is a Karachi-based scholar, author, and government official. He has served in various public and private sector positions, and has authored several books and papers on subjects relating to history, education, and communication. His book on Quaid-e-Azam Mohammed Ali Jinnah was awarded the Best Book of the Year award by the National Book Foundation, Pakistan. He is currently serving as Vice Chancellor, Sindh Madressatul Islam University, Karachi.
Well-known journalist, television commentator, and author, Mujahid Barelvi started his career during the dictatorship of General Zia ul-Haq. Barelvi was elected twice as Joint Secretary and twice as Secretary General of the Karachi Press Club. His hard-hitting television talk shows Do Tok, Mujahid On-Line, and Doosra Pehlu have been extremely popular and long-running. Mujahid has authored five books, Fasana Raqm Karain, Jalib Jalib (5th edition), Balochistan: Masla Kia Hai (3rd edition), Khwahish-e-Safar Main Rahey (a travelogue), and Torkham Key Us Taraf. He is currently hosting Mujahid Live, the flagship show on Channel-24.
Muneeza Shamsie is a Karachi-based writer, critic, and editor. She has received awards in the USA for her anthology, And the World Changed: Contemporary Stories by Pakistani Women. Her most recent title, Hybrid Tapestries: The Development of Pakistani Literature in English, was published by Oxford University Press. She is a representative of Pakistan for The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, and serves on the International Advisory Board of The Journal of Postcolonial Writing. Muneeza is also a member of the Advisory Committee of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and was on its 2013 jury. She has been the Regional Chairperson of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize.
Dr Murad Moosa Khan is Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Aga Khan University. He is a graduate of Dow Medical College, obtained Membership of Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK, and a PhD from the University of London. He was recently elected as President of the International Association for Suicide Prevention. Murad Moosa’s research and clinical interests include suicide and attempted suicide, mental health of women and elderly, stress and ethics in medical practice. He is a frequent contributor to lay press on social and medical issues.
Mushba Said is a writer and designer, currently pursuing her BA (Hons.) in Communication & Design with a double minor in Literature and Policy from Habib University, Karachi.
In 2016, she performed at the Creative Karachi Festival alongside her teacher, Mohammed Hanif. She worked with her teacher Dr Sabyn Javeri, on Habib University’s first publication, the Arzu Anthology. Along with being a contributor, Mushba was also the coordinator and head of design for the anthology.
Nadeem Farooq Paracha is a cultural critic, satirist, and a well-known columnist. He writes for Pakistan’s largest English language daily newspaper Dawn. He is also a columnist for the official German media group, Deutsche Welle (DW).
Paracha has written extensively on a wide range of political and cultural topics, especially those related to South Asia. His first book on Pakistan’s social history was published last yesr.
Nadeem Hussain is the founder and ex-President of Tameer Micro Finance Bank, which is a pioneer in mobile and branchless banking in Pakistan. Hussain serves on the advisory board of IBA, Karachi. He is Chairperson of Pakistan Microfinance Network (PMN) and Institute of Capital Markets. He also fulfils his Trustee responsibilities for the Indus Foundation and the Jinnah Institute. Prior to this, he had worked at Citigroup in seven different countries and major financial centres. He was awarded the Global Leader Award in 2011 by C5 in Geneva.
Nadia Naviwala is a nonresident fellow with the Wilson Center in Washington, DC. She is the author of Pakistan’s Education Crisis: The Real Story as well as several articles and opinion pieces about public education reforms and financing in Pakistan that have appeared in the New York Times and Dawn. She serves on the board of Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Elementary Education Foundation (EEF). EEF is a government body that manages public-private partnerships and non-formal education. She is an advisor to The Citizens Foundation (TCF) based in Islamabad. Nadia moved to Islamabad in 2012 as Country Representative for the United States Institute of Peace. Prior, she served as a Pakistan Desk Officer at USAID and a National Security Aide in the U.S. Senate. She taught U.S. foreign policy at the National Defense University in Islamabad in 2014.
Naheed Mashooqullah established her own architectural practice in 1993. Since then she has successfully completed innumerable architectural and interior design projects, and has particularly made her mark in hospitality and residential design. She received a fellowship in 2011 from the Pakistan Institute of Interior Designers, was the first recipient of the Ladies Fund Women Entrepreneurship Award in 2008, and served as Chairperson, Pakistan Institute of Interior Design.
Naila Mahmood is a Karachi-based visual artist, writer, and documentary photographer. Her work revolves around the complexities of urban spaces and human rights. She has also exhibited research based photographic projects. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally. She is the Director of the Vasl Artists’ Association and teaches at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture.
Nasira Zuberi is a Karachi-based poet, senior journalist, and media person with over 20 years of experience in print and electronic journalism. She has worked for the Business Recorder, Aaj News, Geo News, and News One. Three poetry collections of her poems have been published. Her third collection, Teesra Qadam, was launched at the 8th Karachi Literature Festival. She is presently working on her fourth book.
Dr Nauman Naqvi is the Dean of the School of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, and Director of the Liberal Core Curriculum at Habib University. He has a PhD in Anthropology from Columbia University, and has held Mellon Postdoctoral Fellowships at the Department of Comparative Literature at Brown University and the Centre for International Studies and the Liberal Arts at Connecticut College. Dr Naqvi has also been a producer at the BBC World Service.
Nausheen Ahmad started her legal practice in Karachi after being called to the Bar at Gray’s Inn London, in 1983, having completed her LLB from King’s College London, and LLM from the University of London. She practices Commercial and Corporate Law and is registered as an Advocate of the Sindh High Court. She is an accredited Mediator and Master Trainer from the Centre for Dispute Resolution, UK. She is also a researcher on gender and law and a member of the Shirkat Gah collective. She has been training extensively with the Institute of Business Administration on governance for boards with a special focus on women directors. She is a Director of First Women’s Bank Limited.
Naz Ikramullah Ashraf is a practising visual artist who paints, does collage, and is a printmaker. She exhibits regularly both in Pakistan and abroad, and has also produced two short educational films: Making Faces on Masks Around the World and Nur-e-Jahan, Light of the World. She has also written on the shared culture of Hindus and Muslims in Ganga Jamuni: Silver and Gold—A Forgotten Culture.
The eldest of the Ahmed Bashir clan, Neelam Ahmed Bashir has emerged as an Urdu writer, with a vision and creative consciousness of her own period. She is well-known for her contributions in today’s Urdu literary scene and writes candidly and fearlessly on controversial and bold subjects. Neelam has five short story collections, a book of essays, two travelogues, and a new novel, Taoos Faqat Rung, to her credit. She divides her time between Pakistan and the US.
Nichola Khan is a social anthropologist and chartered psychologist based at the University of Brighton in the UK. She is the author of Mohajir Militancy in Pakistan (Routledge 2010), Cityscapes of Violence in Karachi (ed., Oxford University Press, Hurst & Co. 2017), and Mental Disorder: Anthropological Insights (University of Toronto Press 2017). She is currently writing a monograph on Afghan refugee migration entitled Migrant Journeymen from Afghanistan: Taxis, Life, and Making Tracks in Britain.
Nida Kirmani is Associate Professor of Sociology at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). She is also Faculty Director of the Saida Waheed Gender Initiative. Nida has published widely on issues related to gender, Islam, women’s movements, development, and urban studies in India and Pakistan. Her book, Questioning ‘the Muslim Woman’: Identity and Insecurity in an Urban Indian Locality, was published in 2013. Her current research focuses on urban violence, gender and insecurity in the area of Lyari in Karachi. Apart from her academic pursuits, Nida serves as the Chief Patron of the Sindh Tech Vocational Training Center in Lyari and is involved in feminist and social justice and activism in both Lahore and Karachi.
Niilofur Farrukh is a cultural interventionist whose career in visual arts spans art criticism, curatorial assignments and art history. She is the Founding Editor of NuktaArt, Pakistan’s contemporary art magazine, and her art criticism has been printed extensively.
She is the co-curator of the three iterations of ASNA Clay Triennial, is CEO of KB17, and Managing Trustee of Karachi Biennale Trust.
Niilofur is the author of Pioneering Perspectives (1996). Two of her co-edited books, Pakistan’s Radioactive Decade: An Informal Cultural History of the 1970s Oxford University Press, and on the artist Mehr Afroz, are forthcoming.
Well-known and respected short story writer, playwright, poet, columnist, and broadcaster, Noor ul Huda Shah writes both in Urdu and her native language Sindhi. A familiar name in the Pakistani drama industry, she is famous for very popular serials including Jungle, Marvi, Bebak, Meri Adhuri Moahabat, Ajayb Ghar, Adhoora Milan, and Ishq Gumshuda. She was CEO of A-Plus television. Her work reflects the depth of her thoughts on cultural and socioeconomic issues that prevail in the country.
Omar Shahid Hamid has served as a senior counter-terrorism officer in the Karachi police and in Pakistan’s Intelligence Bureau for 14 years. Following that, he has worked for several political risk firms in the City of London, including Exclusive Analysis, IHS Jane’s and IHS Markit. He has been a frequent contributor on media, appearing in major international publications and media outlets like The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Reuters, AFP, AP, The Times of London, BBC, France 24, CNN, Bloomberg and Channel News Asia. He has also written two bestselling books, The Prisoner (2013) and The Spinner’s Tale (2015). His latest novel The Party Worker was launched at the 8th Karachi Literature Festival.
Peerzada Salman is a feature writer with the English daily Dawn. He writes on a variety of subjects related to art, culture, and literature. With a Master’s degree in English Literature from Karachi University, he dabbles in short fiction and is also a bilingual (Urdu and English) poet. In December 2017, his first collection of poems in English, titled Bemused, was published.
Qaisra Shahraz is a prize-winning and critically acclaimed novelist, scriptwriter, and educationist. Her novels have been translated in several languages and are being taught in educational institutions. Qaisra is on top of the list of 50 most influential women in Manchester; has won the National Diversity ‘Lifetime Achiever Award’ for ‘services to literature, education, gender and peace activism’; and in 2012, was recognized as one of 100 influential Pakistani women on Pakistan Power 100 List. Qaisra is the founder and executive director of MACFEST UK, Muslim Arts and Culture Festival, that she is currently setting up in Manchester for November 2018. Through this festival Qaisra aims to celebrate the rich Muslim heritage.
Originally from the UK, Rab Nawaz started his conservation work on Galliformes in 1993. After completing his degree in Wildlife and Habitat Management he moved to Pakistan to work in the Himalayas on the endangered Western tragopan. The WPA (World Pheasant Association) were impressed by Rab Nawaz’s zeal and commitment and took him on board. In October 1998, Rab Nawaz embraced Islam and decided to settle in Pakistan. He joined WWF Pakistan in 1999 and worked in Palas Valley until 2007, and then ‘Indus for All’ Programme as Coordinator. Currently, he is based in Islamabad as WWF Senior Director Programmes where his portfolio includes, forest, marine, and species.
With an undergraduate degree in International Relations, Raisa Vayani pursued journalism for a few years. Having worked at the Herald, Newsline, and the Express Tribune, she gained experience and insight in the world of reporting and editing. Currently, Raisa is the content manager at Markings Publishing, a private and independent publishing house. During her time at Markings, she has authored a book titled A Reel on Karachi: Art Installations in the City, and has worked on numerous projects as editor and proofreader. She continues to publish her writings as a contributor for monthly magazines in her free time.
Razeshta Sethna is a journalist and researcher who is an assistant editor at the Dawn Media Group. She writes on democracy, human rights, gender, peace and security, and media freedom and rights. Previously, she was a senior assistant editor at the political monthly, the Herald. She has also worked in the broadcast media as a presenter and producer for Geo TV and Dawn News. She is a 2015 Thomson Reuters Journalist Fellow at the University of Oxford and a 2013 Chevening Journalism Fellow. In 2018, she was the recipient of the All Pakistan Newspaper Society (APNS) Award for best investigative report, and in 2013, she was awarded the first Women in Media Awards by the Uks Research Centre and APNS.
Reema Abbasi is a Karachi-based journalist and writer. She authored the book Historic Temples in Pakistan—A Call to Conscience. Her second book, Ajmer Sharif: Awakening of Sufism in South Asia was launched last month.
Ms Abbasi was the recipient of the Gender in Journalism Award 2003 from UNESCO for the most gender sensitive reportage. She attended Sherborne School for Girls in England and St. Joseph’s College, Karachi, commencing her journalistic career with culture and lifestyle articles at The News International. She moved on to crime and socio-political writing with The Herald Magazine and then became an Assistant Editor and editorial writer at the daily newspaper Dawn. In September 2014, she received the Rajiv Gandhi Award for the literary personality of the year.
A columnist and an independent contributor with international newspapers, and a regular commentator on socio-political issues, her writings have focused on the values of secularism.
With her book on the temples in Pakistan, she intends to spark a discourse that dispels intolerance towards any faith.
Riaz, in the role of Vice President, Outcomes, is responsible for leading teams that are centered around deepening the impact of TCF’s core and beyond the core programmes. He comes with a rich experience of 17 years in corporate and social and development sectors. He is a strong supporter of the TCF’s cause and has also been a passionate volunteer since 2008.
Richard Heller was a columnist for The Mail On Sunday and The Times. Heller’s publications include A Tale of Ten Wickets, The Network, The Importance of Not Being Earnest, a biographical study of the forgotten literary genius Luke Upward, and a novella from his romantic comedy screenplay Your Very Own Ricky Rubato. In 2016 he published (with Peter Oborne) White on Green, celebrating the drama of Pakistan cricket, which was shortlisted as the MCC Cricket Book of the Year. His original screenplay, Second Innings, which combines themes of cricket and movie-making, will be filmed in Lahore in 2018.
Rina Saeed Khan is an award-winning environmental journalist based in Islamabad. She served as Features Editor of The Friday Times for several years and writes regularly for Dawn and Express Tribune. After completing her Master’s in Environment and Development from SOAS, London, she worked with UNDP in Pakistan and with WWF-Pakistan. She
co-authored Green Pioneers, published by UNDP; Water in the Wilderness: Life in the Coast, Deserts, Mountains of Pakistan; and is the author of From Mountains to Mangroves: Protecting Pakistan’s Natural Heritage, the latter two published by Oxford University Press Pakistan.
Rosinka Chaudhuri is Director and Professor of Cultural Studies at the Centre for Studies in Social Sciences, Calcutta. Her books include Gentlemen Poets in Colonial Bengal: Emergent Nationalism and the Orientalist Project, Freedom and Beef-Steaks: Colonial Calcutta Culture, and The Literary Thing: History, Poetry and the Making of a Modern Literary Culture. She has also edited Derozio, Poet of India: A Definitive Edition, and, with Elleke Boehmer, The Indian Postcolonial. Her most recent publication is A History of Indian Poetry in English. She has also translated and introduced the complete text of the letters Rabindranath Tagore wrote his niece Indira Debi calling it Letters from a Young Poet (1887–94). Currently, she is editing and introducing An Acre of Green Grass: English Writings of Buddhadeva Bose for Oxford University Press, New Delhi.
Sabahat Rafiq started her career as a consultant and coordinator for USAID and Arthur D. Little. She subsequently joined an international Islamic banking group and spent the next few years focusing on Sharia compliant Investment Banking. Upon coming to the US in 1995, she founded a successful textile-trading house in Oregon. She later moved to California, and re-focused her energies on her core expertise in the finance industry. She delivers talks on education, South-Asian affairs, history, and philosophical discourse at universities and forums. She also serves on the President’s Council of United Religions Initiative (URI).
Sabyn Javeri is an award-winning short story writer and the author of bestselling novel Nobody Killed Her. Her short stories on the topic of gender, class, and the immigrant experience as well as her texts on creative writing have been widely published. Her research is currently exploring the works of forgotten literary heroes of the subcontinent and developing a discourse related to cultural identity through creative writing. Her next book is a collection of short stories titled Hijabistan which is to be published next year.
She is currently Assistant Professor at the Arzu Center for Literature and Languages at Habib University, Karachi.
Karachi-based Sadaf Halai is an English language poet and short story writer. She received a Bachelor of Arts from Bennington College, Vermont, and a Masters in Creative Writing from Boston University, Massachusetts, where she studied with such famous writers as Derek Walcott, Robert Pinsky, and Ha Jin. She has been published in Ploughshares, Granta, Vallum, and other publications. She was the winner of the Life’s Too Short Writing Competition and one of her stories was a Finalist for the Glimmer Train Short Story Award for New Writers.
Sadaffe Abid is founder of CIRCLE Pakistan, a social enterprise that aims to increase women’s participation in the economy, business and startups, both in Pakistan and regionally. Sadaffe was founding team member, COO, and later CEO of Kashf Foundation, that she helped grow from two rooms to serve 300,000 clients and disburse USD 200M in micro loans to women clients in Pakistan.
Prof. Dr Sadiah Ahsan Pal is Vice President of the Society of Obstetricians & Gynecologists of Pakistan. She is a consultant at OMI Hospital; Medical Clinic & Concept Fertility Center Karachi, Member; on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Pakistan Medical Association (JPMA); Member & Fellow of the Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists, UK and its Representative Committee for Pakistan; Member, National Committee of Maternal & Neonatal Health of Pakistan (NCMNH); Joint Secretary of AMAN (Association for Mothers & Newborns); Lead Trainer in Pakistan for VCAT (Values Clarification & Attitude Transformation).
Dr Pal has authored numerous articles in national and international journals.
Sahar Imdad is the nom de plume of writer, poet, and scholar Dr Sahar Imdad Shah Hussaini. She earned her PhD with her thesis: Modern Sindhi Poetry-A New Classic (1955-1975). She was associated with the University of Sindh, Jamshoro, for more than thirty-five years and retired as professor. She has nine books to her credit; Shaoor Shair Shairi was awarded the Best Research Book 2008 by the Sindhi Language Authority. She has worked extensively on Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai’s poetry. She is the recipient of the civilian award Tamhgai Imtiaz, and the Sindh Adeeb Award that she received at Jaipur in 2013. Sahar Imdad is currently working as a professor at Habib University, Karachi.
Saif Mahmood is a New Delhi-based literary personality, poetry and literature critic, commentator, translator, and rights activist. An Advocate of the Supreme Court of India, he holds a Doctorate in Constitutional Law. Saif speaks and writes on diverse issues, ranging from law to literature, and is associated with a number of academic, legal, professional, and literary organizations around the world. Founder of South Asian Alliance for Literature, Art and Culture (SAALARC), his works have appeared in various prestigious publications and his English translations of Urdu poets have been applauded the world over. His book on Delhi and its Mughal poets is expected to be launched shortly.
Sakib Sherani has wide ranging experience in public policy, corporate management, financial services and not-for-profit organizations. He has served as Principal Economic Advisor in the Ministry of Finance, was a Member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council, Member of the Panel of Economists of the Planning Commission, and has served as the Chief Economist, Pakistan, for the Royal Bank of Scotland (formerly ABN Amro Bank N.V.). Sherani has also served on the boards of several multinational as well local enterprises, including Pak-Arab Refinery, Rural Support Program Network, LEAD Pakistan, Al Shifa Eye Trust, and Social Policy and Development Centre (SPDC).
Salman Ahmad is a musician, physician, and United Nations Goodwill Ambassador. He founded South Asia’s biggest rock band, Junoon, in 1990. The band popularized a blend of Western rock music and Eastern/Islamic music that has been called ‘Sufi Rock’, Junoon has sold over 25 million albums worldwide. Ahmed is a member of the Brookings Institute’s US-Islamic Arts and Culture Panel for Public Diplomacy, and is a professor at Queens College where he teaches music and poetry. With his wife Samina he runs the Salman & Samina Global Wellness Initiative, an NGO focused on interfaith and cross-cultural dialogue, global health and wellness, and music education. Ahmad has written a memoir titled Rock and Roll Jihad.
Salman Sarwat is an upcoming poet belonging to the younger generation of Urdu poets who attracted attention with their promising work. He has read from his work in literary functions and mushairas. Sarwat is also associated with the Barrett Hodgson University, Karachi.
Former corporate executive and management consultant Salman Tarik Kureshi is an English language poet and newspaper columnist. His poems and short stories have been published in periodicals in the UK, USA, and Pakistan. His poems have also appeared in Pieces of Eight, Legacy of the Indus, The Blue Wind, Dragonfly in the Sun, and the Journal of Postcolonial Writing. An anthology of his poems, Landscapes of the Mind, was one of the titles in Oxford University Press’s Jubilee series on Pakistan’s 50th Anniversary. Kureshi is presently an Editorial Consultant at Oxford University Press.
Saman Shamsie is the author of two books for children, The Magical Woods and The Adventures of Slothful Sloughoff, both published by Oxford University Press.
She has been in London involved in the Preston Road Community Library Campaign and later, named its Children’s Laureate. In 2016 the library held a ‘Saman Shamsie Young Writer’s Challenge’, for children. She is currently a primary school teacher at the Karachi Grammar School, but previously taught O-level Physics there. In the 1990s she worked in Karachi as a ceramic artist and conducted ceramic workshops at art schools.
Renowned actor Samina Ahmed commenced her career primarily with dramatic roles in plays from Lahore on Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV). However, she has come to be known for her roles in comedy series, such as Akkar Bakkar, Taal Matol, Alif Noon, and Such Gup. She also acted in the comedy drama Family Front and Side Order. She was a Programmes Director at the Alhamra Arts Council in Lahore and performing on television concurrently. In 1997, she launched her own television company, Samina Ahmed Productions, which produced the widely-popular series Family Front.
Samina Rahman studied English Literature and Politics from the Universities of Punjab and Cambridge, respectively. She has been a teacher, educationist, and human rights activist for over forty years. She is a founding member of Women’s Action Forum (WAF) Lahore, and has sat on the board of numerous education and women’s rights organizations. Samina has written on education, literature, history, and women’s issues. Her English translations of Urdu fiction and poetry have been published in various anthologies at home and abroad.
Sania Saeed is a Pakistani television and stage actor and TV host. Sania’s acting career began at the age of ten with Dastak, the theatre group set up by her father and other political activists. In 1992, along with her husband Shahid Shafaat, they formed the group Katha. Sania first appeared on television in 1989 and, for the next two decades, has appeared in numerous plays in key roles. Some of these include Aurat, Aahat, Sitara aur Mehrunissa, and others. She also acted in the feature film Manto, which was released in 2015. Sania won the PTV Award for Best Actress in 1991 and in 2011. She has received four Lux Style Awards in the Best Actress category.
Celebrated actor, director, and script-writer Sarmad Sultan Khoosat lives in Lahore. Commencing his career in his father’s production house, he rose to prominence during the late 1990s with the sitcom Shashlick, which he wrote, directed, and produced, as well as played the lead. He has since acted in and directed numerous successful television plays that include Piya Naam ka Diya, Jalpari, Mera Yaqeen, Pani Jaisa Pyar, Kalmoohi, Humsafar, Shehr-e-Zaat, Ashk, and Daagh.
Khoosat’s debut feature film Manto was received well by the audience.
Dr Sarosh Hashmat Lodhi is Vice-Chancellor of NED University of Engineering & Technology. He was the first Management Representative for ISO 9000 (quality management systems standards) and developed a Quality Assurance System for higher education. This system is being used as a benchmark by the Higher Education Commission for all universities in Pakistan. He is amongst the pioneers in developing student exchange programmes for NED University students funded by the European Union. Dr Lodi’s research work has been published in numerous national and international journals.
Sarvat Hasin was born in London and grew up in Karachi. She studied Politics at Royal Holloway, and Creative Writing at the University of Oxford. She is fiction editor at The Stockholm Review and works at Hachette Children’s Group. Her debut novel, This Wide Night, has been published by Penguin India. It was longlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Fiction.
Sarwat Zehra is a poet in the Urdu language. Identified with a contemporary idiom and modern sensibility, she is equally at home in the ghazal and the nazam forms but is especially known in literary circles for her nazams. She has published two collections of her poetry, Jalti Hawa ka Geet and Waqt ki Qaid say. She is a medical doctor by training and is associated with a hospital in Dubai.
Sayeed Hasan Khan has been a peace activist and member of the anti-war coalition while he was living in London. He has authored several books, the latest being Across the Seas which was launched two years ago at the Karachi Literature Festival. He has also made documentaries such as ‘End of Empire’ for British Television. He regularly writes for the English daily Dawn and for newspapers in England and India.
Sayeeda Leghari is an inspirational entrepreneur, a renowned philanthropist, and a talented writer. Her book Pakistan Heritage Cuisine-A Food Story has not only been a bestseller in Pakistan but it has also won recognition globally. She has penned down a truly magnificent and valuable experience for the readers, describing how a cuisine is shaped by the history and distinct nature of the region and its people. Sayeeda is Managing Director and Chairperson of Sukkur Beverages — a Pepsi Co. Franchise. She has received recognition for her work to minimize the illiteracy rate in the country by extending support through adoption of several government schools across Pakistan.
Secunder Kermani is BBC’s Pakistan Correspondent covering events in Pakistan and Afghanistan. He previously worked as a Correspondent on BBC’s flagship current affairs programme ‘Newsnight’ in London, where he won awards and acclaim for his reporting on Islamist extremism and the growth of ISIS. In his current position he has interviewed a number of Pakistan’s leading political figures, produced an in-depth documentary film on the brutal killing of Mashal Khan, and uncovered allegations of extrajudicial killings by British Special Forces in Afghanistan.
Shah Muhammad Pirzada is a prominent Sindhi poet. In 1997, he and Asif Farrukhi translated Sheikh Ayaz’s poems from Sindhi to English titled Storm’s Calls for Prayer Oxford University Press. He has also compiled and translated the works of Sheikh Ayaz in Urdu titled Zikr-e-Ayaz and Fikr-e-Ayaz respectively. Besides being a poet Pirzada is also a businessman. He is actively involved in social work in his native village.
Shaharyar Khan is a direct descendant of the Bhopal ruling family. He served as Pakistan’s ambassador to Jordan, UK, and France. He reached the top position of his profession as Foreign Secretary, a post he held for four years, from 1990 to 1994, when he retired. Since August 1999, he has intermittently served as the chairman of Pakistan Cricket Board. He is the current president of Asian Cricket Council.
Shahid Abdulla is the principal and founding partner of Arshad Shahid Abdulla (Pvt.) Ltd., which he formed in 1979 along with his brother Arshad Abdullah. Shahid is a member of Pakistan Council of Architects and Town Planners (PCATP) as well as Institute of Architects Pakistan (IAP). He was also the founding chairman of Pakistan Institute of Interior Designers, established in 2001. In 1990, along with a group of concerned individuals, he founded the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture. In 2008, he helped found The Hunar Foundation (THF), a non-profit organization with the objective of finding a solution to the problems of livelihood for the youth, by provision of quality vocational training.
Shahida Hassan is a poet, literary critic, and teacher. She has made a special name for herself in contemporary Urdu literature as a poet and critic of contemporary sensibilities. Her publications include Aik Tara hay Sarhanay Mairay (poetry), Yahaan Kuch Phool Rakhay Hain (poetry), Ada Jafri—Fun aur Shakhsiat (critical analyses in prose), Shaam ki Baarishain (renderings of her poems into Devnagri script, published in India), She has presented several critical essays in international conferences and seminars. She was invited by the South Asian Studies Centres of the University of Pennsylvania, University of Texas, Austin, University of California, Berkeley as Workshop Speaker, to represent contemporary women writers and poets.
Writer Shahnaz Aijazuddin lives in Lahore. Her articles have been compiled and issued in 1994 under the title Lost from View. More recently, she has published an English translation of the famed dastan Tilism-e-Hoshruba, in which she has compressed seven volumes of Urdu text into a single handy volume. Her fluency in Urdu and English and familiarity with Persian gave her work a unique authenticity, evoking the late Intezar Husain’s compliment, that Shahnaz had ‘recaptured the spirit of the original in her thoroughly readable version’. She is a frequent contributor to periodicals and matters of social interest.
Shakeel Adil Zada is a well-known writer. He was the Editor of ‘Sab Rung’ Publications.
Shameneh Majid started writing and performing regularly around three years ago and has since performed across the city and in Lahore and was part of the group that performed in Bangalore at India’s first national slam in 2016. She works with Spoken Stage to help promote spoken word as a medium, conducting workshops and hosting events, helping encourage people to express themselves. Her poetry explores the idea of the body, the self, womanhood, families and interpersonal relationships.
Dr Shamsh Kassim-Lakha is Chairman of the Board of University of Central Asia, and Diplomatic Representative of the Aga Khan Development Network to the Kyrgyz Republic. As Founding President of the Aga Khan University, for nearly three decades Dr Kassim-Lakha led this internationally renowned institution. Dr Kassim-Lakha served as Pakistan’s Minister of Education and Minister of Science and Technology in the caretaker government of 2007–8. As Minister of State, he led major reforms in higher education, including the establishment of the Higher Education Commission.
Sharmeen Obaid Chinoy is a two-time Academy Award and Emmy Award winning documentary filmmaker. In the past sixteen years, she has made a dozen multi-award winning films in over ten countries around the world. In 2012, Time Magazine included Sharmeen in their annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. That same year the Pakistan Government awarded her with highest civil honour ‘Hilal-e-Imtiaz’. In 2013, the Canadian government awarded her a Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal for her work in the field of documentary films, and the World Economic Forum honoured her with a Crystal Award at their annual summit in Davos.
Shayma trained under Maharaj Ghulam Husain for over seven years in Lahore, starting at age six. In Karachi she continued Kathak under Nighat Chaodhry, and Odissi under Sheema Kermani. At Grinnell College she joined the Dance Troupe and studied choreography and Modern Dance under B. G. Voertman, and later at Barnard College, (while pursuing her Masters at Columbia), American Dance Festival, Dance New Amsterdam, etc. Shayma has performed in Pakistan, USA, Canada and UK and continued taking workshops from Kathak masters including Nahid Siddiqui, Birju Mahraj and Kumudini Lakhia. She is currently training under Sandhya Desai. Shayma’s work is also influenced and inspired by Jahanara Akhlaq. Shayma’s writings on Pakistan were published in the International Encyclopedia of Dance, (OUP-USA, 1998). Shayma has interviewed some of Pakistan’s leading dancers for KLF-ILF, and taught science through dance for the Children’s Literature Festival.
At KLF’s opening ceremony Shayma will perform Kathak to recorded music composed by Atul Desai, with choreography by Kumudini Lakhia. She is grateful to her teacher Sandhya Desai for permission to perform this musically and stylistically
ground-breaking contemporary Kathak piece.
Sheela Reddy has written extensively for leading Indian newspapers and journals during her thirty-five years in journalism. In her last job as books editor for the Indian news magazine Outlook, she wrote on diverse subjects, including politics, history, culture, literature, biographical sketches, and interviews. Her writing has appeared in literary magazines and in several anthologies. She is the author of the recently published Mr and Mrs Jinnah: The Marriage That Shook India. The book has been translated into several languages.
Sheema Kermani, the founder of Tehrik-e-Niswan, is a classical dancer, choreographer, teacher, theatre practitioner, and peace and women’s rights activist. She is Pakistan’s leading performance artist. She teaches dancing and drama and also acts for the stage and television. She combines this with activism, which includes Mobile Theatre in low-income areas. Tehrik-e-Niswan is a Cultural Action Group using the medium of theatre and performing arts to bring awareness on rights issues. Sheema Kermani teaches at Szabist University, Karachi, National College of Arts, Lahore, and Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi. She has performed at many prestigious conferences and festivals, both locally and abroad. Sheema has received many awards, including the ‘Courageous Woman Award’ and ‘The Association for Communal Harmony in Asia’ Peace star Award, 2012.
Shireen Z. Haroun is a writer of poetry whose work is imbued with sharp observations of nature and a sensibility tending towards the dark. Her poems have appeared in the Journals of the Pakistan Academy of Letters as well as the Canadian magazine Vellum. She is the only daughter of the late Maki Kureishi, who was herself one of Pakistan’s finest poets in English. Shireen teaches English Literature for both O and A level students. She holds a Law degree from the University of Warwick, England. She lives in Karachi with her Malaysian origin husband, who is also a lawyer and occasional poet.
Sima Kamil is President & CEO of United Bank Limited. She has a degree in Business from Kingston University, UK, and an MBA from City University, London. Sima started her career at American Express Bank and went on to work at ANZ Grindlays, Standard Chartered Bank, and Habib Bank. Sima has over thirty years of experience in Risk Management, and Retail, Corporate, and Investment Banking. She is also Chair of the Board of Governors of Karachi Grammar School and on the Board of the Notre Dame Institute of Education.
Sohaib Alvi is a strategy and marketing consultant, corporate trainer, writer, blogger, editor, author, entrepreneur, analyst, youth motivator, and mentor.
Sumaira Ali started her dance career in 2011 at PNCA Karachi where she learned classical and folk dance from Azra Baji and Ustad Abbas and performed often. Later in 2011, Sumaira joined Tehrik e Niswan where she learned dance from Sheema Kermani, and acted in numerous plays under the direction of Anwer Jafri, including several lead performances. Sumaira has given acclaimed theatre and dance performances with Tehrik e Niswan in Pakistan, America, Sweden, India, Dubai, and China. Sumaira has also performed duet dances with Shakir Samrat. Sumaira is presently a senior dancer with PNCA Karachi and also practices as an independent, freelance dance and theatre artist. The 2018 KLF marks her first performance as a solo dance artist in which she premiered her own folk choreography to a Sindhi folk song Pere Pavandi Saan sung by Mithu Tahir, recorded by Coke Studio; she also performed a sufi duet with Mani Chao.
Sumbal Shahid is a successful actor in the Pakistani television industry. She wears many hats, including that of a singer, actor, and talk show host. Sumbal has a unique sense of the comedic that sets her apart from her contemporaries in the world of Pakistani drama.
Sunil Shanker is a Karachi-based theatre personality. He graduated from the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) in 2009, where he majored in acting. Besides acting, he has directed a number of significant theatrical presentations. He gained recognition after his first play Equus at the 2012 NAPA theatre festival. In 2013, his play Mantorama was selected in the National School of Drama (NSD) festival in New Delhi, India. He has worked in the Urdu adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale, and made his debut in the feature film Rahm, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure. Shanker was voted Best Director 2013 in the Express Tribune awards.
In 2015, Sunil formed his own theatre group Syna Productions.
A broadcast journalist by profession, Syed Kashif Raza is a poet, fiction writer, and translator, based in Karachi. He has authored five books including two volumes of poetry. His critical essays and political articles, both in Urdu and English, are published frequently. He has translated the writings of Milan Kundera, Borges, James Joyce, and Noam Chomsky into Urdu.
Syed Salim Raza is a Karachi-based banker and educationist. He was Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan from 2009 to 2010. Prior to this, he had set up and managed the Pakistan Business Council—a research and advocacy body for national business issues. Raza had worked with Citibank NA from 1970 to 2006, spending most of his career in the UK, and also the Middle East and Africa, in a variety of regional managerial responsibilities. Currently, he is an Adjunct Professor of Political Economy at the IBA, Karachi. He is also on the boards of various NGOs and a couple of commercial organizations.
Talib Syed Karim is President of the Institute of Business Management (IoBM). He received his Bachelor’s degree in Systems Engineering and Master’s in Economics from the University of Arizona, Tucson, USA. On his return to Pakistan in 1986, he joined a development finance institution and worked there for a good number of years in various capacities. He decided to leave the organization to devote full time towards the establishment of IoBM (previously CBM) which is one of the leading educational institutions in the country.
Tanveer Anjum is a well-known Urdu poet, who expresses her spirit of feminist resistance and challenge to hegemonic forces, social structures and their grand narratives with unique subtlety. Eight collections of her poetry have been published, including seven collections of prose poems. Her poems have also appeared in translation in anthologies and journals in Pakistan, India, UK, and the USA. She has also been translating works of English and world literature into Urdu. Anjum has been teaching English language and literature since 1980. She has received a national award, Aizaz-e-Fazeelat, for her academic and literary achievements.
Tariq Khosa has been actively involved in law enforcement since start of public service in 1973. He served in various supervisory and command positions in the Police Service of Pakistan and has been actively engaged in structural and operational reforms in the policing and justice sectors. Khosa served as Director General, Federal Investigation Agency and as head of the federal police, he supervised the Mumbai terror attacks investigations and also initiated criminal investigation of Benazir Bhutto’s assassination. He retired in 2011.
Tehmina Ahmed is a journalist, photographer, and documentary filmmaker. She is co-founder of Newsline Publications and heads Newsline Films. Before switching to journalism, Tehmina worked as an advertising copywriter and creative director. She has an interest in poetry and creative non-fiction, and her poems, essays, and articles have been published in Pakistani Literature, International Gallerie, Nukta, Newsline, the daily Dawn, Herald, and other publications. She has written and produced documentaries which were screened at several international festivals.
Amongst the emerging poets, Karachi-based Usama Ameer has received much acclaim. Usama is currently studying at a local university and looking after personal business as well. Usama compiled a selection of Nazir Qaiser’s ghazals titled Tumhare Shehr ka Mausam that has been published by Rang-e-Adab, Karachi.
Uzma Noorani has been working in the field of human and women’s rights for over two decades. She has served on the council of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) for over a decade. She is a founding member of Women’s Action Forum (WAF). Ms Noorani is an office bearer of Pakistan India Peoples Forum for Peace and Democracy (PIPFD), and a member of South Asians for Human Rights (SAHR). She is a Founding Trustee as well as Managing Trustee and General Secretary of Panah Trust, which runs Panah Shelter Home. She is a founding member of People’s Resistance, a civil society group which was formed in 2007 for the restoration of the judiciary. She was nominated by the Federal Government as a member from Sindh province to The National Commission on the Status of Women in 2012 for a period of three years.
Dr Vaqar Ahmed is a leading Pakistani economist. Presently the Deputy Executive Director at Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Islamabad, he has earlier served the UNDP as an Advisor, and has undertaken assignments with the Asian Development Bank, World Bank, and Ministries of Finance, Planning and Commerce in Pakistan. Between 2009 and 2011, he was the Head of Macroeconomics Section in the Planning Commission of Pakistan. He has published extensively and is the visiting faculty member and researcher in different international institutes, including the University of Le Havre in France, National University of Ireland, IMT Institute of Advanced Studies in Italy and Pakistan Institute of Trade and Development. He was Lead Organizer for 5th South Asia Economic Summit in 2012 and 2015 with policy recommendations framed for eight South Asian governments and South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) Secretariat.
Victoria Schofield is a writer and commentator who has written extensively on South Asia. She is an acknowledged expert on the Kashmir issue and is the author of Kashmir in the Crossfire and Kashmir in Conflict. Her other publications include Afghan Frontier: At the Crossroads of Conflict; Wavell: Soldier and Statesman; Old Roads, New Highways: Fifty Years of Pakistan, (ed.); and Bhutto: Trial and Execution. Her most recent publications are Witness to History: The Life of John Wheeler-Bennett and The Highland Furies: The Black Watch 1939–1899 (volume 1). The second volume: The Black Watch: Fighting in the Front Line 1899-2006 was published in 2017. Schofield is an Associate of the Pakistan Security Research Unit (PSRU), University of Durham and a Visiting Lecturer at King’s College, London. She is a frequent commentator on BBC and other news outlets, and has travelled widely in the region.
Waheed Noor, a lawyer by profession, is a social and human rights activist from Lyari, Karachi. He is former member of the managing committee of Karachi Bar Association. He writes poetry in Urdu and Balochi. His Urdu poetry collection Sukoot Bol Para has been published.
Wasif Rizvi is the founding president of Habib University. He has led the vision of the first liberal arts institution of higher learning in Pakistan.
Wasif has been involved in various areas of education development in the developing world for the last two decades. Prior to initiating the Habib University project, he had led Aga Khan Education Service in Pakistan and several other development projects in Asia and Africa.
Dr Y. V. Reddy was Chairman of the 14th Finance Commission of India from 2013–14. He was Governor Reserve Bank of India from 2003–2008. During the period 2008–13, he was associated with the University of Hyderabad, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, and Columbia University, USA. He served on the Advisory Board of the Institute for New Economic Thinking (INET), as a member of the United National’s Commission of Experts on Reforms of the International Monetary and Financial System, and the Palais-Royal Initiative on the Reforms of International Monetary System, Paris. He was awarded India’s second highest civilian honour, the Padma Vibhushan in 2010.
Yasir Qazi is a radio broadcast journalist, poet, prose writer, researcher, and translator. He has been writing since childhood, carrying the legacy of his father — the celebrated Sindhi poet and scholar, Maqood Gul. Yasir is a regular columnist for newspapers and magazines. He has published three poetry books for children, two of which were awarded the ‘Best Children’s Book of the Year’ by the Sindhi Language Authority, Government of Sindh. Yasir’s fourth book is a compilation of Sindhi essays, write-ups, and columns, written by various writers on Maqsood Gul.
Yawar Jilani is an architect who, in the last thirty years, has worked with several communities and people to design modern-day urban villages. He, along with his partner architect, Mahboob Khan, have a practice which attempts to create architecture by engaging in a dialogue with context, culture, technology, economy, and human aspirations.
Zain Ahmed is currently the Artistic Director of the National Academy of Performing Arts Repertory Theatre (NRT). He is also a faculty member of the Theatre department at NAPA in Karachi. He has been working in Theatre and Television as an actor and director for the last 17 years. His television work includes the hit comic series, Jutt and Bond, Inspector Khoji, Side Orders, and Kyunki Jeen Hai Jhoom Ke while his recent notable theatre work includes Stumped, Shakuntala, Janay Pehchanay Ajnabi, and Raagni.
Ahmed is the founder and director of the NAPA International Theatre Festival. Zain Ahmed has also been instrumental in initiating performances for children at NAPA.
Zakia Ghazal is a well-known poet of Pakistani origin living in Canada. Her literary and poetic ventures have charmed audiences worldwide for well over a decade. Her first poetry collection, Badal, Geet, Hawa aur Main was launched in Karachi. In 2002, Zakia formed a socio-cultural and literary organization ‘IZHAAR’, with the objective of helping out those writers and poets who are financially challenged. IZHAAR Toronto Chapter started its activities in April 2014 and have organized a number of cultural events that have been well received.
Asma Mundrawala is a visual artist and theatre practitioner. She is Associate Professor in the Department of Fine Art at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture. Asma has been associated with theatre since 1997 and has performed in productions for the Karachi based theatre group Tehrik e Niswan and more recently, for the NAPA Repertory Theatre. Asma is the director and sound designer for Zambeel Dramatic Readings and the director for its online platform Zambeelnaama.
Saife Hasan commenced his performing arts career via theatre in 1997 and has performed in several prestigious theatre festivals internationally and in Pakistan. He is also a well-known television actor and has directed many plays for renowned production houses in Karachi. He now works independently and has, over the past years, directed popular plays for production houses like Hum Television and TV One. Saife is a lead performer and co-founder of Zambeel Dramatic Readings.
Meesam Naqvi graduated from the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) with a diploma in Theatre Arts. He has acted in
well-known productions by NAPA as well as its Repertory Company including Sultan ka Faisla, Beech Bahar ki Raat ka Sapna, Dark Room and Marat/Sade. Meesam has also directed for theatre, including the critically acclaimed production of Vijay Tendulkar’s play Kamla. He has acted in and directed plays for television and most recently has worked as Assistant Director in Pakistani films Chambaili. Karachi say Lahore and Hijrat. Meesam has been an actor with Zambeel since 2013.
Zarrar Khuhro is a journalist and columnist. He presently co-hosts Zara Hut Kay on Dawn TV, aired on weeknights.
Zia Mohyeddin, a legend in his lifetime, is a man of many parts. His career spans acting, directing, writing, broadcasting, and a wide range of aesthetic disciplines. Starting as a radio broadcaster, he later studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London and on his return to Pakistan, he produced, directed, and acted in numerous plays. Zia made many memorable stage appearances in London and New York, both in classical and contemporary works. He also featured in a number of films and numerous television appearances in England.
In 1970 he presented the now legendary Zia Mohyeddin Show on television. Later, he accepted the post of Director at the PIA Arts Academy.
In 2005, Zia Mohyeddin set up the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) in Karachi. He is also the author of three books A Carrot is a Carrot, Theatrics, and The God of My Idolatry.
Zoha Jabbar is a poet and performer from Karachi. She has been working with Spoken Stage for a few years, an organization which promotes the art of spoken word in Pakistan. With the organization, Zoha has traveled across Pakistan conducting workshops on writing and performance, as well traveled to Bangalore to feature in India’s first National Youth Poetry Slam. She is currently a senior at Habib University, graduating in 2018 with a major in Communication and Design, and minors in English and Comparative Literature, as well as Social Development and Policy. She is part of the editorial team for the Arzu Anthology, a collection of poetry and prose from Habib University students.
Zohab Khan is an educator, spoken word poet, motivational speaker, didgeridoo player, and hip-hop artist. He is also co-founder of the Pakistan Poetry Slam. In 2014, he was a finalist in the International Poetry Slam in Madrid, Spain. His workshops aim to inspire change and confidence in young people through spoken word poetry. Through his work, Zohab confronts a range of social justice issues, from racism to socio-economic disparities. His intense energy and powerful words have left countless inspired.
Zubeida Mustafa is a leading figure in Pakistani journalism. She is the winner of the IWMF’s Lifetime Achievement Award for Journalism 2012. She now writes as a freelance journalist, contributing a fortnightly column to Dawn, the newspaper with which she worked as an Assistant Editor from 1975 to 2008. She writes on a variety of subjects but her interest has mainly been in the social sector, which she has covered extensively. She has investigated indepth issues such as education, health care, women’s empowerment, children’s rights, and the lives of ordinary people.
Zulfiqar Ali Kalhoro is an anthropologist and head of the Department of Development Studies at the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), Islamabad. His main areas of interest are religion and folk and rock art of Pakistan, especially in Sindh. He has also been working on the representation of women in folk romance paintings of Sindh. His publications include Perspectives on the Art and Architecture of Sindh (2014) and Memorial Stones–Tharparkar (2017). He is currently working on two books: Religion in Tharparkar and Saints, Sufis, and Shrines: A Journey through the Sufi La