8th KARACHI LITERATURE FESTIVAL / JASHN-E-ADAB PROGRAMME: 10 - 12 FEBRUARY 2017
*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 • Art Exhibition
FRIDAY, 10 FEBRUARY 2017
Arrival of Guests and Performance: Asif Sinan
Welcome Speeches by Ameena Saiyid OBE and Asif Farrukhi, and by the Festival Sponsors
Award ceremony of KLF Pepsi (Non-Fiction), KLF Getz Pharma (Fiction), and KLF Infaq Foundation (Urdu Literature) Prizes
Keynote Speeches by Ayesha Jalal and Mustansar Hussain Tarar
Performance: Shayma Saiyid
7.45 – 8.45 pm
Pakistani Music: From Raagas to Rock
Zoe Viccaji, Taimur Rahman, Tina Sani, Saif Samejo, Yousuf Kerai. Moderator: Arshad Mahmud
No Honour in Honour Killing: Gender Violence, Law, Religion and
Power in Pakistan
Nafisa Shah, Mohammed Hanif, Anita M. Weiss, Nausheen Ahmad
Moderator: Umber Khairi
Adab kay Sitaray
Zehra Nigah, Kishwar Naheed, Masood Ashar, Mustansar Hussain Tarar
Moderator: Saif Mahmood
Climate Change and Nuclear War: Pervez Hoodbhoy and Zia Mian in conversation
Skewed History: How History Dies in the Syllabus?
Qasim Aslam, Abbas Husain, Anam Zakaria, Newal Osman. Moderator: Baela Raza Jamil
SATURDAY, 11 FEBRUARY 2017
Sat 11 Feb
Sindh Speaks. Chair: Noor ul Huda Shah. Zaffar Junejo, Akash Ansari, Ahmed Solangi, Saif Samejo. Moderator: Amar Sindhu
Launch: High-Life in Pakistan by Regula Bubb. Regula Bubb, Malahat Awan, Syed Nusrat Ali. Moderator: Maniza Naqvi
Sat 11 Feb
11 am - 12 noon
Urdu Nu Kia Hua? Arfa Sayeda Zehra, Ali Akbar Natiq, Afzal Ahmed Syed. Moderator: Saif Mahmood
Bringing the Past into the Present. Framji Minwalla, Nomanul Haq in conversation with Ayesha Jalal
Minorities in Pakistan’s Legal System. Ashothama Lohano, Shaqaib Lilla, Maliha Zia, Hilda Saeed
Moderator: Jamal Janjua
Launch: Nobody Killed Her by Sabyn Javeri. Sabyn Javeri, Maniza Naqvi, Ayesha Tammy Haq. Moderator: Anita M. Weiss
Announcement of the Italy Reads Pakistan Award Winner. Andrea Berrini, H.M. Naqvi, Bina Shah, Omar Shahid Hamid, Ameena Saiyid. Moderator: Gianluca Rubagotti
Sat 11 Feb 12.15 - 1.15 pm
Pakistan: A Fragile State or Resilient Nation? Mian Raza Rabbani, Hamid Khan, Nasira Iqbal, Ahmed Rashid. Moderator: Mujahid Barelvi
Nayee Awazain: New Urdu Writers. Syed Kashif Raza, Rafaqat Hayat, Saima Iram. Moderator: Mohammed Hanif
Launch: The Party Worker by Omar Shahid Hamid
Omar Shahid Hamid, Preeti Shenoy. Moderator: Bilal Tanweer
Announcement of the KLF Peace Prize Winner
International and Regional Politics impacting South Asia
Matthew A. Cook, Zia Mian, Najmuddin Shaikh, Asad Sayeed
Moderator: Huma Baqai
Sat 11 Feb
1.30 - 2.00 pm
Launch: Tum Kabeer and Qila e Faramoshi by Fahmida Riaz. Moderator: Saif Mahmood
Launch: Sadequain and the Culture of Enlightenment by Akbar Naqvi . Nasreen Askari, Saquib Hanif. Moderator: Sibtain Naqvi
Launch: August Voices by Sudheendra Kulkarni. Sudheendra Kulkarni, Matthew A. Cook. Moderator: Syed Jaffar Ahmed
Launch: Teesra Qadam by Nasira Zuberi. Fatema Hassan, Azra Abbas, Nasira Zuberi. Moderator: Ambareen Hasib Amber. Sadarat: Pirzada Qasim
Launch: Kalaam e Aarifaan by Hasan Aziz. Hasan Aziz, Bari Mian. Moderator: Wajid Jawad
Sat 11 Feb
2.15 - 3.15 pm
Phool aur Shabnam
Bushra Ansari in conversation with Shabnam
Launch: How Pakistan Got Divided by Maj Gen (R) Rao Farman Ali Ilhan Niaz, Aquila Ismail, Shafiq Ur Rahman, Zafar Hilaly. Moderator: Ghazi Salahuddin
Fiction: The World Over. Bina Shah, Andrea Berrini, Mirza Waheed, Ibrahim Waheed Ogaru, Paul Veyret. Moderator: Sehba Sarwar
Roshan Khayali: A Homage to Sibte Hasan Syed Jaffar Ahmed, Hoori Noorani. Moderator: Naila Mahmood
The Big Karachi Novel: Sneak Preview of The Selected Works of Abdullah the Cossack by H. M. Naqvi
H.M. Naqvi. Moderator: Framji Minwalla
Sat 11 Feb
3.30 - 4.30 pm
Ageless Poetry and Graceful Wit
Chair: Mushtaq Ahmad Yousufi
Zehra Nigah. Moderator: Asif Farrukhi
Afghanistan-Pakistan: Illusions and Realities
Najmuddin Shaikh in conversation
with Ahmed Rashid
Zara Hut Kay
Zarrar Khuhro, Wusat Ullah Khan, Mubashir Zaidi. Moderator: Nadeem F. Paracha
Launch: Crimson Papers: Reflections on Struggle, Suffering and Creativity in Pakistan by Harris Khalique
Christina Oesterheld, Arif Hasan, Harris Khalique. Moderator: Ghazi Salahuddin
Cultural Heritage Preservation in Pakistan and South Asia
Sheema Kermani, Matthew A. Cook, Laura Tedesco, and Yasmeen Lari
Moderator: Grace W. Shelton
Sat 11 Feb
4.45 - 5.45 pm
Darya kay Saath Saath
Zaheda Hina in conversation with Mustansar Hussain Tarar
UBL Literary Excellence Awards
4.45 p.m. – 6.15 p.m.
Perween Rahman: The Rebel Optimist. Documentary Screening
Followed by Discussion
Arif Hasan, Faisal Siddiqi, Anwar Rashid. Moderator: Aquila Ismail
Of Love in a Place of War
Mohammed Hanif in conversation with Mirza Waheed
Remembering Liaquat Ali Khan
Roger Long in conversation with
Akber Liaquat Ali Khan
Sat 11 Feb
6 - 8 pm
Mushaira. Nizamat: Ambareen Hasib Amber. Kishwar Naheed, Anwar Shaoor, Fahmida Riaz, Pirzada Qasim, Imdad Hussaini, Afzal Ahmed Syed, Nasim Syed, Humaira Rahman, Shahida Hassan, Fatema Hassan, Khwaja Razi Haider, Tanveer Anjum, Aqeel Abbas Jafri, Harris Khalique, Inaam Nadeem, Ali Akbar Natiq, Peerzada Salman, Kashif Ghayar, Bushra Iqbal-Malik
Rahm: A Nuanced Pakistani Interpretation of Shakespeare's 'Measure for Measure'
Directed by Ahmed Jamal
written and produced by Mahmood Jamal
Film Screening followed by Discussion
Mahmood Jamal, Seeret Jafri, and Sunil Shankar
6.00 p.m. – 6.30 p.m.
Erotext: Desire, Disease, Delusion, Dream, Downpour by Sudeep Sen
Sudeep Sen and Ameena Saiyid
Moderator: Salman Tarik Kureshi
6.30 p.m. – 8.00 p.m.
Voices by the Seashore
Farida Faizullah, Ibrahim Waheed Ogaru, Harris Khalique, Mamang Dai, Moeen Faruqi, Sadaf Halai, Sehba Sarwar, Adrian A. Husain, Shireen Haroun, Sudeep Sen
Moderator: Salman Tarik Kureshi
SUNDAY, 12 FEBRUARY 2017
Sun 12 Feb
10 - 11 am
EACPE Video Competition:
Making Change in Pakistan: What Works, What Doesn’t.
Moderator: P Hoodbhoy
Al-Andalus: The Rise and Fall of Muslim Spain
Iftikhar Salahuddin Introduction
by Zehra Nigah
Nayee Bastian, Jani Pehchani Awazain
Nasim Syed, Shahida Hassan, and Humera Rahman
Moderator: Inaam Nadeem
Sun 12 Feb
11 am - 12 noon
Zehra Nigah, Adeel Hashmi, and Salima Hashmi
Moderator: Ali Madeeh Hashmi
Partition: Drawing Borders in Blood
Urvashi Butalia, Kishwar Naheed, Sudheendra Kulkarni, Nauman Naqvi
Moderator: Ishtiaq Ahmed
Launch: Fasana Raqam Karain by
Sardar Mohammad Masood Khan, Pirzada Qasim, Harris Khalique, and Mujahid Barelvi
Moderator: Noor ul Huda Shah
Launch: Those Children by Shahbano Bilgrami.
Moderator: Muneeza Shamsie
The Empress and her Munshi
Moderator: Victoria Schofield
Launch: Ajmer Sharif: Awakening of Sufism in South Asia by Reema Abbasi.
Reema Abbasi, Yousuf Bashir Qureshi, Ameena Saiyid Moderator: Aliya Iqbal-Naqvi
Sun 12 Feb
12.15- 1.15 pm
The Birth of Two Nations
Ayesha Jalal, Sayeed Hasan Khan, and Roger Long
Moderator: Harris Khalique
Ilaqai aur Qaumi Shanakht. Noor ul Huda Shah, Masood Lohar. Moderator: Attiya Dawood
Security or Economics: What Drives Foreign Policy? Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, Zafar Hilaly, and Zia Mian
Moderator: Ilhan Niaz
The Future of Pakistan’s Creatives-Film, Fashion, and Music
Mansha Pasha, Maheen Karim, Zeb Bangash
Moderator: Sharlina Hussain-Morgan
Novel aur Nisai Shaoor
Bushra Iqbal Malik, Christina Oesterheld, Amtul Manan Tahir
Moderator: Aqsa Ijaz
Sun 12 Feb
1.30 - 2
Launch: Dear Heart: To Faiz in Prison, 1951–1955 by Alys Faiz, and Over My Shoulder: Writings by Alys Faiz.
Marjorie Husain. Recitation: Sania Saeed. Moderator: Mira Hashmi
Launch: Daddy’s Boy by Shandana Minhas. Shandana Minhas. Moderator: Imran Yusuf
Launch: Love in Chakiwara and Other Misadventures by Bilal Tanweer. Bilal Tanweer. Moderator: Arfa Sayeda Zehra
Launch: The Pakistan Anti-Hero: History of Pakistani Nationalism through the Lives of Iconoclasts by Nadeem F. Paracha. Nadeem F Paracha
Moderator: Hamna Zubair
Launch: Interpreting Islam, Modernity, and Women’s Rights in Pakistan by Anita M. Weiss. Nasira Iqbal, Anita M. Weiss. Moderator: Nausheen Ahmad
Sun 12 Feb
2.15 - 3.15 pm
Stand up…and Laugh!
Syed Shafaat Ali
Sheikh Ayaz: Sindh Sang through him
Mahtab Akbar Rashdi, Amar Sindhu, and Imdad Hussaini
Moderator: Mujahid Barelvi
Where Doves endlessly Weep
Laleh Khalili, Ashraf Jehangir Qazi, Omayr Aziz Saiyid, Anatol Lieven
Moderator: Ilhan Niaz
Economy of Tomorrow-Towards Pakistan as a Good Society
Vaqar Ahmed, Kaiser Bengali, and Rolf Paasch
Moderator: Abdul Qadir
Launch: Hindustan ki Mauseequi by Abdul Halim Sharar Yousuf Kerai, Salman Ahmad, Muhammad Athar, Masood. Moderator: Sharif Awan
Sun 12 Feb
3.30 - 4.30 pm
Cinema across the Borders. Priyanka Jha, Shabnam, Nadeem Baig, Mustafa Qureshi, Asif Raza Mir. Moderator: Umber Khairi
Khwab ka Safar: A Documentary on Jamiluddin Aali. Introduction by Raju Jamil. Umair Ali Qazi, Khatija Bano, Raju Jamil. Moderator: Asif Noorani
Art and Enterprise for Conflict Resolution (Panel Discussion and Book Launch, Untouched Octaves)
Bobby Sager, Pervez Hoodbhoy, Salman Ahmad. Moderator: Amin Hashwani
The Dawn of Freedom,
The Pain of Partition
Christina Oesterheld, Ayesha Jalal, Anam Zakaria, Urvashi Butalia. Moderator: Sehba Sarwar
Collector of Worlds
Bina Shah in conversation with Ilija Trojanov
Sun 12 Feb
Memories and Reflections:
Readings by Zia Mohyeddin
Karachi: Is Pakistan’s Boom Town still Booming? Arif Hasan, Aquila Ismail, Najmuddin Shaikh, Haris Gazdar. Moderator: Aliya Iqbal-Naqvi
Launch: Hybrid Tapestries by Muneeza Shamsie. Ghazi Salahuddin, Framji Minwalla, David Waterman, Muneeza Shamsie. Moderator: Ayesha Tammy Haq
Spreading Education: Are We Winning or Losing the Struggle? Muhammad Ali Shaikh, Faisal Bari, Ameena Saiyid, Shahid Siddiqui. Moderator: Abbas Rashid
Murder, they Wrote
Piyush Jha, Omar Shahid Hamid, and S.S. Mausoof
Moderator: Sabyn Javeri
Closing Ceremony, Main Garden: Speeches by Ameena Saiyid and Asif Farrukhi. Keynote addresses by Bobby Sager and Mohammed Hanif
to 9 pm
Performances by Shayma Saiyid and Suhaee Abro
Concert by Saif Samejo
Performance of dhamaal by Sufi group
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 (launched in 2013), the Teachers' Literature Festival (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. This year in celebration of Pakistan's 70th birthday the KLF will also be held in London in partnership with Bloombsbury Pakistan on 20 May at the Southbank Centre, in collaboration with the Alchemy Festival.
The KLF and ILF are directed by Ameena Saiyid, founded by Ameena Saiyid and Asif Farrukhi, and produced by Oxford University Press. 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 and dance. From 2014 to 2016, the KLF and ILF featured parallel art programming, and 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, to 15,000 in 2012, to 50,000 in 2013 to 70,000 in 2014; 125,000 in 2015; and 175,000 in 2016. In 2010 we had 34 sessions with 58 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 (individuals and groups) in Karachi. In 2015 we cut back on the number of sessions, but still featured over 200 speakers/participants. The 2015 ILF featured 171 speakers, 148 from Pakistan and 23 from abroad (India, United Kingdom, United States, France and Australia), who participated in 60 sessions. The 2016 ILF featured 58 sessions and 164 participants. This year the KLF will feature around 200 speakers / performers and around 76 sessions.
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); and Ahmed Rashid, Masood Ashar, Amjad Islam Amjad, and Christophe Jaffrelot (ILF 2016). This year’s keynote speakers at KLF will be Mustansar Husain Tarar, Ayesha Jalal , Bobby Sager and Mohammed Hanif.
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 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 10, 11, and 12 February! Don’t register in advance: just turn up! And mark your calendars for ILF on 14, 15, and 16 April 2017 at the Margala Hotel, Islamabad
Participants (in alphabetical order)
Abbas Husain’s interest in literature stems from a lifelong passion for the best of thoughts in the best of words. This has kept him engaged with the finest poetry and fiction written around the world. As a consumer of literature he has often felt that there were serious gaps in the conveyance of this joy by teachers to the children in the classroom. Thus his efforts are also focused on how to assist teachers in enjoying and teaching good literature to the next generation. Shakespeare, however, continues to be a major interest till today.
Abbas Rashid has been engaged in education policy analysis for many years and is currently the executive director of the Society for the Advancement of Education (SAHE), a Lahore-based institution which has been active in the field of education research and advocacy for over 30 years. He has a particular interest in the areas of language and learning, privatization of education and education for citizenship, especially in the context of Pakistan. His work on these issues has been published at home and abroad. He has recently edited a book Educational Crisis and Reform: Perspective from South Asia, published by Oxford University Press Pakistan. He contributes frequently on matters relating to education quality and equity in the media.
Abdul Qadir is currently working as Programme Coordinator and Advisor at the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES), Pakistan. He has extensive experience of initiating innovative programmes in the fields of politics and society, including policy reforms dialogue in Pakistan. In the past, he was associated with the Pakistan Manpower Institute (PMI). He studied Statistics and Economics from the University of Karachi and Diploma studies from the International Institute of Labour Studies, Switzerland.
Adeel Hashmi is a Pakistan television actor, social worker, producer and screen writer. He studied at Government College University, Lahore, and then acquired an MBA from Imperial College, London, and an MFA from Academy of Art University, San Francisco. He is a professional filmmaker and a leading Pakistani actor and writer. Beyond the world of entertainment, Adeel Hashmi is also an active social worker and a documentary filmmaker who has worked extensively in the Development sector.
A leading contemporary Urdu poet, Afzal Ahmed Syed lives in Karachi. Well known for his experimental style of writing, he has published three collections of prose poems and one of ghazals. His collected work was published as Mitti ki Kan in 2009. In 2010, the Wesleyan University Press, USA, published a selection of his poems and, in 2015, his complete work was published by Yoda Press, New Delhi, both under the same title Rococo and Other Worlds, translated into English by Musharraf Ali Farooqi. Translations of his poetry have also been published in Sindhi, Hindi, Bengali, Arabic and German. He frequently translates from English and other languages. His translation of the complete Persian works of Mir Taqi Mir has been published by Oxford University Press in 2013 under the title Divan-e-Mir: Farsi maa Urdu Tarjuma.
Ahmed Rashid is one of the best-known writers and commentators on Pakistan, Afghanistan, Central Asia, and increasingly the Middle East. He has covered this complex area in detail for a variety of publications since 1979. He is the author of five books, including the best-selling Taliban (2000) and Descent into Chaos: The US and the Disaster in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia (2008), both of which are on course lists in over 200 universities and defence colleges around the world. Other titles include Jihad (2002), The Resurgence of Central Asia (1994), and, most recently, Pakistan on the Brink, The Future of America, Pakistan and Afghanistan (2012). His books have been translated into over 40 languages and have won numerous awards.
Foreign Policy magazine chose him as one of the world’s most important 100 Global Thinkers in 2009 and 2010; he serves on the Board of New York’s Committee to Protect Journalists, is an adviser to Human Rights Watch, and has served on the Board of Advisers for the International Committee of the Red Cross for five years. He has been involved with organizing the Lahore Literary Festival since its inception four years ago.
Ahmed Solangi is the nom de plume of Sindhi language poet, author, and critic Ahmed Hussain. Born in 1971 at Moro (District Naushero Feroz), Solangi holds a Master’s in Sindhi Literature.
In his poetry, Solangi has endeavoured to combine the rich traditions of classic Sindhi poetry with contemporary thought and modern treatments, introducing new methods of rhyming, modified verse meters, and intensified expressiveness. He has published two books, namely Khuwab Awara Pakhi and Man with a Vision. He has four further books being prepared for publication.
Solangi has won Awards for his literary work, both here in Sindh and at Jaipur, India. He works as Protocol Officer at the Chief Minister’s Secretariat, Karachi.
Sindhi language poet Dr Aakash Ansari lives in Hyderabad and is the son of a poet. A medical doctor by profession, Dr Ansari was active in progressive politics and worked as provincial general secretary of the Awami National Party (ANP) during the early nineties. He later joined print journalism and initiated a daily newspaper Sawal from Hyderabad with a group of friends. He also attended a training course in the USA during 2004 on Modern Methods of Education, which he applied in schools established by an NGO, the Badin Rural Development Society (BRDS), which he currently heads. Dr Ansari has published two books of poetry. Because of the aspect of resistance in his poetry, he was jailed in 1982.
Akbar Liaquat Ali Khan is a Karachi-based businessman. The son of Pakistan’s first Prime Minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, and former Ambassador and Governor of Sindh, Begum Ra’ana Liaquat Ali, he attended Belmont Preparatory School and Mill Hill school in England, and studied Law at King’s College, London. Returning to Karachi, he ran a major trading company and was additionally involved over the years with airlines and travel as well as with other businesses.
Ali Akbar Natiq is an Urdu poet, novelist, and short story writer. Born in Okara, Punjab, he began his literary career with the publication of a volume of poetry Be-yaqeen Bastion Mein, followed by his first collection of short stories Qaim Deen published by Oxford University Press. The English translation of Qaim Deen titled What will you give for this Beauty? has been published by Penguin, India. He has also written another volume of poetry Yaqoot kay Warq. The English translation of his short story ‘Memar ke Haath’ (‘A Mason’s Hand’) has been published in Granta. His first novel Nau Lakhi Kothi was published in 2014 followed by its English translation. Ali Akbar Natiq has also translated his works into Hindi for publication by Penguin, India. A new volume of poetry Surmandal ka Raja is forthcoming. Natiq presently teaches creative writing, screen writing, reading classics, Urdu fiction and poetry at the university of Punjab, Lahore.
Dr Ali Madeeh Hashmi is a psychiatrist, writer, and translator, who practised and taught Psychiatry in the USA for 12 years. He is a graduate of King Edward Medical College, Lahore and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. His essays about mental health, literature, poetry, and history have been published in scientific journals, magazines, newspapers, and literary journals in Pakistan, India, and the United States. His most recent book, Love and Revolution: Faiz Ahmed Faiz, the authorized biography, was published last year. He is an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at King Edward Medical University in Lahore, a Trustee of the Faiz Foundation Trust, Pakistan, and President of Faiz Foundation Inc. USA.
Aliya Iqbal-Naqvi is faculty of history at the Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts, IBA, Karachi, and a PhD. candidate at Harvard University in the History & Culture of the Islamic World. She was previously Coordinator of the Liberal Arts Programme at the Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture. Her research interests are in the areas of 'history of ideas' and the 'transmission of knowledge'. Aliya also serves as Trustee of the Education Trust Nasra Schools.
Amar Sindhu is a poet with origins in Sindhi Literature as well as a columnist and political analyst. She has contributed many articles in Urdu and English, besides her poetry has been translated into German language. Furthermore, Amar Sindhu is known for her unflinching human rights activism, her unequivocal support for the underprivileged sections of society, and her ability to speak her mind. She also published a magazine named Adrish on political, social, cultural and theoretical issues. ‘My literary work, activism and my life would be defined by three “R” i.e Romance, Revolution and Resistance,’ says Sindhu. One can find love, rebellion and passion altogether in her strong poetic expression. Her bilingual book of poetry also has been published. She is working as Assistant Professor at Sindh University, Jamshoro.
Ambareen Hasib Amber is a prominent poet of Pakistan. A collection of her poems has been published under the title Dil ke Ufuq Per, which was awarded the Parveen Shakir Aks e Khushboo Award of 2012. She has recently written a book Urdu main Tareequi Passand Tanqeed ka Tehqeeqi Mutala.
Amber has represented her country at an international Mushairas in India, the US, and the Gulf. She has written several songs for PTV and has also written Radio Pakistan’s programme Geeton Bhari Kahani for three consecutive years. As a TV and radio anchor, she has hosted several religious and literary programmes.
Holding a PhD from Karachi University, she is also a critic and has written several articles which were published in literary magazines and anthologies. This year a collection of her critical articles has been published under the title Asri Adab ke Rujhanat.
She is the editor of the renowned literary book series Asaleeb.
Ameena Saiyid OBE is the Managing Director of Oxford University Press Pakistan, founder and director of the Karachi and Islamabad Literature Festivals, and co-founder of both 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 Queen of England; and elected President of the 150-year-old Overseas Investors’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry. The OBE recognized her services to women’s rights, education, intellectual property rights, and Anglo-Pakistan relations. The government of France awarded her Knighthood (Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) for her contribution to Arts and Literature.
Amin Hashwani is a businessman, social activist, and English language poet. He has founded and continues to support various social initiatives in the field of education, health, youth development, culture, and peace. Internationally, he has led business delegations, organized cultural and media events, collaborated in peace building between nations and societies, spoken at conferences, universities, think tanks, and the United Nations.
For his services, he has been recognized by national and international institutions, including an honorary Doctorate from the US and as one of the 25 ‘Intelligent Optimists’ globally, by the magazine Ode.
Anam Zakaria is an author, development professional, and educationist based in Pakistan. Her first book, Footprints of Partition: Narratives of Four Generations of Pakistanis and Indians, explores the changing perceptions regarding the 1947 Partition on both sides of the border. The book was shortlisted for the German Peace Prize 2016. She is now writing her second book, exploring the impact of the Kashmir conflict on ordinary Kashmiris living across the LoC in Pakistan Administered Kashmir. The book will be published in 2017. Ms Zakaria currently serves as the Head of Programmes for Code for Pakistan. She is also a teacher of Sociology and Development Studies and a student of Psychotherapy, with a special interest in trauma and healing in conflict zones.
Well-known British journalist and author, Anatol Lieven is a professor at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar and a visiting professor at King’s College, London. Among his books is America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism and Pakistan: A Hard Country. With a BA in history (double first) and a PhD in political science from the University of Cambridge, UK. Professor Anatol Lieven’s last position was as chair of international relations and terrorism studies in the War Studies Department at King’s College London.
Andrea Berrini is an Italian author, published in Italy and abroad. He is also the founder and CEO of Metropoli d’Asia, a publishing house focused on Asian contemporary literature and fiction. MdA translates into Italian and publishes authors from South Asia, South-East Asia, and the Far East. Berrini has spent a major part of his time in these countries since 2007, directly scouting and discovering new, younger talent. His new book on Asian writing Scrittori dalle metropoli has been recently published in Italy.an (co-edited with Saba Gul Khattak, 2013), and Pathways to Power: The Domestic Politics of South Asia (co-edited with Arjun Guneratne, 2014)
Anita M. Weiss is an American scholar who received her doctorate in sociology from UC, Berkeley. She is presently Professor of International Studies at the University of Oregon, USA. She has published extensively on social development, gender issues, and political Islam in Pakistan. Her recent books include Development Challenges Confronting Pakist. She has also written Interpreting Islam, Modernity and Women’s Rights in Pakistan (2014), which analyses how distinct constituencies in Pakistan are grappling with articulating their views on women’s rights. Her new book project is Countering Violent Extremism in Pakistan: Local Actions, Local Voices. Professor Weiss is a member of the editorial board of Globalizations, has been a member of the Research Advisory Board of the Pakistan National Commission on the Status of Women, and is the co-PI of the Karakoram International University and the University of Oregon (KIU-UO) University Partnership.
Anwar Rashid is a social development advocate, who has devoted himself to the uplift of the poor and suppressed people of Pakistan. Commencing his working life with Karachi University as a Lecturer in 1980, he resigned from the University in 1982 to join as Researcher and Evaluator Social and Physical Development with the Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) under the guidance of the legendary activist and organizer Dr Akhtar Hameed Khan. Rashid has been the Director of the Orangi Pilot Project since 1995.
Rashid was named Man of the Year 2015 by Engro Chemicals Limited for his contribution towards the uplift of downtrodden people. He has been a founder member of the Pakistan Micro Finance Network (PMN). He is a Board Member of the Urban Resource Centre, Saiban (Khuda ki Basti), Soan Valley and Development Programme. Additionally, Rashid is an advisor and member of various development institutions in Thailand, India, and elsewhere.
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 a prolific author, script writer, and poet. His book Pakistan Chronicle comprises a day to day account of the 64 years history of Pakistan, from 14 August 1947 to 31 August 2011.
Pakistan ke Siasy Waderay was his first book on a political topic. He has also authored several other books on the topic of Pakistan, which include Pakistan ki Nakaam Sazishen, Pakistan ki Intekhabi Siyasat, Quaid-e-Azam ki Azdawaji Zindagi, Pakistan ka Qaumi Tarana—Kya Hai Haqeeqat? Kya Hai Fasana? and Liaquat Ali Khan Qatal Case. He also translated a rare book authored by Kanji Dwarkadas with the title of Jinnah, Rutti aur Main.
Jafri has developed the concepts for numerous Radio Pakistan and PTV quiz and knowledge shows and scripted them. Jafri is also a well-known and widely-published poet. He also works as a freelance journalist and his articles and features have been published in leading newspapers and periodicals of the country. In 2010 he was awarded Best Urdu Feature Writer Award by APNS. He is presently engaged as Chief Editor, Urdu Dictionary Board, Karachi.
Aqsa Ijaz is a Lahore-based author and translator and teaches Literary and Linguistic Studies at Kinnaird College for Women. Formerly a Junior Fellow at the American Institute of Pakistan Studies, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, USA, she has taught at Government College University, Beaconhouse National University and National College of Arts Lahore. She is currently annotating her English translation of Mirza Athar Baig’s Ghulam Bagh along with the first English translation of Baig’s short stories titled Be-Afsana. She has presented her research extensively in the US and Europe on contemporary Urdu literature and Pakistani literature in general. She is also a vocalist whose songs include the Sufi poetry of classical Persian poets, Jalaluddin Rumi and Hafiz Shirazi. She is a regular contributor to the Express Tribune’s Op-Ed and Book Review pages.
Aquila Ismail has written extensively on literature, women’s issues, and the development concerns of Karachi for leading Pakistani newspapers and magazines. With a Degree in Electrical Engineering, Ismail was Associate Professor in the Electrical Engineering Department of NED University of Engineering and Technology. At present, she works with Karachi based development NGO, Orangi Pilot Project (OPP). Her published works include translated fiction such as Harvest of Anger and Other Stories, Godavari, Reflections in a Cracked Mirror, and Zindabahar Lane. She has edited and written several non-fiction books, including The Microcredit Programme of the Orangi Charitable Trust. Her debut novel Of Martyrs and Marigolds was published in February 2012. At present, she is working on a book on the life and work of her sister, Perween Rahman.
An eminent professional, educationist, culture expert, gender specialist, human rights activist, and social nationalist, Dr 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, and leadership quality for education, culture and human rights, especially for women.
Educated in Pakistan and the US in Urdu and History, she takes pride in being a humble student of life and a sense of honour in her roots that lie in the great tradition and glorious history of the sub-continent. Among her many achievements include her role as Chairperson’ National Commission on the Status of Women, and her contribution to promotion of the arts, especially literature, thus broadening the vision of students to the possibilities of life.
Arif Hasan is an architect and town planner. Based in Karachi, he is regarded as an expert on urban planning and development issues in general and of Asia and Pakistan in particular. A consultant and advisor to many local and foreign CBOs, national and international NGOs, and bilateral and multilateral donor agencies and governments, he has also been the principal consultant to the landmark Orangi Pilot Project (OPP) and, since 1999, the Chairperson of the OPP’s Research & Training Institute. He is also the Founder and Chairperson of the Urban Resource Centre, Karachi. Both institutions have received international recognition and are being replicated nationally and in a number of other countries. Hasan has taught at Pakistani and European universities, served on juries of international architectural and development competitions, and is the author of a large number of books on development, planning and social change. He is currently on the board of several international journals and research organizations and has served on a number of UN committees. He has received many national and international awards for his work (which spans many countries) including the Hilal-e-Imtiaz of the Pakistan government, the Prince Claus Award, the UN Year for the Shelterless Memorial Award of the Japanese government, and a Life Time Achievement Award from the Institute of Architects, Pakistan. In 2010, his book, Participatory Development was awarded the Dr Akhtar Hameed Khan Memorial Award of the Council of Social Sciences, Pakistan.
An early practitioner of television comedy, Arshad Mahmud worked with Shoaib Hashmi and his team on memorable programmes such as Akkar Bakkar, Such Gup, and Tal Matol. He wrote the music for these programmes as well as for several other PTV programmes.
Moving to Karachi in 1976, he joined EMI, the record company, where he worked for several years. Today, Arshad Mahmud is one of our leading composers and has extensively studied both Eastern and Western music. His compositions of Faiz’s poetry sung by Nayyara Noor and Tina Sani were acclaimed in Pakistan and abroad. His background scores for the TV serials Tanhaiyan, Dhoop Kinare, Khaleeej and others are still remembered.
He also established himself as proficient actor, playing in TV dramas such as Angan Tehra, Dhoop Kinare and now most recently in a feature film Ho Man Jahan.
He is currently Director Programmes and Administration at the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA). He was awarded Pride of Performance in 2005 by the President of Pakistan.
Dr Asad Sayeed is an economist and researcher who focuses on political economy. Currently, Director at the Collective for Social Science Research, a research and consulting based think tank in Karachi. He is also a Research Fellow at the Institute of Development and Economic Alternatives (IDEAS), Lahore. He has been previously associated with the Social Policy and Development Centre (SPDC), the Applied Economics Research Centre (AERC), and the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research (PILER). There, he conducted research on the political economy of corruption and violence in Thailand.
Apart from research and consulting on social and economic policy issues, Dr 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. Dr Sayeed holds a PhD from Cambridge University in Economics.
Dr Ashothama Lohano is a civil society activist who works for the rights of weaker segments of society, such as religious minorities, indigenous communities, women, and children. He has campaigned actively against ‘disappearances’, the death penalty, torture, domestic violence, early child marriage, child labour, bonded labour, and has advocated for victimized families. Trained in the mobilization of civil society regarding basic constitutional rights, Dr Lohano has worked with or and participated in the fact-finding missions of HRCP, DCHD, UNDP, SAP-Pak, PILER, CWS, SAWFCO, BHS, Pak-India PFPD and Pirbhat women Development Organization, SPARC and SPO-Hyderabad.
He regularly contributes articles and news stories to socio-political news magazines, newspapers, and periodicals in both Sindhi and Urdu languages. He is currently working as Coordinator of HRCP’s Special Task Force in Hyderabad.
Former senior diplomat and retired Foreign Service professional, Ashraf Jehangir Qazi hails from Balochistan province. He joined the Pakistan Foreign Service in 1965. Amongst his various assignments, Qazi has been Pakistan’s High Commissioner to India and has served as Ambassador to the USA, China, Russia, then-East Germany, and Syria. While at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Islamabad, he has served as director of East Asia (1975–1978), director-general for Policy Planning and Afghanistan (1982–1986) and Additional Foreign Secretary for Policy Planning, Afghanistan, Soviet Union and Eastern Europe (1988–1990).
In 2004, the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon appointed Qazi 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.
Founder 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. He reviews and writes on books regularly for Dawn Books & Authors.
He has written a book-length study of the life and works of Intizar Husain. 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. He is associated with the Habib University as Director of the Arzu Centre for Vernacular Languages and Humanities.
Karachi-based author and literary personality, Asif Noorani, was born in Bombay (now Mumbai) and migrated to Pakistan with his parents in 1950, living for the first three years in Lahore and thereafter in Karachi. Widely travelled, 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 US. His first book Tales of Two Cities, co-authored with Kuldip Nayar, was a best-seller and was translated into Marathi. His book on Mehdi Hasan has been printed thrice and the coffee table book, Journey through Pakistan, revised and rewritten, published by Camerapix, Nairobi, is also perennially popular.
Asif Raza Mir is a Pakistani film actor who was especially active especially during the 1980s. He acted in a number of popular films, including Badalte Mausam, Daaman, Haye Yeh Shohar, Mere Apne, Playboy, and Saathi alongside various cinema stars. He has also been actively involved in several famous television drama serials such as Darwaza, Samundar, Tanhaiyaan,Tansen, Choti Choti Baatein, Roshni, and Ishq-e-Gumshuda.
He is the founder of A & B Entertainment, a television production house in Pakistan.
Guitarist from Sindh. Plays with Sketches band.
Attiya Dawood is a celebrated Sindhi poet, writer, and activist, who has been hailed as ‘the most important feminist writer in Sindhi’ by Shaikh Ayaz, the renowned poet. Through her writings, Dawood highlights the oppression of women in Pakistani society in the name of tradition. She raises her voice against misogyny and bias, and advocates the empowerment of women. Her poems have been translated into German by Annemarie Schimmel. They have also been translated into English and Urdu. Two of her poems were published in Jan Goodwin’s anthology The Price of Honour. She has published seven books, the latest being Ek Thaka Hua Sach (2016) which was published in Hindi in Mumbai, India. Her articles on women’s rights, peace, justice, and gender issues have appeared in major national dailies and literary journals. She is a recipient of the Sindh Adeeb Award from Akhil Bharat Sindhi Boli Ain Sahat Sabha, India.
Dr Ayesha Jalal is Mary Richardson Professor of History at Tufts University, USA, where she teaches at the History Department and the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. She has taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Tufts University, Columbia University, and Harvard University. She obtained her BA in History and Political Science from Wellesley College, USA, and her Doctorate in History from the University of Cambridge. Dr Jalal has been Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge; Leverhulme Fellow, Centre of South Asian Studies, Cambridge; Fellow, Woodrow Wilson Centre for International Scholars, Washington DC; and Academy Scholar, Harvard Academy for International and Area Studies.
She has numerous publications to her credit, including The Sole Spokesman: Jinnah, The Muslim League and the Demand for Pakistan, and Partisans of Allah: Jihad in South Asia.
With degrees in Law (London School of Economics, University of Kent, and Gray’s Inn, UK), Ayesha Tammy Haq is a barrister by profession and, for the past 12 years, a media personality. She has practised Law in the UK, Pakistan, the Philippines, and the USA and has worked on several international projects.
She hosts the TV programme 24 Seven on Business Plus, where she has interviewed presidents, prime ministers, political leaders, and those who can advise on and formulate policy. She also writes opinion pieces for several publications and has hosted a radio show. Formerly the CEO of Fashion Pakistan, she organized Pakistan’s first ever fashion week in 2009. Her efforts to put Pakistan on the global fashion map got her profiled in the famous US magazine Vogue.
She presently heads Pharma Bureau, an association of the research-based multinational pharmaceutical companies operating in Pakistan.
A member of the Vision 2020 Think Tank of the Government of Pakistan, she has worked on policy and governance matters. She sits on various Boards and is involved with a number of charitable institutions.
Azra Abbas writes poetry in Urdu. After earning her Master’s degree in Urdu at Karachi University, she taught Urdu Literature at a government college. In 1981, she published an extended prose poem in the stream-of-consciousness style Neend ki Musafatain. Since then, she has published four collections of poetry, her memoirs, a compilation of short stories, and a novel. Azra Abbas currently lives in Karachi with her husband, the poet and novelist, Anwer Sen Roy.
Baela Raza Jamil, CEO of Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA): Centre for Education and Consciousness, is a public policy specialist. She leads the citizen-led assessment and accountability initiative, the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) Pakistan, and is the founder of the Children’s and Teachers’ Literature Festivals in Pakistan. Baela has worked with provincial and federal governments as a technical advisor in education sector reforms, public private partnerships, innovation, and financing. She is presently engaged as a Commissioner to the International Commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity (Education Commission). Baela is a member of several advisory boards viz., Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report UNESCO, Learning Outcomes Advisory Board- UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS); Global Business Coalition for Education (GBC Ed); UNESCO Mahatma Gandhi Institute of Education for Peace and Sustainable Development (MGIEP) and People’s Action for Learning Network (PAL Network). She is the managing trustee of the Sanjan Nagar Public Education and Trust and national coalitions on education and child rights.
Bari Mian Firangi Mahali is a well-known scholar and social figure. He is the president of the Hasrat Mohani Memorial Society and has been an active member of Karachi’s literary and art scenes. Bari Mian is a lover and connoisseur of Urdu poetry. He has recently held a series of talks on the classical Urdu ghazal at Café Forty4, Karachi. His forthcoming publications are A Selection of Urdu Ash’ar and Selected Couplets of Hafiz.
Bilal Tanweer is the author of the novel The Scatter Here is Too Great which won the Shakti Bhatt First Book Prize and was shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature and The Chautauqua Prize. He is also the translator of Love in Chakiwara and Other Misadventures by Muhammad Khalid Akhtar (Picador India) and The House of Fear by Ibn-e Safi (Random House India). He teaches in the English programme at LUMS, Lahore.
Bina Shah is a Karachi-based author of four novels and two collections of short stories. Her latest novel is A Season for Martyrs, while her previous novel Slum Child became a best-seller in Italy as La Bambina Che Non Poteva Sognare. A regular contributor to The International New York Times, Al Jazeera, The Huffington Post, and 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 a graduate of Wellesley College and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and is an honorary fellow in writing at the University of Iowa.
Robert “Bobby” Sager is an American businessman, philanthropist, photographer, and inspirational speaker. As a businessman, he made a fortune by seeing opportunity where others do not. Sager was the driving force behind the spectacular growth of Gordon Brothers Group, a preeminent global financial services business conducting over $20 billion of transactions annually.
Best known for founding the Sager Family Traveling Foundation and Roadshow, he has his own brand of hands-on, eyeball-to-eyeball philanthropy. Avoiding handouts or charity, his philanthropic model uses business principles and business accountability, whether fostering entrepreneurship in Rwanda and Palestine, training teachers in Pakistan, or conducting leadership programmes for Tibetan monks.
Sager helped catalyze the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO), as a platform for presidents of businesses to make a difference around the world. He was a founding chairman for both YPO Peace Action Network and YPO Presidents’ Action Net.
Sager is the author of The Power of the Invisible Sun (2009), a book about the power of hope, thankfulness, and his own approach to making a difference. He is also the author of Beyond the Robe (2013), which tells the story of his foundation’s Science for Monks programme.
He holds a Bachelor’s in economics from Brandeis University, and a Master’s in Management from Yale University.
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. Born in Karachi, she is the daughter of eminent journalist and writer Ahmad Bashir. Upon moving with her parents to Islamabad, she was selected by legendary puppeteer Farooq Qaiser for his children’s programme Kaliyaan, in which Bushra voiced “Sharmeelee”, the little lamb, as well as provided singing voices for a number of the programme’s other characters. As a dramatic actor, comedienne, performer and presenter, 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 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. Her 2010 serial, Dil hai Chhota sa was the highest-rated drama serial of that period, controversially dramatizing the marriage custom Nikah Halala. She has received many awards over the years, including the most prestigious Pride of Performance Award.
Urdu short story writer Bushra Iqbal Malik holds a Master’s in Urdu Literature, a Master’s in journalism, and a B.Ed. from Peshawar University. Her short story collection, Hayat-i-Nouyafta, is dedicated to the women of Pakistan, A second collection, Karma, is ready for release. Bushra founded the Pak Women Writers Forum in 1994. She presently lives in Germany, where she is engaged as an Urdu language teacher.
Christina Oesterheld is a German scholar who studied Hindi, Urdu, and Sanskrit at the Humboldt University in Berlin, where she submitted her doctoral thesis on three novels by the Urdu writer Qurratulain Hyder in 1986. Since 1990, she has been teaching Urdu at the South Asia Institute, University of Heidelberg. Her main research interests are the history of prose literature in Urdu with a special focus on fiction from the nineteenth century to the present, north-Indian Muslim reform movements and their literary production, and popular Urdu media. Her articles on these topics have been published in the Annual of Urdu Studies and several other journals and edited volumes. She is co-author of a Hindi-German dictionary, has co-edited a volume on humour in South Asian literatures, German translations of Indian short stories and a Reader of contemporary Urdu prose and poetry in German translation. She has also translated an anthology of short stories by Manto. At present, she is translating short stories by Ismat Chughtai into German for an anthology to be published next year. Together with Amtul Manan Tahir she has written an Urdu textbook for German speakers (Urdu für Anfänger).
David Waterman is Professor at the University of La Rochelle, France, where he is Associate Director of the PhD program in the Humanities and a member of the research team CRHIA (Center for Research in International and Atlantic History). His previous publications include Disordered Bodies and Disrupted Borders: Representations of Resistance in Modern British Literature (University Press of America, 1999), Le miroir de la société: la violence institutionnelle chez Anthony Burgess, Doris Lessing et Pat Barker (Longo Editore Ravenna, 2003), Identity in Doris Lessing’s Space Fiction (Cambria Press, 2006), and Pat Barker and the Mediation of Social Reality (Cambria Press, 2009). David Waterman is currently working on Pakistani history, culture, and literature in English, and has served on the editorial team of Pakistaniaat.
Fahmida Riaz counts among the front rank of Pakistani writers and poets in Urdu. Respected and admired for her originality, aesthetic excellence, and candour, she has opened new vistas in Urdu literature and has been admired as a public intellectual. Literary circles in Pakistan have warmly welcomed the Kamal-e-Fun Award, the highest acknowledgement of literary merit, recently accorded to her by the Academy of Letters, Pakistan. Her first collection of verse, Pathar ki Zuban (‘Stonespeak’), was published in 1967. Since then, she has published numerous collections of poetry and prose, fiction and non-fiction. Her work is noted for its deeply felt references to social and political injustice and she has been a prominent feminist voice in Pakistan. Riaz’s translations of Jalaluddin Rumi’s ghazals from Persian to Urdu and of Shaikh Sa’di and Khwaja Fariduddin Attar from Persian to English for young readers, and of Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai and Shaikh Ayaz from Sindhi to Urdu have been widely acclaimed. She received the Himmett-Hellman Award by Human Rights Watch, New York, in 1997 and the Pride of Performance from the Government of Pakistan in 2010.
Dr Faisal Bari is Associate Professor of Economics at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), and Associate Fellow at Institute of Development and Economic Alternatives (IDEAS), He has been working/publishing on education issues for more than a decade now. He leads the research cluster on education at IDEAS. Dr Faisal’s current research interests are: quality of education issues in low cost private schools, the role of Private Public Partners, and governance reform issues in public sector education. He has a doctorate from McGill University and has been a teacher/researcher for the last 15 years.
Faisal Siddiqi is a Karachi-based lawyer and a well-known legal expert. With a BA from Karachi University and a BSc from the London School of Economics, he studied Law at Cambridge University. A partner in the Karachi law firm MCAS & W, he has been an Advisor/Consultant to the Attorney General of Pakistan. Siddiqui has been appointed as Amicus Curiae by the Sindh High Court in several cases, in recognition of his expertise. He has had numerous cases reported in Pakistan Law Reports.
Siddiqi is especially renowned for his work in the sphere of Human Rights, concentrating on labour rights and women’s rights. His well-known human rights cases include the Baldia Factory fire case, Karachi, 2012.
He has also been involved with cases of sexual assault, police violence, environmental issues, and misgovernance issues. He is a Board Member of PILER, the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education and Research and is a Founding Trustee of the Legal Aid Foundation for Victims of Rape and Sexual Assault.
Guitar soloist from Sindh, Pakistan. Played with Sketches
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 the Associate Professor of English with Abdullah Government College for Women. She has co-authored English Skills for Classes 11 and 12, English language textbooks published by Oxford University Press (OUP).
Her poems have appeared in the above-mentioned textbook, in the Golden Jubilee Anthology of OUP, as well as in some issues of the annual Journal of Pakistani Literature published by The Pakistan Academy of Letters.
As a student and young poet, she used to participate in the poetry circle Mixed Voices.
Dr Anis Fatema Zaidi known as Fatema Hassan is a prominent literary personality of Karachi. She has to her credit three published collections of Poetry: Behtay Huway Phool, Dastak se Dar ka Fasla, Yaadein Bhi Ab Khwab Huween, a compilation of the three books in the form of Yaad ki Barishain, and a selection of short stories, Kahaniyan Gum Hojati Hay. In 2010, her collection of essays on the work of contemporary Urdu Writers was published as Kitaab-e-Dostaan. She has also written on feminist criticism and consciousness in literature along with editing three books on the subject.
She was awarded her PhD in Mass Communication from Karachi University in 2007.
Fatema Hassan is the Honorary Secretary of Anjuman Taraaqi-e-Urdu Pakistan. She is also a visiting faculty at the Mass Communication Department, University of Karachi. In 2011, she was awarded Tamgha-e-Imtiaz in recognition of her literary and scholarly excellence.
Framji Minwalla is currently Programme Director, Communication & Design at Habib University. He has taught at numerous institutions including Yale University, Vassar College, Dartmouth College, the George Washington University, New York University, Fordham University, SZABIST, and most recently IBA where he served as Chairperson for the
newly-launched Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts. His research interests include Performance Literature and History, Visual and Cultural Studies, Theater and Politics, Media and Film, and all forms of theory. Dr Minwalla was awarded a B.A. (1987) by the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and an M.F.A. (1991) and a D.F.A. (2000), both by the Yale School of Drama.
Ghazi Salahuddin is a senior journalist, writer, literary figure, and political analyst. He studied and graduated from the Karachi University. Salahuddin was the first editor of The News, Karachi. He writes columns in English for The News and in Urdu for Jang. He has been associated with a number of television programmes and recently hosted a weekly show on books, Geo Kitab. Ghazi Salahuddin was given the Bibliophile of the Year Award by the National Book Foundation in 2011. He also served as the President of the Karachi Press Club in 2006.
Gianluca Rubagotti is a career Italian diplomat, who is presently the Consul of Italy in Karachi. Prior to his present assignment, he served as the Deputy Head of Mission both in Sri Lanka and in Singapore. He earned a Ph.D. in International Economic Law from Bocconi University of Milan and, before joining his country’s diplomatic service, worked for various universities, in various countries. His fields of expertise include Public International Law, International Trade Law, and European Union Law. Under his guidance, the Consulate of Italy in Karachi has launched, together with the Italian publishing House Metropoli d’Asia, the Italy Reads Pakistan Award at the Karachi Literature Festival 2016, with a view to publishing in Italian language a novel written by a Pakistani author.
H.M. Naqvi is the award-winning author of Home Boy. Published by Random House in 2009, the debut was hailed as a “remarkably engaging novel that delights as it disturbs” by the New York Times, and as a “genre-busting, page turning book that fuses slang literary discourse, pop culture and politics, history and comedy, East and West.” It has been translated into German, Italian, and Portuguese, and was awarded the DSC Prize at the Jaipur Literature Festival in 2011.
Naqvi has worked in the financial services industry and taught creative writing at Boston University. He has appeared on CNN, BBC, and National Public Radio, and written for Caravan, Forbes, Freeman’s and the Global Post.
His second novel, a comic epic set in Karachi, is expected from HarperCollins this year.
Hamid Khan is Senior Advocate of the Supreme Court of Pakistan and a founding partner of Cornelius, Lane & Mufti, a leading law firm in Pakistan. He is a former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association of Pakistan and the Lahore High Court Bar Association. He regularly lectures on various legal subjects at the University of the Punjab, the Civil Services Academy, Administrative Staff College, and the National Institute of Public Administration. 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, and The Eighth Amendment.
Hamna Zubair is the Editor of Images.com and co-curator of The Unpublished Reading Series in New York. Her writing has appeared in Salon.com, The Huffington Post, and various Pakistani publications. In a past life she was a book editor in Manhattan and she continues to keep one eye on the publishing world.
Haris Gazdar works with the Collective for Social Science Research as a Director and Senior Researcher. He specializes in conducting multidisciplinary research on social policy, and 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 for their health and the nutrition of young children. Gazdar received his MSc in Economics from the London School of Economics. He has taught as well as conducted academic research in the UK, India, and Pakistan. He has also worked on an honorary basis as adviser to research programmes, government and non-governmental organizations, and political parties.
Harris Khalique is a leading 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 (Urdu, 2006), Between You and Your Love (English, 2004/Revised and Expanded in 2012), and the award-winning collection Melay Mein (Urdu, 2012). In his Urdu collections, a few poems in Punjabi are also included. He co-wrote a book of creative non-fiction, Unfinished Histories, which was published in 2001. During the 1980s and 1990s, some of his work faced official censorship in Pakistan. Within Pakistan and internationally, his work has been anthologized by Oxford University Press, SAARC Writers Forum, Pakistan Academy of Letters, University of Georgia Press, W.W. Norton and Co. and Penguin US among others, and on the Internet by the German poetry website www.lyrikline.org. He is also designated as Honorary Fellow in Writing by the University of Iowa. He has spoken widely on themes straddling literature, culture, politics, human rights, and international development.
Author and classical music enthusiast, Dr Hasan Aziz is a practising medical professional, who has spent a life-time in medical teaching and is the Emeritus Professor of Neurology, Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre, Karachi. He has put together Kalaam-e-Aarifaan, a compilation of texts and interpretations of Sufi poems that are used in current recitals of Qawwali. This has materialized in response to a request by his daughter Ayesha Aziz, an architect, who feels that, like herself, the younger generation is eager to learn about such poetry and music.
Dr Aziz grew up in an environment of classical music and traditional Sufism. He retains his interest in classical music, poetry and South Asian languages (Persian, Urdu, Punjabi, Seraiki, Purbi, Brij Bhaasha etc.), with special interest in their diction. Being a life-long teacher himself, he has approached his subject from a student’s point of view.
Hilda Saeed has been working for human rights in general and women’s rights in particular since the late 1970s. As a member of the Shirkat Gah Women’s Resource Centre, she has worked for social development and remains a strong advocate for the Rights of Religious Minorities, Gender Equality, and Women’s Sexual and Reproductive Rights.
Ms Saeed is a founder member of the Women’s Action Forum, She has been contributing articles to Dawn and Newsline for several years. A recipient of several awards, she was nominated as one of the 1000 Nobel Peacewomen in 2005.
Hoori Noorani runs the Karachi publishing house Maktaba e Danyal, which she inherited from her late father Malik Noorani. Following her early education in Karachi, her love for literature and linguistics led her towards a Masters degree in Philology, with a major in Russian and World literature, from the People’s Friendship University in Moscow.
Upon her return to Karachi in 1983, she taught Russian language at the Russian Cultural Centre before joining her father’s publishing business. Maktaba e Danyal has published renowned authors like Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi, Syed Sibte Hassan, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Iftikhar Arif, Fahmida Riaz, Habib Jalib and many others, as well as the works of authors from India. Currently, the publishing house is working on translations of Russian classical literature into Urdu.
Ms Noorani has translated Henrich Borovik’s famous play, ‘Interview in Buenos Aires’, from Russian into Urdu. She is also a trained classical dancer.
Huma Baqai is an Associate Professor, Director Public Affairs and Communication, and former Chairperson, Department of Social Sciences, Institute of Business administration, Karachi. Additionally, she has been associated with the media for the past several years, both as an analyst and anchor. She has anchored current affairs shows on NewsOne and PTV. Presently, she is associated with Channel 24 and Radio Pakistan. She has also taught at the Department of International Relations, Karachi University for 10+ years. A visiting faculty at Air War College, NIMS Karachi, and Quetta, she is also a corporate trainer and coach besides being a mother of three and a wife.
Radio announcer and poet, Humaira Rahman began her career as a prominent voice on Radio Pakistan, Multan in 1971 and continued until 1976 when she decided to move to London. She was associated with the BBC Urdu Service from 1977 to 1978. She has participated in poetry recitals all over the UK, USA, and other countries. Her publications include Imdemaal (1985) and Intesaab (1997).
She teaches Urdu as a Foreign Language at New York University NY and also teaches in a College Credit Urdu Summer Intensive Programme designed for heritage students to learn, to speak, to read, and write Urdu in just two weeks.
As an active member of the Pakistani immigrant community, she has organized numerous seminars, literary functions, and Mushairas. She is a founding member and president of Zafar Zaidi Memorial Cultural Society, New York.
A man of varied talents, Ibrahim Waheed “Ogaru” is a household name in the Maldives, where he lives. He is a multi-skilled educator, public speaker, internationally published author, television personality, and multi-lingual celebrity. For more than thirty years, he has served his country’s government in various capacities, including Director General Ministry of Information Arts and Culture, Commissioner of Elections, and Deputy Minister Finance and Treasury, before he retired from active state service 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. Continuing to be active in various key capacities in local and international NGOs in areas as diverse as the environment, international relations and regional culture and literature, as well as in the area of creative private enterprise, he is also an accomplished musician, poet, and artist. He is also invited regularly to lecture at various educational institutions at home and overseas.
Iftikhar Salahuddin is an E.N.T. Surgeon, based in Karachi. He is an avid photographer, whose work has been exhibited, and published in various magazines and newspapers.
His interest in history took root during his extensive travels through several Muslims countries. He has been invited on several occasions by universities in Pakistan to speak on Muslim history. Based on his narration and photography, a stage play ‘Jerusalem’ was performed at the Karachi Arts Council and at the Alhamra in Lahore.
He is the author of the book Jerusalem: A Journey Back in Time, which shared the 2014 Peace Prize awarded by the Federal Republic of Germany at the Karachi Literature Festival.
Ilhan Niaz is a scholar and author, presently based at Islamabad, where he is Assistant Professor of History at the Quaid-i-Azam University. He is also the official spokesman for the Quaid-i-Azam University. His most recent book is Old World Empires: Cultures of Power and Governance in Eurasia (New York: Routledge, 2014; South Asia edition by Oxford University Press). Old World Empires has won the national award for best book publication in the social sciences from the HEC. He is also the author of The Culture of Power and Governance of Pakistan, 1947-2008 (Karachi: Oxford University Press) and An Inquiry into the Culture of Power of the Subcontinent. He has been published in leading international academic journals including The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society, Asian Affairs (The Journal of the Royal Society for Asian Affairs), Asian Profile, The New Zealand Journal of Asian Studies, South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, and The Journal of South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. The Culture of Power and Governance of Pakistan was awarded best Non-Fiction book of 2010 at the 2011 Karachi Literature Festival, and has also received the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan award for best book in social sciences, arts, and humanities for 2010. His next book is on institutional development in British India and the imperial legacy and is due to be published by IB Tauris (London & New York) in winter 2017. You can get the latest updates from his webpage http://qau.academia.edu/IlhanNiaz.
German author and founder of the Munich Literature festival, Ilija Trojanov is a protean personality. Born in Sofia, Bulgaria, in 1965, he fled with his family to political asylum in Germany in 1971. In 1972, the family moved to Nairobi, Kenya, where he lived until 1984. After a stint in Paris, he studied law and ethnology at Munich University. While there, he successively founded two publishing houses, both specialising in African literature. In 1999, Trojanov moved to Mumbai and wrote about Indian life and culture. He has since lived in Cape Town, returned to Germany, and then moved to Vienna, Austria.
Trojanov has written several non-fiction and travel books about Africa, published an anthology of contemporary African literature, and translated African authors into German. His first novel, The World is Big and Salvation Lurks Around, appeared in 1996. After that, came the science fiction novel Autopol, Hundezeiten: Homecoming in a Foreign Country, and books dealing with his experiences in India. He also took part in the Haj pilgrimage, of which he wrote in To the Holy Sources of Islam as Pilgrims to Mecca and Medina. In March 2006, his novel The Collector of Worlds was published, which won the Leipzig Book Fair Prize and for months was on European bestseller lists.
Since then, he has written further books, produced documentary films, and received numerous honours and awards. He has been an indefatigable activist for citizens’ rights against intrusion by state agencies.
In 2010, Trojanov curated the 1st Munich Literature Festival and, since 2013, he has been the curator and presenter of the series Weltausstellung Prinzenstraße in Hanover. He participated in the writer-in-residence programme of the One World Foundation in Sri Lanka in 2014.
Imdad Hussaini is a poet who writes in both Sindhi and Urdu. He is a writer, scholar, lyricist and playwright. Born into a literary family of Hyderabad, Sindh, he is an educationist by profession. He has worked in various literary institutions of Sindh, such as the Sindhi Adabi Board, the Sindh Textbook Board, the Institute of Sindhology, a member of Board of Governors of the Sindhi Language Authority and Secretary of the Sindhi Adabi Board and Editor of the Board’s literary journal Mehran. Hussaini has published four volumes of poetry in Sindhi and one volume of poetry in Urdu. He has translated Mirza Qaleech Baig’s novel Zeenat and the Sindhi epic Dodo Chanesar into Urdu. The volume of his Urdu poems was launched at the Karachi Literature Festival in 2014. He also translated a selection of Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s poetry into Sindhi, launched on Faiz’s 103rd birthday. He has been honoured with the Pride of Performance Award for Literature, and the Josh Malihabadi Award as best poet from the Department of Culture, Sindh. Recently his collection of Urdu poetry Dhoop Kiran won the Allama Iqbal Award from the Academy of Letters, Islamabad.
Imran Yusuf was born in London in 1982. He has attended the Royal Court Young Writers Programme, London, UK. His play 'Stumped' won the first ever national playwriting prize in Pakistan, and was translated into Urdu and produced by the National Academy of Performing Arts in 2013 in Karachi. A short play, 'Tomorrow,' had a reading at the Bush Theatre in London UK in 2012. He was selected for the Forum of Young European Playwrights in Wiesbaden, Germany, in 2014.
Praise for 'Stumped:'
"... a play that tugs at your heart one moment and enrages your senses the next." (The News International)
"... after a long time we have an original Pakistani play with a fresh subject relevant to our national psyche." (The Express Tribune)
Another play by him, 'Westernization' follows a married couple in crisis over one day, in one flat, through six cities: Tokyo, Lahore, Istanbul, Paris, Los Angeles and Honolulu. They struggle to save their relationship as they are carried westwards with an unstoppable momentum that threatens all they hold dear.
In 2016 Imran Yusuf co-founded the independent press Mongrel Books with Shandana Minhas. He tweets at @imranistan
Inaam Nadeem (also known as Inamullah Nadeem) is a poet, author, critic, and translator, who hails from Shahdadpur, Sindh, and presently lives in Karachi. He is an exponent of the modern Urdu ghazal. His first collection Dar-e-Khwab (Gateway of Dreams) was published in 2003. He has extensively translated pieces of literature from one language to another. He is currently editing a selection of Hindi short stories translated into Urdu.
Apart from poetry and literature, his deep interest in various musical art forms, vocal and instrumental, evolved into a sound grasp of the theory of eastern classical and semi-classical music. An area of particular specialization is the film music of the subcontinent for the past eight decades, about which he has written extensively in various periodicals and publications.
Nadeem holds Master’s Degrees in Urdu (Literature) and in Economics. He presently works at Habib University as a lecturer.
Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed is a scholar, political scientist, and historian. Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Stockholm University, he is also a Visiting Professor at Government College University, Lahore; and, Honorary Senior Fellow, Institute of South Asian Studies, National University of Singapore. His book, The Punjab Bloodied, Partitioned, and Cleansed (Karachi: Oxford University Press, 2012), won the Best Non-Fiction Book Prize at the 2013 Karachi Literature Festival, the 2013 UBL-Jang Group’s Best Non-Fiction Book Prize, and the Best Book on Punjab at the Vaisakhi Mela, 2016, Lahore. His latest book is Pakistan: The Garrison State, Origins, Evolution, Consequences (1947-2011) (Oxford University Press, 2013).
Jamal Janjua is a development professional with a degree in Economics. He has been associated with the development sector for the last six years and has interest in human rights and political economy issues.
Kaiser Bengali is a widely respected economist for his pro-poor analysis in the public and policy circles. He had headed the Benazir Income Support Program, Government of Pakistan. He has over 20 years teaching and research experience and has been associated with the Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI), Applied Economics Research Centre, University of Karachi, and SZABIST. Dr Bengali specializes in national income accounts, industrialization and employment, and governance of local public institutions and has published extensively in national and international journals.
Kashif Hussain Ghayar belongs to the younger generation of Urdu poets who have made the ghazal their forte and has established his reputation in that exacting verse form. He belongs to a literary family and spent his early years in Nawabshah. Moving to Karachi, he became associated with the well-known monthly Sabrang Digest. His first collection of poetry Rastey Ghar Naheen Jane Dete was well-received and was reprinted soon after. He is currently putting together a new collection of his poetry.
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 and a collection of Urdu poetry as well as several booklets and numerous articles on history and literature.
Kishwar Naheed, one of the best-known feminist poets of Pakistan was born in Uttar Pradesh, India, and migrated with her family to Lahore during the Partition in 1947. She received a high school diploma through correspondence courses and went on to obtain a Master of Arts degree in Economics from Punjab University, Lahore. Her first collection of poetry, Lab-i-Goya, published in 1968, won the prestigious Adamjee Prize for Literature. Her collected poems was published under the title Dasht-i-Qais mein Laila. She also wrote for Jang, and edited the literary magazine ‘Mah-i-Nau’. Kishwar also founded the organization Hawwa (Eve) to help women become financially independent through cottage industries and handicrafts.
Kishwar was the Director General of the Pakistan National Council of Arts and is currently on the Board of Directors of National Rural Support Programme (NRSP) and Trust for Voluntary Organisations (TVO), and Chairperson Pakistan Media Regulatory Authority’s (PEMRA) Complaint Cell. She has been the recipient of numerous prestigious awards including the Government’s civil award, Sitara-e-Imtiaz in 2000. She was one of the 1000 women nominated world-wide for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005.
Laleh Khalili is a professor of Middle East Politics at SOAS, University of London. Her first book, Heroes and Martyrs of Palestine: The Politics of National Commemoration (2007) drew on ethnographic research in Palestinian refugee camps in Lebanon and focused on the particular genres of commemoration—from the heroic practices of the heady days of Third Worldism to the tragic discourses of an era in which NGOs are ascendant. She also edited Modern Arab Politics (2008) and co-edited (with Jillian Schwedler) Policing and Prisons in the Middle East: Formations of Coercion (Hurst/OUP, 2010). Her most recent book, Time in the Shadows: Confinement in Counterinsurgencies (2013), drew on interviews with former detainees of Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo Bay, and various Israeli detention camps and prisons, and military officers, guards, and interrogators, as well as a large number of archival sources to show the continuities in practices of detention in liberal counterinsurgencies from the Boer War until today. Time in the Shadows was the winner of the Susan Strange Best Book Prize of the British International Studies Association and the 2014 best book award of the International Political Sociology section of the International Studies Association.
Maheen Karim is Karachi-based fashion designer. A graduate of the prestigious Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, she has worked with globally acclaimed fashion houses in the West. Ms Karim returned to Pakistan to start her own Label in spring 2006. The Maheen Karim label is a ready-to-wear label that is Pakistan’s first to specialise in women’s western style evening wear. Ms Karim has been a recipient of the prestigious Lux Style Award for achievement as the best Prêt-a-Porter designer in Pakistan.
London-based poet and film-maker Mahmood Jamal was born in Lucknow, India. He has a degree in South Asian Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. Jamal is the editor and translator of The Penguin Book of Modern Urdu Poetry, Islamic Mystical Poetry and Faiz: Fifty Poems. He has several poetry collections to his name notably Sugar-Coated Pill and Silence Inside and has also been published widely in anthologies of British poetry. An award-winning filmmaker, Jamal works as an independent producer. He has produced major documentaries and serials for Channel 4’s multicultural department. Mahmood Jamal has recently written and produced the feature film Rahm (Mercy), a Sufi adaptation of William Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure set in Lahore and soon to be released in UK and France.
He is a member of the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).
Mahtab Akbar Rashdi is a well-known TV anchor person, who has also been a government servant, a politician, and a campaigner for human rights. Mahtab hails from Larkana.
She studied at the University of Sindh, later going to the University of Massachusetts, USA, on a Fulbright scholarship to pursue a Master’s in International Relations. She then joined as Chairperson of International Relations Department, University of Sindh at Jamshoro. Mahtab made her initial appearance on media from Radio Pakistan and from there onwards she started her journey towards TV, where she made a major impact as a commentator, anchor person and TV host.
Joining government service, Mahtab has held various posts and has been the first woman to obtain the position of a Secretary in the Sindh government. A crusader for Women’s Rights, Mahtab is currently in the board of directors of HUM TV, NAPA and President of RAHNUMA FPAP.
She contributes articles to various leading journals and weeklies in Sindhi, English, and Urdu. Her book on Indo-Pak Relations was published in 1989. She has been honoured with a number of awards including Pride of Performance by the President of Pakistan.
Malahat Awan has over 20 years of management experience. She has been working for the Asian Development Bank, UNDP, British Council and British Deputy High Commission in various capacities.
She is the President of the Tehzeeb Foundation, which has been working for the preservation and promotion of music, fine arts and literature for the past many years. Tehzeeb Foundation regularly arranges music concerts which are attended by hundreds of people. The foundation has invited artists from all over the world.
Maliha Zia Lari is a High Court Advocate with an LLM in Human Rights from School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. She has been working on women’s human rights, specifically women’s legal rights for the last 8 years. She has worked with several NGOs and international organisations providing gender analysis of Pakistani law, drafting of laws and as a trainer. Her work has included several reports, articles and trainings given on the issue of international human rights treaties, including CEDAW and discrimination against women in law and the judiciary. Currently she is practising law in the Sindh High Court at Karachi and continuing her work as a freelance gender and legal consultant.
Mamang Dai is a journalist, poet, and novelist from Arunachal Pradesh, India. A former correspondent for Hindustan Times, the Telegraph, and The Sentinel newspapers, Ms Dai was President, Arunachal Pradesh Union of Working Journalists. She also worked with the World Wide Fund for nature in the Eastern Himalaya Biodiversity Hotspots programme. Her first publication was Arunachal Pradesh—The Hidden Land, (2003), for which she received the state’s Verrier Elwin Award. Her other publications include River Poems, The Legends of Pensam, Stupid Cupid, The Black Hill and Midsummer-Survival Lyrics. Ms Dai has participated in several national and international forums to promote the disappearing traditions of her state in the face of modernity. In 2011, she was awarded the Padma Shri, in recognition of her contributions to the fields of literature and education. Ms Dai is a member of the North East Writers’ Forum (NEWF) and Advisor, Arunachal Pradesh Literary Society. She lives in Itanagar, Arunachal Pradesh, India, and is currently a Member of the Arunachal Pradesh Public Service Commission.
Novelist and short story writer Maniza Naqvi was born in Lahore. Her published works include four novels, Mass Transit (1998), On Air (2000), Stay With Me (2004), A Matter of Detail (2007), and a book of short stories, poems and essays Sarajevo Saturdays (2009). Her short story An Impossible Shade of Home Brew is a part of the anthology And Then the World Changed. Her short story A Brief Acquaintance is included in the anthology Neither Night Nor Day and the story ‘Muse’ is included in the anthology Shaping the World. Her play That Sara Aziz and poems against war are included in Shattering Stereotypes, and the plays The Leftist and The Leader are included in the anthology of Pakistani fiction for the South Asia Review.
Maniza conceptualized and with 50 other authors, compiled the anthology Festival for KLF 2012, and another anthology of first time writers, I’ll Find My Way for KLF 2014. She also helped compile and develop the Urdu short stories’ anthology Kooza, edited by Zahra Sabri for KLF 2015. Maniza is working on a new novel. She writes regularly for the eclectic blog 3quarksdaily.com.
Mansha Pasha is a Pakistani actress and television presenter. She is known for her supporting roles in several critically and commercially successful television series, including Shehr-e-Zaat (2012), Madiha Maliha (2012), Zindagi Gulzar Hai (2013), Virasat (2013) and Mera Naam Yusuf Hai (2015). Her performance in the romantic series Mohabat Subh Ka Sitara Hai (2013) proved to be a breakthrough for her, and earned her the Hum Award for Best Supporting Actress.
Marjorie Husain is a well-known Karachi-based art writer and author, published in numerous newspapers and journals. She has curated exhibitions of art from Pakistan in New Delhi, Germany and in the UK, lectured on Pakistan’s art and artists in Pakistan, the UK, and Singapore, and has written about artists past and present, recording their achievements for posterity.
In 2000, she published the first textbook for teachers and students of art in Pakistan, Aspects of Art (Oxford University Press), which is widely used.
In 2003, Marjorie was co-coordinator of the Jamil Naqsh Retrospective Exhibition held at the Mohatta Palace, Karachi, and also helped to organize the 8th National Visual Arts Exhibition, held at Alhamra, Lahore. In 2005, her book entitled ARTVIEWS, Encounters with Artists in Pakistan, was launched at the Pakistan Embassy, London, in collaboration with Asia House. In this context she was interviewed by the BBC.
Marjorie Husain was awarded the Fatima Jinnah Gold Medal in 2004 and the K-Electric Pride of Karachi Award in 2014.
A leading writer and journalist, Masood Ashar is regarded as an important contemporary Urdu fiction writer. He has been awarded the Sitara-e-Imtiaz along with Pride of Performance. He has published three collections of short stories, the first of which included a number of stories on the theme of the military action in the former East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) in 1971. These stories break away from social realism and develop as fractured or discontinuous narratives, appropriate for the extreme situations depicted within. A number of his stories have been translated into English, Turkish, Hindi, and other languages and published in anthologies representing literature from Pakistan. He has written a number of critical essays and reminiscences of writers and has translated a number of books into Urdu. He was awarded Pride of Performance by the Government of Pakistan for his outstanding literary work. He is currently associated with MASHAL, a non-profit organization that supports publication of developmental literature, and through this organization has facilitated the translation of hundreds of contemporary books into Urdu. He is a member of a number of learned bodies including the Pakistan Academy of Letters.
Sardar Mohammad Masood Khan is a former diplomat, who has entered politics in his native Azad Kashmir, where he has been elected as President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir. Masood Khan joined the Foreign Service of Pakistan in 1980 and went on to serve in various diplomatic positions. From 2003 to 2005, he served as the Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, as Pakistan’s Ambassador to China between 2008 and 2012, and as Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations between 2012 and 2015.
He also served as Director General of the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad, between 2015 and 2016.
Masood Lohar is an environmentalist and development specialist, based at Hyderabad, Sindh. He is the National Programme Manager, UNDP-GEF Small Grants Programme (SGP) Pakistan. Winner of the Presidential Benazir Bhutto Human Rights Award 2010, and the Gender Equality and Climate Change Award 2014 from the UN Women’s National Committee Canada, Masood is known for his outstanding contribution in promoting energy-efficient housing and cooking, Pakistan’s diverse indigenous culture, and eco-tourism.
Born into an extremely poor rural family, Lohar has achieved a prominent position; he is also a poet and columnist.
A US-based historian and anthropologist, Matthew A. Cook holds a Ph.D. in Sociocultural Anthropology from Columbia University. He is presently Professor of South Asian and Postcolonial Studies at North Carolina Central University. His research focuses on the history and anthropology of South Asia, Sindh, and colonialism. His publications include: Annexation and the Unhappy Valley: The Historical Anthropology of Sindh’s Colonization (2016), Willoughby’s Minute: Treaty of Nownahar, Fraud and British Sindh (Oxford University Press, 2013), Observing Sindh: Selected Reports of Edward Patterson Del Host (Oxford University Press, 2008), and, with Michel Boivin, Interpreting the Sindhi World: Essays on Society and History (Oxford University Press, 2010).
Senator Mian Raza Rabbani is a Pakistani political leader and a constitutional lawyer who has served as Chairman of the Senate since 2015.
As a legislator, he was responsible for the drafting of the famous Eighteenth Amendment, which restored the original spirit of the Constitution and established a firm foundation for Federalism. He has been elected a Senator from Sindh six times since 1993. A long-standing member of the Pakistan People’s Party, he was a close aide to former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto and was appointed the Party’s Deputy Secretary General in 1997 and Leader of the Opposition in the Senate in 2005.
Prior to his work in constitutional politics, he was a leading figure on the democratic left and has extensively written on left-wing ideas.
Senator Rabbani was awarded the highest civil award, Nishan-e-Imtiaz, for his parliamentary services. In addition, he was awarded the Bacha Khan Award for the Defence of Provincial Rights. The Human Rights Society of Pakistan selected him for the 2006 award for his invaluable services for human rights.
He was Vice-chairman of the National Institute of Public Policy and member, Forum of Federations, Toronto. He has represented Pakistan as a delegate and speaker at the UN General Assembly, Inter-Parliamentary Union and Commonwealth Parliamentary Union.
Mira Hashmi lives and works in Lahore. A graduate of the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema at Concordia University, Montreal, she has been teaching the discipline of Film Studies since 1998. She is currently an assistant professor at the Lahore School of Economics. Ms Hashmi has also been writing about film for various publications for the past twenty years. Her areas of special interest include the cinema of Alfred Hitchcock, Guru Dutt, and avant garde filmmaker Maya Deren. She also has a special affinity for Hindi masala movies.
Mirza Waheed was born and brought up in Kashmir. His debut novel, The Collaborator, was an international bestseller. A finalist for the Guardian First Book Award and the Shakti Bhatt Prize, The Collaborator was also longlisted for the Desmond Elliott Prize. It was selected by Waterstones as part of its big literary debut promotion, ‘Waterstones 11’ and was also book of the year for The Telegraph, New Statesman, Financial Times, Business Standard and Telegraph India, among others. His latest novel, The Book of Gold Leaves, was published in 2014 to critical acclaim.
The Book of Gold Leaves was shortlisted for the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature 2016 and was longlisted for the Folio Prize.
Mirza has written for the BBC, The Guardian, Granta, Guernica, Al Jazeera (English) and The New York Times.
Moeen Faruqi is an artist and English language poet living in Karachi. His paintings have been exhibited widely within Pakistan and internationally in Canada, Italy, Singapore, Bangladesh, UK and India. His poems have been published in various literary journals in Pakistan and abroad, including Poetry from Pakistan: An Anthology (Karachi, 1997), Dragonfly in the Sun: An Anthology of Pakistani Literature (Karachi, 1997), and The Poetry of Men’s Lives, (USA, 2004). His poems have also appeared in Verse, Orbis, The Rialto (UK), Rattle (USA), Cyphers (Ire.) and in Vallum (Canada).
Mohammed Hanif is a journalist and author. Born in Okara, Pakistan, he left the Pakistan Air Force Academy to pursue a career in journalism and worked for Newsline, India Today, and The Washington Post. He has written plays for the stage and screen, including a critically acclaimed BBC drama, and the screenplay for the feature film The Long Night. His novel A Case of Exploding Mangoes was longlisted for the 2008 Man Booker Prize and shortlisted for the 2008 Guardian First Book Award. He won the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize in the Best First Book category in 2009 and is also the recipient of the Shakti Bhatt First Book Award.
His second novel Our Lady of Alice Bhatti was shortlisted for the Wellcome Trust Award and the DSC Award for Best South Asian Novel. He is working on libretto for a new opera called Bhutto. His pamphlet The Baloch Who is Not Missing and Others Who Are was published by HRCP. Hanif is currently based in Karachi.
Mubashir Zaidi is an award-winning journalist of 25 years’ standing. He currently works with the Dawn Media Group as co-host of a weeknights show and Editor Investigations. He has previously worked with the BBC, The Los Angeles Times, and Hindustan Times. He has been a career reporter and has broken many stories from Pakistan that were internationally reproduced. These include the rise of ISIS in Pakistan.
He presently co-hosts ‘Zara Hut Kay’ on Dawn TV, aired on weeknights. Zaidi’s considered opinion is that journalism is the only forum currently available in the country to express views freely, perhaps too freely. He is a strong advocate of democracy and human rights.
Dr Muhammad Ali Shaikh is a Karachi-based scholar, author, and government official. Presently, the Vice Chancellor of Sindh Madressatul Islam University, Karachi, he holds a PhD in Mass Communication from the University of Karachi and has served as a post-doctoral fellow/ Fulbright Scholar at American University, Washington D.C. He has served in various public and private sector positions including as Director of SZABIST Centre for Information & Research, Karachi; Director-General in the Secretariat of the Ombudsman of Sindh; Director-General, Sindh Environmental Protection Agency (EPA); Director-General, Sindh Coastal Development Authority (CDA); and Chairman Sindh Textbook Board. Presently on the Board of Directors of United States Educational Foundation in Pakistan (USEFP), which also serves as the Fulbright Commission in the country. Dr Shaikh has authored several books and papers on subjects relating to history, education, and communication, including biographies of Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah and Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto. His book on Quaid-e-Azam was awarded the best book of the year award by the National Book Foundation of Pakistan.
Dr Muhammad Athar Masood holds a doctorate in Persian Language and Literature from Punjab University. While studying for his Master’s at the famous Government College, Lahore, he was the Editor of the prestigious literary magazine, the Ravi, for the year 1992. Himself a classical singer, Dr Masood studied with the famous duo Ustad Badar-uz-Zaman and Ustad Qamar-uz-Zaman and performs from the Lahore station of Radio Pakistan. His published works include Parbat ke Uss Par (Urdu translations of modern Persian short stories), Naqsh-e-Masood (compilation of the calligraphic works of his late father Amjad Masood), Doyens of Sub continental Music (compilation of articles by Rashid Malik on subcontinental music), Deewar & Jamal Kahanian (both comprising Urdu translation of the short stories by renowned Iranian fiction writer Jamal Mirsadeqi), and Maqalat-e-Masood (research articles based on Persian sources on subcontinental music). He teaches Persian language and literature at Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS).
Well-known journalist, television commentator and author, Mujahid Barelvi started his career during the dictatorship of General Zia ul Haq. A vigorous defender of freedom of expression, he has faced six months of rigorous imprisonment; he was also elected twice as joint secretary and twice as secretary general of the Karachi Press Club, a centre of resistance against military dictatorship. His hard-hitting TV talk shows Do Tok and Mujahid On-Line ran for four years. His later talk show Doosra Pehlu ran for seven years without a break. Currently he hosts Mujahid Live, the flagship show on Channel 24. He has authored five further 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.
Muneeza Shamsie is a writer, critic, and bibliographer, the author of Hybrid Tapestries: The Development of Pakistani Literature in English (Oxford University Press, 2016) and Managing Editor of a work-in-progress: The Oxford Companion to the Literatures of Pakistan. She is a member of the International Advisory Board of The Journal of Postcolonial Writing and has guest-edited two of the journal’s special issues: 52. 2 Al Andalus (2016) and 47.2 Beyond Geography: Literature, Politics and Violence in Pakistan (2011). She is the Bibliographic Representative (Pakistan) for The Journal of Commonwealth Literature, and serves on several advisory committees including that of the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature, of which she was a jury member in 2013. She was the Regional Chairperson (Europe and South Asia) of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize from 2009 to 2011. Her extensive work includes three pioneering anthologies of Pakistani English Literature, and she is a regular contributor to Dawn and Newsline.
Mushtaq Ahmad Yousufi is a well-known humourist and satirist, who writes in Urdu. Born in Jaipur, India, in 1923, Yousufi completed his early education in Rajputana and earned a B.A. from Agra University, followed by M.A. Philosophy and LL.B from Aligarh Muslim University. After Partition, his family migrated to Karachi. Yousufi’s published writings include the books Chiragh Talay (1961), Khakam-ba-Dahan (1969), Zarguzasht (1976), Aab-i-gum (1990), and Sham-e-Shair-e-Yaaraan (2014), all in Urdu. In English, he has also written Mirages of the Mind, a book of reviews, and Muhammad, The Final Messenger. He has also contributed his wit to numerous magazines and periodicals, both in Urdu and English.
A banker by profession, Yousufi began his career with Muslim Commercial Bank in 1950. He joined Allied Bank Ltd in 1965 as Managing Director and in 1974 became President of United Bank Ltd. In 1977, he became Chairman of the Pakistan Banking Council.
Recipient of the Quaid-i-Azam Memorial Medal for distinguished services in Banking, Yousufi was awarded the Sitara-i-Imtiaz (1999) and Hilal-i-Imtiaz (2002), the highest literary honours, by the Government of Pakistan.
Mustafa Qureshi gained popularity from Punjabi movies. His iconic role as the villain Noori Nat in the movie Maula Jatt (1979) became his trademark and he went on to adapt similar roles for many years to come. He has acted in more than 500 movies, in Urdu, Punjabi and Sindhi languages.
Mustansar Hussain Tarar is a Pakistani author, actor, radio show host, compere, and enthusiast. He is also recognized as a member of Pakistan’s mountaineering community, as a writer of travelogues and adventure stories, and as an advocate for tourism projects in the Northern areas of Pakistan. Tarar was born in Lahore and was educated at Government College, Lahore, before moving to London. In 1957, he attended the World Youth Festival in Moscow and wrote a book named Fakhta (The Dove) about that experience. Returning to Lahore, he joined Pakistan Television, first as an actor, and later as a producer. Tarar has so far written over forty books ranging from travelogues, to novels, short stories, and literary criticism. His new book is called Lahore say Yarkand tak, a travelogue of the Xinjiang region of China.
Mirza Nazeer Baig Mughal, better known by his stage name Nadeem Baig, or, more commonly, simply Nadeem, is a superstar of the Pakistani silver screen, as actor, singer, and producer. Most commonly cast opposite the equally legendary actress Shabnam, he has appeared in over two hundred films and has won various awards, including the 1997 Pride of Performance. Nadeem was born in present day Andhra Pradesh, in India in 1941, and migrated to Karachi, Pakistan, along with his family in 1947. Along with several other aspiring actors and TV producer Iqbal Haider, he was discovered as a singer at a Karachi club in the 1960s. He and his friends won several music competitions, at one of which he was noticed by singer Ferdausi Rahman, who encouraged him to try playback singing in Dhaka’s film industry.
In Dhaka, rather than as a playback singer, in 1967 he bagged the lead acting role in the film Chakori opposite the actress Shabana, initiating a film career spanning more than 45 years. He won a Nigar Award in the Best Actor category for Chakori and never looked back after that. Besides acting, Nadeem has also sung many songs for films.
Nadeem Farooq Paracha is a cultural critic, satirist, and well-known columnist at Pakistan’s largest English language daily Dawn. He is also a columnist for the official German media group, Deutsche Welle (DW). Paracha was born and raised in Karachi and 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 will be published in February 2017.
Nafisa Shah is an academic, writer, artist, and accidental politician. She has a PhD in Social and Cultural Anthropology from the University of Oxford. She is presently serving her second term as Member of the National Assembly from the Pakistan Peoples Party Parliamentarian platform. As an MNA, Shah is a strong voice on rights-based policy and has led cross-party caucusing on gender. She was elected Nazim (mayor) of Khairpur district in 2001, being one of the only two women District Nazims in Pakistan. She worked previously as a journalist in the English language magazine Newsline. She has recently written a book Honour Unmasked: Gender Violence, Law, and Power in Pakistan.
Naila Mahmood is a Karachi-based documentary photographer and a visual artist. Her work revolves around the complexities of urban spaces and issues of human rights. She has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. She teaches at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi, and is the Coordinator of Vasl Artists’ Collective.
Distinguished diplomat, Najmuddin Sheikh was born at Hyderabad. With degrees of BCom from the Sindh University and MA from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University, USA, he joined the Foreign Service of Pakistan in 1961. During the course of his outstanding foreign service career, he has held several ambassadorial assignments, including Ambassador to Canada, Ambassador to Germany, Ambassador to the USA, and Ambassador to Iran. He served as Foreign Secretary from 1994 to 1997. Retired now, he shares his experience and knowledge with the public through TV and radio commentaries and articles on international relations in the local and foreign media.
Nasim Syed is an Urdu poet, short story writer, columnist and translator, who lives in Canada. She has published five books: Aadhi Gawahi (poetry). Samundar Rasta Dega (poetry), Jis Tan Lage (short stories), Shumali America ke Haqiqi Bashindon ke Shaer (translations of the poetry of aboriginal Americans), and Khush Guzranguzar Gae (a commentary on the poetry and prose of Jaun Elia). Aadhi Gawahi was chosen as the best book of the year and received an award from L.A. Urdu Markaz. Samunder Rasta Dega also received the best book of the year award from Washington Adbi Markaz. Two forthcoming books are a new poetry collection, and translations of the poetry of aboriginal American women.
Ms Syed holds a Master’s in Urdu from Karachi university and a Degree in Hotel Management from Kingston College of Arts and Science, Ontario. She is the Chairperson of the Canadian Urdu Writers Forum.
Justice (R) Nasira Iqbal is a retired Judge of the Lahore High Court. A graduate of Kinnaird College, Lahore, she completed her Master’s in Law at Harvard after getting married and having two children. In addition to being an advocate and retired Judge, she is a Professor who has taught law to many generations. She represented Pakistan at the Human Rights Commission, Geneva, was President of the Lahore High Court Bar Association and was also a member of Pakistan Law and Justice Commission. She has spoken in many international forums on women and human rights. She has participated in drafting legislation for promoting human rights. Her non-legal experience includes serving as Trustee of Transparency International Pakistan; Trustee, Ferozsons Trust; President, Punjab Mental Health Association; (Member) Interfaith Dialogue Austria, and Global Women’s Peace Initiative; Member, PILDAT; Member, SOS Children’s Villages; Member, Syndicate Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi, and Goodwill Ambassador, Child Care Foundation, Lahore.
Nasira Zuberi is a senior journalist and media person with twenty years’ experience of print as well as electronic journalism. She has worked for prestigious organisations like Business Recorder, Aaj News, Geo News, and NewsOne. She is the only female journalist who has the successful launch of two news channels (Aaj News and NewsOne) to her credit. She is a former Controller News of Aaj TV, Director News of NewsOne, and Editor Business Desk of Geo News.
She is the author of two poetry collections: Shagoon and Kaanch ka Charaagh.
Her third book Teesra Qadam is being launched at the 8th Karachi Literature Festival.
Nasreen Askari is the director and founding curator of the Mohatta Palace Museum, Karachi. She is a cultural anthropologist and author who has been active in the promotion of the arts and the traditional crafts of Pakistan since 1975. Askari has curated exhibitions on different facets of the cultural heritage of Pakistan, both at home and abroad. As Visiting Curator at the Victoria and Albert Museum, London, and at the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh, she curated and documented seminal exhibitions, including the first international exposé of Pakistan’s dress traditions. She has been responsible for numerous exhibitions at the Mohatta Palace Museum, having co-authored its publications and participated in a number of international seminars. In 2008, she was awarded the President’s Medal for Pride of Performance for her contribution to the artistic traditions of Pakistan.
She has recently completed a publication on the culture and traditions of Tharparkar, sponsored by the Sindh Engro Coal Mining Company (SECMC). Her current curatorial project, ‘Firdous ba Rooh e Zameen Ast: Manuscripts and Miniatures from Kashmir’ will open at the Mohatta Palace Museum this year.
Dr Nauman Naqvi is the Dean of the School of Arts, Humanities & 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.
Karachi-based author and gender activist, Nausheen Ahmad is a corporate lawyer by profession. Actively involved in Shirkat Gah (a nonprofit, working on women and development), she also conducts research on gender issues and has contributed papers to various publications, including the books Shaping Women’s Lives and Adjudicating Family Law in Muslim Courts, Cases from the Contemporary Muslim World. She was a panellist at a workshop on women’s rights in the workplace at the Women of the World Festival (Karachi) and also presented a paper on ‘Mediating Family Law Disputes’ at the International Bar Association Conference in Boston.
A barrister and member of Gray’s Inn, London, Ms Ahmed is currently Company Secretary and General Counsel of Habib Bank Ltd. She is also a Director of First Women’s Bank Limited. Ms Ahmad is a UK-accredited Mediator and Master Trainer and conducts mediation and training with the Pakistan Mediators Association and Centre of Effective Dispute Resolution, UK. She is part of the visiting faculty of the Centre for Executive Education at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi, and has recently been invited to the visiting faculty of the IRC.
Dr Newal Osman is Karachi-based historian. She holds a Masters degree in International History from the London School of Economics and a Doctorate in South Asian History from Trinity College, Cambridge. Her research interests lie in the nature and impact of colonial rule, the Partition of 1947, and the effects of decolonisation, especially with regard to the province of Punjab. Presently an Assistant Professor of History in the Department of Social Sciences & Liberal Arts at IBA, Karachi, she teaches, among other courses, research methods in history and politics in colonial India.
Dr Syed Nomanul Haq is a historian, noted especially for his contributions to the fields of Islamic history, philosophy, and literature in Muslim societies. General Editor of Oxford University Press’ Studies in Islamic Philosophy series, he is Professor of the Social Sciences and Liberal Arts at Karachi’s Institute of Business Administration (IBA) and serves as Advisor of the programme. A volume of the OUP series he edits recently won the coveted Custodians of the Two Holy Mosques Award. Dr Haq has previously taught as a standing faculty member at Brown University, and also at the University of Pennsylvania, where he continues to hold a formal faculty status. He was educated at University College, London, as well as Harvard University; he also won a postdoctoral fellowship at the Center of Middle Eastern Studies. A former senior faculty member of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), he has been published widely by some of the world’s most prestigious publishers, his writings also appearing in ISI-indexed research journals. He is a contributor to the New Cambridge History of Islam, a six-volume work that was awarded the prestigious Waldo Leland Prize of the American Historical Association, and has recently been named as Senior Editor of the periodical Critical Muslim, and Chair of the Editorial Board of Oxford Urdu Lughat.
Noor ul Huda Shah is a short story writer, playwright, poet, columnist, and broadcaster. Having worked with prominent media houses of Pakistan. She is now with HUM network as a senior vice president.
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 holds a Master’s in Law from University College London and a Master’s in Criminal Justice Policy from the London School of Economics. 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 will be Launched at the 8th Karachi Literature Festival.
Omayr Aziz Saiyid is a political analyst with an interest in Pakistani politics and national security affairs. He read political studies at Pitzer College, in Claremont, California and Business Management at the College of Business Management in Karachi, Pakistan. He has had a career in the corporate and private business sector. He manages a school with an enrolment of almost 2000 students.
Plays bass for Sketches band. From Sindh, Pakistan
Paul Veyret is senior lecturer at Bordeaux Montaigne University, France. He is a specialist of contemporary British, Indian, and Pakistani fiction. He is the author of Kazuo Ishiguro, L'encre de la mémoire and the chief editor of Desi, La revue, a transdisciplinary journal on South Asian diasporic issues.
Peerzada Salman is a features writer with the Daily Dawn. He writes on a variety of subjects related to art, culture and literature. He has a master’s degree in English Literature from the University of Karachi. He dabbles in short fiction and is also a bilingual (Urdu and English) poet. Two of his poems on Turkey and Kashmir have recently been published in Critical Muslim (21).
Pervez Amirali Hoodbhoy is a leading nuclear physicist, public figure, and commentator. Currently he is the Zohra and Z.Z. Ahmad Distinguished Professor of Physics and Mathematics at FC College, Lahore. Earlier he had taught for forty years at the Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad.
Dr Hoodbhoy graduated from MIT with undergraduate degrees in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics. He went on to acquire a Master’s in Solid State Physics, and a Ph.D in Nuclear Physics also from MIT. In 1968, he won the Baker Award for Electronics and in 1984 the Abdus Salam Prize for Mathematics. In 2003, he was awarded UNESCO’s Kalinga Prize for the popularization of science. In 2010, he received the Joseph A. Burton Award from the American Physical Society and the Jean Meyer Award from Tufts University. In 2011, he was included in the list of 100 most influential global thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine. In 2013, he was made a member of the UN Secretary General’s Advisory Board on Disarmament Affairs, a position he currently holds.
Pirzada Qasim is a noted Pakistani scholar, Urdu poet, scientist and educationist. He has served as Vice-Chancellor at the Federal Urdu University and University of Karachi. He is currently the Vice Chancellor, Ziauddin University.
Mumbai-based Piyush Jha is an acclaimed film director, advertising filmmaker, and the author of bestselling crime-fiction novels.
A student political leader at university, he pursued a career in advertising management after acquiring an MBA degree. Later, he switched tracks, first to make advertising commercials for some of the country’s largest brands, and then to write and direct feature films.
Jha’s films Chalo America, King of Bollywood, and Sikandar are noted for the unconventionality of the subject matter and for their relevance to contemporary society. His Mumbaistan, Compass Box Killer and Anti-Social Network are page-turners that explore the dark landscape of crime-fiction in Mumbai. The novels have recently been released in Marathi language too.
Currently, Jha is working on his next feature film as a director/writer and is also developing a crime-based TV show for a leading entertainment channel. He has recently launched his fourth crime-thriller novel, Raakshas: India’s No.1 Serial Killer.
Preeti Shenoy is among the top five highest-selling authors in India and is the highest-selling woman writer in India. Listed on the Forbes longlist of the most influential celebrities in India, she has also been named her as being unique for being the only woman in the best-selling league by India Today. Her books include It’s All In The Planets, Why We Love The Way We Do, The Secret Wish List, The One You Cannot Have and many others.
She has been awarded the Academia award for Business Excellence by the New Delhi Institute of Management and has received the ‘100 Young Indian Women Achievers Award’ in the Powerful Leader category. She has given talks in many educational institutions and corporate organisations. She is also an artist specialising in portraiture and illustrated journaling.
She has a very popular blog and also writes a weekly column in the Financial Chronicle.
Mumbai-based media personality Priyanka Sinha Jha has a career spanning over 18 years.
Ms Jha has spent the past 8 years as Editor of Screen, which she transformed from a trade broadsheet with pullout sections to a stapled, tabloid-sized entertainment business weekly (along the lines of Variety). She is now spearheading Screen’s new transition to digital/TV entertainment-based format. Earlier, as Editor of Society magazine, she spearheaded its
re-launch in 2001, and as and a key member of the core team that launched Hindustan Times in Mumbai in 2005, she launched HT Style (now called HT Café) as its first Editor.
As a writer and opinion-maker, Priyanka has written popular columns across numerous publications. Her specialty is writing celebrity and lifestyle features. She has done multiple in-depth interviews with top celebrities, newsmakers, and Bollywood superstars. Ms Jha has also authored a popular Bollywood self-help book, Supertraits of Superstars, and is currently working on a two-book series on the entertainment business of India.
Former Tedx speaker and Acumen fellow, Qasim Aslam is a social entrepreneur who has travelled to over 30 countries for training, speaking engagements, workshops, conferences, and sports competitions.
In 2013, he launched The History Project, an innovative dual narrative approach to history that encourages students in their formative years to question the narratives of hatred being fed to millions through history textbooks, by understanding the duality of perspectives on various events.
The latest publication Partitioned histories: The other side of your story, was launched at Harvard and the programme has now been taken up by top schools in Lahore, Karachi, Mumbai, Delhi, and Islamabad.
The disruptive dual narrative approach to history to counter narratives of hate was lauded by academics at institutions like Brown, Harvard, and Stanford, amongst others, and has received a positive response from the Wall Street Journal, Times of India, The News, and others.
Qasim Aslam started his first business at the age of 21 and is also a partner at Pakistan’s third fastest growing technology company, Arbisoft. Qasim was nominated as one of the 30 under 30 changing classrooms by International Literary Association and is part of the 2017 Asia 21 Emerging Leaders Cohort.
Urdu novelist and short story writer Rafaqat Hayat was born in 1973 in the small town of Mehrabpur, in Sindh. He completed his secondary education in Mehrabpur, Nawabshah and Thatta, before his family moved to Karachi, where he did his graduation.
It was in Rawalpindi that he started his literary career in 1992. His early short stories were published in notable Urdu journals such as Maah e Nou, Funoon, Sawera, Dunyazad, and others. His first collection of short stories was entitled Khawamkhwah ki Zindagi. He finished his first novel Meer Wah Ki Ratain in 2000, but it took 15 years to get published. It was first published as a serial in the magazine Aaj in 2015 and later brought out as a book. He is presently working on his second novel.
Hayat has penned many plays as well and has adopted many works for different TV Channels. He works as a Senior Script Writer in the Geo TV Network.
Karachi-based TV personality Zulqarnain Jamil Aali, popularly known as Raju Jamil, was a banker by profession, and retired as Senior Vice President/Head Social Media at UBL after 40 years’ service. He debuted on TV for the first time in 1967, appearing in a PTV play. He has acted in over 210 serials, 55 single plays, and 20 English stage plays. He successfully anchored the famous and well-known Weekend with Raju Jamil, a late night TV show. While with UBL, he worked on deputation as GM Media, Pakistan Cricket Board for Pak Test Series in Australia in 1999–2000. Raju Jamil, since his teenage, has been an ardent admirer and supporter of Pakistani Cricket and Cinema. He has not only watched almost every Pakistani film since 1958 but remembers most of them; since 2005 he has been researching and writing about the famous Pakistani movies, and lamenting on why the Pakistani cinema has lost its original charm. In view of Pakistani cinema today, he doubts that it can maintain the norms to match the values and needs of the country with regard to environment, religion, and society.
In October 2015 Raju, as a member of the Governing Body, was elected as President of Anjuman Taraqqi e Urdu Pakistan. He was nominated by Aftab Ahmed whose tenure had ended.
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.
Author Regula Bubb-Abderhalden was born in Zurich, Switzerland. After completing her Law studies, she traversed the globe, accompanying her husband, a Swiss diplomat. Her journey led her to Rome (Italy), Baghdad (Iraq), Berlin and Bonn (Germany), Washington D.C. and New York (USA) and Bern (Switzerland). From 2010 to 2014, she lived in Pakistan, where her husband was the Ambassador of Switzerland, also accredited to Afghanistan, which she visited several times. She now lives in Vienna (Austria), representing her home country together with her husband. She is mother of two adult children, Lukas and Carla.
During her stay in Pakistan, she wrote a blog about the daily lives of Pakistanis, their joys and challenges, the diplomatic life, her journeys, and political developments. The blog got a wide interest within Pakistan and abroad and was subsequently transformed into a book High-life in Pakistan.
US based scholar Roger D. Long is Professor of History at Eastern Michigan University. His publications include The Founding of Pakistan: An Annotated Bibliography; Charisma and Commitment in South Asian History: Essays Presented to Stanley Wolpert; and ‘Dear Mr. Jinnah’: Selected Correspondence and Speeches of Liaquat Ali Khan, 1937-1947. He has recently edited such volumes as Nationalism and Imperialism in South and Southeast Asia: Essays Presented to Damodar R. SarDesai and A History of Pakistan. His last book was a co-edited volume, State and Nation-Building in Pakistan: Beyond Islam and Security. He is currently working on a co-edited volume with Ian Talbot, India and the Great War: A Centenary Assessment, and a biography of Pakistan’s first Prime Minister, Liaquat Ali Khan.
A journalist by profession, Rolf Paasch is the Resident Director of the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung, Pakistan Office. Founded in 1925 as Germany’s first political foundation, the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) is a non-profit organization committed to the precepts of social democracy. The mission of FES in Germany and abroad is to promote freedom, solidarity and social justice through the political process. FES has been working in Pakistan since the 1980s. Prior to his present assignment, Paasch has been working for the FES in Tanzania, and Afghanistan. He also headed the African Media Project of FES from Namibia. Until 2005 he held positions as Foreign Correspondent and Reporter-at-Large with German and Swiss newspapers, writing from London, Washington, D.C., the Balkans, the Middle East and South Asia, for more than 20 years.
Roshan Sharma is known for guitar and chaturangi (Hindustani Slide Guitar) playing. He is a multi-instrumentalist. He started music at the age of 11 with his elder brother Srijan Nepal. With an aim to imitate traditional indian music on guitar he started playing ragas on it. Unsatisfied, he went to Calcutta to learn the chaturangi, a unique 24 stringed guitar with the legendary Maestro and Grammy nominee, Sri Pandit Debashis Bhattacharya. He studied Jazz Theory from Jessie Van Ruller. Fortunate enough to learn both eastern and western music to a great extent, he often tries to merge the best of both worlds thus creating new sounds on the guitar and the chaturangi itself. Besides being a musician he is a lecturer at Tribhuwan University and enjoys teaching academics at various colleges in Kathmandu.
Roshan has recorded 5 albums to date amongst which "Aatmiya", "Music Makers of Nepal" and "Sitapati" did very well in Nepal and abroad. He has also recorded over 50 songs as a sideman.
Roshan is also teaching guitar and chaturangi at Kathmandu Jazz Conservatory in Kathmandu.
In addition to this performance with the Sketches band at the KLF closing ceremony concert, Roshan has performed in India, Bhutan, China and other South East Asian Countries.
S.S. Mausoof is a US-based filmmaker and author of Pakistani origin . He received critical recognition and acclaim for his Cinema Noir movie Kala Pul: The Black Bridge, which was shot on location in Karachi, and the short film Absolution. His documentary on the Indus Valley Civilization, In Search of Meluhha: The Story of Mohenjodaro has also been widely acclaimed. Born in Karachi and educated in the USA, he currently lives in San Francisco. He is an active member of Friends of South Asia (FOSA), an organization that works to promote peace and harmony in South Asia, a board member of the Third South Asian Film Festival and a frequent commentator for KPFA radio station on events concerning Pakistan. The Warehouse is his first novel, inspired by relief work in the region. It will be translated into French in 2017.
Sabyn Javeri is an award-winning short story writer and author of the upcoming novel Nobody Killed Her, a political thriller based on the assassination of a female politician in an Islamic country. Sabyn’s short fiction has been published in The Oxonian Review, The London Magazine, The South Asian Review, Bengal Lights, Wasafiri, World Audience, Trespass and Sugar Mule, amongst others. Her short stories explore issues of gender, identity and displacement. They have been widely anthologised, and her essays on craft have appeared in Creative Writing textbooks in the UK. She has won The Oxonian Review short story award and was shortlisted for Meridian, Leaf Books and the first Tibor Jones South Asia Prize.
Sabyn holds a Masters with Distinction from the University of Oxford and has a PhD in Creative Writing from the University of Leicester.
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.
Saif Mahmood is a New Delhi-based literary personality, Urdu poetry and literature expert, culturist, commentator, critic, translator and rights activist. He 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 & Culture (SAALARC), he recalls most of Ghalib, Iqbal, and Faiz by heart. He is well-known in India and abroad for enthralling audiences with his passionate recitations, especially of such progressive poets as Faiz, Majaz, Sahir and Jaun Elia. Saif is a frequent face at literary events and television discussions and regularly speaks on varied platforms the world over. His translations of Urdu works into English have appeared in several prestigious publications. He is currently working on a book on the classical Urdu poets of Delhi.
By profession an Advocate of the Supreme Court of India, Mahmood holds a doctorate in Comparative Constitutional Law in South Asia, he frequently appears before Superior Courts in India as well as in international and domestic tribunals.
Saif Samejo is the lead vocalist and founder of the band The Sketches. He is a musical activist who seeks emancipation of the mind and celebration of the self through the promotion of humanism and love in his music. He considers music to be free of all boundaries of caste and religion, speaking a universal language that unites the whole of humanity.
His band has released two albums, Dastkari and YOU. He has collaborated with several acclaimed Pakistani and international musicians over the years. Samejo is the founder and producer of the weekly Lahooti Live sessions aimed at reviving traditional musical instruments of the subcontinent and promoting Pakistan’s indigenous musicians by providing them a platform. He owns Lahooti Music Ashram, a studio and music space, located in Jamshoro. He also initiated Lahooti Melo at Hyderabad, a two-day festival of music, dance, poetry and the arts where indigenous, folk Sufi and main stream artist meet, speak, collaborate and play music. Besides creating music, Samejo has been involved in a tree-planting project with the youth, planting thousands of trees and caring for them.
Saima Iram has published her first collection of short stories Shah Moosh aur Dosri Kahanian in 2016 and received a lot of critical acclaim. The collection comprises six stories, each explores a different subject but there is a common theme running through them: empathy with those who suffer, even if suffering is a result of their own weaknesses. Iram received her PhD in 2011 from Government College University, Lahore and is currently working as associate professor in the same university. Her work focuses on the various themes on city, architecture and literature. Besides being an accomplished academic, Iram regularly contributes to various national and international journals.
Professor Salima Hashmi is a leading artist, curator, contemporary art historian, and art educationist. Professor Hashmi taught at the National College of Arts [NCA] Lahore, for 31 years and was also Principal of the College for four years. She was the founding Dean of the Mariam Dawood School of Visual Art and Design at Beaconhouse National University, Lahore.
Her book Unveiling the Visible– Lives and Works of Women Artists of Pakistan was published in 2002, and Memories, Myths, Mutations – Contemporary Art of India and Pakistan, co-authored with Yashodhara Dalmia for Oxford University Press India, in 2006. She has recently edited The Eye Still Seeks – Contemporary Art of Pakistan.
A leading artist herself, she has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions. She curated Hanging Fire, an exhibition of Pakistani Contemporary Art for Asia Society Museum, New York in 2009, and the critically acclaimed This Night-Bitten Dawn, at the Delhi Art Fair, 2016.
The Government of Pakistan awarded her the President's Medal for Pride of Performance for Art Education in 1999. She is Council Member of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan.
Salman Ahmad is a Pakistani musician, famed for his originality in breaking new musical ground. A rock guitarist, he is also a physician, a social activist, and presently a Professor at City University, New York.
He began his musical career as a founder of the pioneering rock band Vital Signs. He went on to earn nationwide fame when he later formed Junoon (lit. ‘Obsession’) in 1990 with American bassist Brian O’Connell and vocalist Ali Azmat. Their pioneering style of fusing neoclassical and folk music and Sufi themes into the rock idiom set an entirely new trend in South Asian music.
Ahmed’s social activism began in mid-1990s and he has been involved in two BBC documentaries concerning issues like education, religion, and science. He has served as the UN Goodwill Ambassador for the HIV/AIDS Programme, spreading awareness about HIV in South Asia. While working with Pakistani media to help initiate peace between India and Pakistan, Ahmad continues to produce documentaries and solo guitar albums. He continues to perform as a solo artist under the Junoon label and has released the album Infiniti.
Salman Tarik Kureshi is an English language poet and newspaper columnist, who lives in Karachi. Writing since his teens, his poems and short stories have appeared in various international and local periodicals, as well as in the Pakistan Literature series of the Pakistan Academy of Letters. His poems have been published in such anthologies as Pieces of Eight (Pakistan, 1971), Legacy of the Indus (USA, 1974), The Blue Wind (UK, 1985), An Anthology (Pakistan, 1998), Dragonfly in the Sun (Pakistan, 1998) and Journal of Postcolonial Writing (UK, 2011). An anthology of his poems, Landscapes of the Mind (Oxford University Press, 1998), was one of the titles in Oxford University Press’s Jubilee series on Pakistan’s 50th Anniversary. He is presently working on another poetry anthology and a series of connected short stories. As a newspaper feature writer, he has been writing regularly on socio-political issues and the evolution of the state in Pakistan. He has been a career business executive and management consultant. He is also an Editorial Consultant at Oxford University Press. His wife is an artist and a teacher of Fine Arts.
Sania Saeed is a Pakistani actor and TV host. Born and educated at Karachi, Sania’s acting career began at the age of ten with Dastak, the theatre group set up by her father, along with other political activists and Ali Ahmed. Sania moved from playing child characters and crowd members to major characters in Dastak productions. In 1992, along with her husband Shahid Shafaat, himself a member of Dastak, they formed the group Katha.
Sania first appeared on television in 1989 in a street theatre play called Aurat and was the first announcer for Network Television Marketing, Karachi Centre. She then appeared in Haseena Moin’s serial Aahat, followed by Anwar Maqsood’s Sitara aur Mehrunissa which shot her to stardom in the Pakistani television industry. She has acted in numerous TV plays over more than two decades, and has also acted in stage plays and has been a talk show host.
Nominated for numerous awards, she won the PTV Award for Best Actress in 1991 as well as in 2011, and received four Lux Style Awards in the Best Actress category.
She also acted in the feature film Manto, which was released in 2015.
Saquib Hanif is a communications professional. He studied Art History at Cornell University, USA, and has been writing on Pakistan’s Art scene, initially as part of the Herald’s editorial team–wherein he served successively as features editor, senior assistant editor and editor–and later as a freelancer.
He also conceptualised and hosted Framed, an 18-episode series on Pakistani Art aired by Dawn News.
Sayeed Hasan Khan has been a political and peace activist throughout his life. He is an active member of an anti-war coalition based in London, opposing America’s wars in the Middle East and Afghanistan. Earlier, he had been with the British-Vietnam Committee and visited Hanoi and Saigon in the 1960s as part of the campaign to end the war in Vietnam. Since the 1960s, he has been active in the movement for nuclear disarmament. During his stays in London he played an active part in the anti-apartheid movement against racially white South Africa.
Apart from this, he has worked as a writer and media consultant in England. He was the historical advisor for Grenada’s End of Empire Series during the 1980s. He has written Across the seas. He has also co-authored two books, No Clean Hands and Parables of a Permanent War. He is currently working on his third book Autumn of an Empire.
Seeret Jafri Peerzadi is an actor on theatre, television, and cinema. She is a gold medallist from Beaconhouse National University in Media Studies and is currently an English language teacher. She is also pursuing Fine Arts. She played the female lead in Nida Butt's production of the Broadway musical play Grease, staged at the Karachi Arts Council in 2016.
Sehba Sarwar is a writer and multidisciplinary artist who was born and raised in a Karachi home filled with artists, educators and activists. Her stories, essays and poems, which straddle South Asia and the US, have appeared in anthologies, newspapers, and magazines in Canada, India, Pakistan, and the US in publications including the New York Times Sunday Magazine, Creative Time Reports, and ASIA: Magazine of Asian Literature. Her novel Black Wings was published in 2004, while her videos and installations have been screened in Egypt, India, Pakistan and the US. A recent recipient of the Mid-America Arts Alliance’s Artistic Innovations Award, Ms Sarwar served for two years (2012-14) as artist-in-residence at the Mitchell Center for the Arts at the University of Houston. A recipient of three Houston Arts Alliance’s Individual Artist Awards, she serves as Artistic Director/Founder for Voices Breaking Boundaries, a seventeen-year-old Houston-based multidisciplinary arts organization, and has been listed on Texas Commission on the Arts’ Touring Artist Roster since 2010. Currently, Sarwar is based in Pasadena, California, and is working on a variety of projects, including a memoir.
Jharna Basak, better known by her stage name Shabnam, is a uniquely famous movie star, widely known in both Pakistan and Bangladesh. Also a stage actress, she shot to fame in the Bengali hit film Harano Din (1961) and attained all-Pakistan stardom with the box office Urdu hit Chanda (1962). Both the films were produced at Dhaka, then East Pakistan. The actor Waheed Murad introduced her to the Pakistani film industry at Lahore by offering her a lead role in his film Samundar in 1968. Shabnam remained active in the Lollywood studios through the 1960s, ‘70s, and ‘80s. Appearing in over 180 films, she has been nominated for the Nigar Award numerous times, winning it on 13 occasions (the most for any actress).
Shabnam last appeared in the movie Ammajan, released in 1999. In 2012, she visited Pakistan from Bangladesh along with her husband, the famed music director Robin Ghosh, when they both received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Pakistan government.
Shafiq ur Rahman is the son of Gen. Rao Farman Ali Khan. He was 21 years old at the time of the great East Pakistan tragedy. The 1971 events left a deep impression on him as he and the family experienced the personal and national loss of East Pakistan. As the nation was shocked by the defeat, the family suffered taunts and accusations, with few sympathies after the events over which they had no control. He has a great many stories to tell about the time that he experienced firsthand and that taught him a lot, at a very early age, about human behaviour as individuals and that of the nation. After his father’s return in April 1973, he left the country, first working as an engineer in Saudi Arabia, then getting a business degree in the USA, and joining Citibank. He has lived and worked in eight countries around the world. He has held senior positions with Citibank and JPMorgan Chase and is currently the President of Financiers and Investors in the United States.
Shahbano Bilgrami is a poet, writer, and freelance editor. Her debut novel, Without Dreams, was long listed in 2007 for the Inaugural Man Asian Literary Prize. Those Children, her second novel, was released by HarperCollins in January, 2017. Born in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, Ms Bilgrami was educated in Canada, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom. She is both an avid reader and book reviewer. Her articles have been published in print magazines as well as online and she has written and edited extensively for children. She is currently working on her third novel and is also involved in a number of forthcoming projects for young readers.
Dr Shahid Siddiqui is a scholar and educationist, who obtained his PhD in Language Education from the University of Toronto, Canada, M.Ed. TESOL from the University of Manchester, UK, and MA English from Punjab University. He has been involved in the educational sector of Pakistan as a teacher, teacher educator, researcher, and administrator. His areas of interest include educational leadership and management, socio-cultural aspects of languages, gender, educational change, and critical pedagogy. His work experience includes working at the Aga Khan University (AKU), GIK Institute of Engineering Sciences and Technology, Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), and the Lahore School of Economics (LSE). He is presently serving as Vice Chancellor of Allama Iqbal Open University, Islamabad. His published books include Rethinking Education in Pakistan: Perceptions, Practices, and Possibilities (2007); an Urdu novel Adhe Adhoore Khawab (2010); Education, Inequalities, and Freedom: A Sociopolitical Critique (2010); Language, Gender and Power: The Politics of Representation and Hegemony in South Asia (2014), and Education Policies in Pakistan: Politics, Practices, and Possibilities (2016).
Shahida Hassan is a poet, literary critic, and teacher. She lives in Karachi and 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, the University of Texas at Austin, and the University of California at Berkeley as Workshop Speaker, to represent contemporary women writers and poets.
English language author Shandana Minhas lives in Karachi. Her novel Tunnel Vision was nominated for the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize for Best First Book in 2008. Her second book, Survival Tips for Lunatics, won the Karachi Literature Festival Fiction Prize in 2015. Her third, Daddy’s Boy, was published by 4th Estate, HarperCollins India, in 2016. She was a writer-in-residence at the University of Iowa’s International Writing Programme in 2013. Her short fiction has appeared in Griffith Review and The Indian Quarterly. She has also written for stage, screen, and OpEd pages. She is currently working on another novel and a short story collection. In 2016, she co-founded the independent press Mongrel Books.
Shaqaib Arslan Lilla is a Rawalpindi/Islamabad based practicing Advocate and Lecturer on Constitutional and Human Rights Laws. A legal practitioner, he is a member of the Solicitors Regulation Authority (The Law Society of England & Wales) and Islamabad Bar Association. He is also associated with teaching and legal research, with particular interest in Constitutional Law and Fundamental Freedoms. He is associated with AAWAZ, Islamabad, as a Consultant for various research projects.
Sharif Awan is a writer, culture revivalist, internationally acclaimed curator/producer of classical, folk and world music.
As founder of the Tehzeeb Festival, Sharif has worked with musicians from all over the world to promote the cause of culture in Pakistan. His project “Indus Raag” was Pakistan’s first ever entry to the prestigious Grammy Awards in 2014. He is a voting member of the NARAS (National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences).
Sharif has won a Gold Medal and a Silver Medal at the Global Music Awards (USA) and two nominations at the Independent Music Awards (USA). He recently produced a song “Story of Gulsher” (a tribute to the martyred APS School children) for an international album “Action Moves People United” sponsored by UNESCO.
Sharif is also a senior civil servant having worked with Federal and Provincial governments and various Corporations.
Shayma Saiyid trained under Maharaj Ghulam Husain for over seven years in Lahore, starting at age six. Upon moving to Karachi she continued Kathak under Nighat Chaodhry, and Odissi under Sheema Kermani. Shayma studied choreography and Modern Dance at Grinnell College under B. G. Voertman, danced and choreographed for the Grinnell Dance Troupe and later trained in Modern Dance at Barnard College, (while pursuing her Masters at Columbia), American Dance Festival, Dance New Amsterdam, Joy of Motion, Dance Space, etc. Shayma has performed in Pakistan, USA, Canada and UK and taken workshops from masters including Birju Mahraj, Saswati Sen, Kumudini Lakhia, Nahid Siddiqui, and Fasih Rehman. 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.
Performance Notes: Shayma will perform Kathak to recorded music composed / directed by Joy Prakash Medhi, with bol padhant and choreography by Marami Medhi.
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. For Sheema, dance and theatre are passions as well as social causes. 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. It is the oldest existing theatre and dance group in Pakistan, and has been consistently providing high quality, meaningful theatrical performances for the last 35 years. Tehrik-e-Niswan has raised the standards of performance arts in Pakistan and has participated and performed at international festivals and conferences. Sheema Kermani teaches at Szabist University, Karachi, National College of Arts, Lahore, and Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi. She writes and lectures on issues related to performance and culture. 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.
Shrabani Basu is a London-based journalist and historian. She is the author of For King and Another Country, Indian Soldiers on the Western Front 1914-18; Victoria & Abdul, The Story of the Queen’s Closest Confidant; Spy Princess, The Life of Noor Inayat Khan, and Curry, The Story of Britain’s Favourite Dish. She writes for the Calcutta-based newspapers Ananda Bazar Patrika and The Telegraph. She is the founder and chair of the Noor Inayat Khan Memorial Trust which campaigned for a memorial for the World War II heroine to be installed in Gordon Square in London. It was unveiled by Princess Anne in November 2012. Shrabani has appeared in several television and radio programmes including BBC Television’s Saturday Kitchen and The One Show, Heston Blumenthal’s Great British Food on Channel 4 and Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4. She has also appeared in many BBC and Channel Four documentaries. Her book Victoria & Abdul is set to be made into a major British film with Dame Judi Dench playing Queen Victoria. The film is due for release in September 2017.
Sibtain Naqvi is Head of University Relations at Habib University and Editor of Hum Khayal, the University magazine. A graduate of the Institute of Business Administration (IBA), he writes for several English publications on a range of subjects that includes art, culture, history, education, environment, and social issues. Naqvi’s work has been cited in Through the Eyes of Tiger Cubs: Views of Asia’s Next Generation by Mark L. Clifford and Janet Pau and co-sponsored by Time Magazine, Asia Business Council, and the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy at the National University of Singapore. He is the author of Chronicling Excellence: A History of IBA, the official history of the IBA, and Cobweb World of Sadequain: A Retrospective. Naqvi has organized and curated various exhibitions of the artist Sadequain, the most recent being the “Intimate Moments of Sadequain” held in collaboration with the Hashoo Group in May 2016. His research interests include Sadequain’s life and works, the ethnographic and cultural history of Karachi, the Urdu-speaking diaspora, and interfaith relations in northern India. His work on the latter has been presented in Oxford, Cambridge, Columbia and other institutions.
Sudeep Sen is an Indian poet, translator, artist, and editor. His prize-winning books include Postmarked India: New & Selected Poems, Rain, Aria (A. K. Ramanujan Translation Award), The HarperCollins Book of English Poetry (editor), Fractals: New & Selected Poems | Translations 1980-2015, and EroText. Blue Nude: New Poems & Ekphrasis (Jorge Zalamea International Poetry Prize) is forthcoming. Sen’s works have been translated into over 25 languages. His works have appeared in the Times Literary Supplement, Newsweek, Guardian, Observer, Independent, Telegraph, Financial Times, Herald, Poetry Review, Literary Review, Harvard Review, Hindu, Hindustan Times, Times of India, Indian Express, Outlook, India Today, and have been broadcast on BBC, PBS, CNN IBN, NDTV, AIR & Doordarshan. Sen’s newer work appears in New Writing 15, Language for a New Century, Leela: An Erotic Play of Verse and Art, Indian Love Poems, Out of Bounds, and Initiate: Oxford New Writing. He is the editorial director of AARK ARTS and the editor of Atlas. Sen is the first Asian honoured to speak and read at the Nobel Laureate Week. The Government of India awarded him the senior fellowship for “outstanding persons in the field of culture/literature.”
As with many persons of conscience, Sudheendra Kulkarni has faced hostility and even physical violence from extremist groups such as being assaulted and soaked in black paint for hosting the book launch of Pakistan’s former Foreign Minister in Mumbai. Kulkarni is chairman of the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), a non-partisan public policy think tank, in Mumbai. Actively involved in a mission to promote harmony in Hindu-Muslim relations in India and normalisation of India-Pakistan relations, ORF recently launched the Mumbai-Karachi Friendship Forum to expand people-to-people contacts and cultural exchanges between the two countries. A renowned socio-political activist, writer and media commentator, Kulkarni is the author of several books, including Music of the Spinning Wheel: Mahatma Gandhi’s Manifesto for the Internet. His new book August Voices–What They Said on 14-15 August 1947 and Its Relevance for India-Pakistan Rapprochement explores the remarkable convergence in the ideas and visions of Mahatma Gandhi, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, and other leaders from the Partition era. An alumnus of the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, he started his political career with the CPI (Marxist), but later joined the BJP, serving as a close aide to former Indian Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. He also worked as a strategist for Lal Krishna Advani, India’s former Deputy Prime Minister. He resigned from the BJP in 2013 due to ideological differences.
Suhaee Abro began training at age of seven from the acclaimed Sheema Kermani. Abro specialises in Bharatanatyam and also choreographs and performs in other dance genres. She has been performing since age eight, and has performed in Pakistan, India, China, Nepal, and Italy. She is the dance director of Nritaal, a critically-acclaimed dance and music group. Suhaee has also acted in television for eleven years, and has been featured in music videos and documentaries. She has taught dance and movement to children and adults at The Neemtree School of Music, The Second Floor (T2F) and privately, and conducted dance therapy workshops. Abro is the founder, director and producer of the dance festival ‘Raqs Mein Hai Sara Jahan-Dancing Away Differences’ which has been held in 2013, 2014, and 2016 in Karachi. Currently she is studying contemporary dance at the Nuova Officina Della Danza in Italy while continuing to perform internationally.
Abro has performed at the Karachi Literature Festival in 2010 and 2011 as part of Sheema Kermani’s dance group, and in 2012 with her own dance company, Nritaal. In this, her fourth year performing at the KLF, she will present two Bharata Natyam dances on the closing night: the first, Pushpanjali (pushpam means flower, anjali means offering in Sanskrit), is a welcome dance piece, with music and choreography by Natya Manjari. The second, a Thillana, is a dance of celebration and joy with music from the performance of Ashrita Vemuganti, (in raag Kadaana, taal Adi).
Sunil Shanker is a Karachi-based theatrical personality. A graduate of the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) in 2009, where he majored in acting, he has acted in and 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. Shanker was voted Best Director 2013 in the Express Tribune awards.
In 2015 he worked in the Urdu adaptation of Shakespeare’s A Winter’s Tale, a collaboration between NAPA and the British Council.
In September 2015, he formed his own Theatre group Syna Productions. Most recently, he made his debut in the Feature Film Rahm, an adaptation of Shakespeare’s Measure for Measure.
Professor Dr Syed Jaffar Ahmed is a Karachi-based scholar and academic who teaches Government and Politics, Modern Indian History, Research Methodology, and Contemporary Socio-political Issues of Pakistan. He has written and edited twenty books on history, politics and literature. His research articles have been published in international and national journals and anthologies. He is a frequent contributor to periodicals and newspapers. Dr Ahmed has participated and presented papers in numerous international and national conferences.
Dr Ahmed is presently Director of the Pakistan Study Centre, University of Karachi. After a Masters in Political Science and MPhil in Pakistan Studies from the University of Karachi, he obtained his PhD from the University of Cambridge. He has worked closely with civil society organizations particularly on the issues of rights, democratization and constitutional reforms. He has served for four years as President of Irtiqa Institute of Social Sciences, and at present is General Secretary, Institute of Central and West Asian Studies (ICWAS), University of Karachi.
A broadcast journalist by profession, Karachi-based Syed Kashif Raza is also a young poet, fiction writer, and translator. He has so far authored five books, including two volumes of poetry. His first novel Char Darvesh aur Aik Katchwa, to be shortly launched, deals with socio-political and psychological issues of the younger generation after 9/11. He has written non-fiction as well and a volume of his travel writings, Deedam Istanbul aur Dusri Safar Kahaniyan, will be published soon. His critical essays and political articles, both in Urdu and English, are published frequently. He has translated the writings of Kundera, Borges, Joyce and Chomsky into Urdu.
Syed Nusrat Ali is an international management consultant and motivational speaker. He has been head of Training and Development at a renowned pharmaceutical company. He has also been a member of the teaching faculty at the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) and is presently with City Institute of Image Management (CIIM) as a senior consultant and trainer.
Comedian. mimic, and satirist, Shafaat Ali was originally educated as an engineer. Hailing from Peshawar, he has been a writer and actor in some of Pakistan’s best known satirical TV programmes, including 4 Man Show, Banana News Network, and his own brain child Meray Aziz Hamwatno. He fuses political satire with his voice changing skills to introduce a distinctive genre of stand-up comedy. He has performed at both national and international levels and has mimicked more than a hundred different characters.
Comedy for a Cause (C4C) is Shafaat’s initiative of using comedy as a source of education. He believes comedy to be the best medium for the awareness raising, especially about the taboos of society. Through C4C, Shafaat has promoted awareness about the issues like child labour, gender neutrality, sexual harassment, and religious extremism.
He presently works with Geo News as a Senior Producer.
Dr Taimur Rahman teaches Political Science at the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS). He obtained his Masters from Sussex University and his Doctorate from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. He has been involved in grass roots labour and Marxist politics in Pakistan for the last 15 years and is also the spokesperson of the popular band Laal.
Tanveer Anjum is a well-known Urdu poet. Writing since the 1970s, she is one of the leading poets expressing in the genre of prose poem in Pakistan. Eight collections of her poetry have been published, including seven collections of prose poems: Undeikhi Lehrein (1982), Safar aur Qaid mein Nazmein (1992), Toofani Barishon mein Raqsan Sitare (1997), Zindagi Mere Pairon se Lipat Jae Gi (2010), Nae Naam ki Mohabbat (2013), Hashyon mein Rang (2016) and Frame se Bahar (2016). A collection of her ghazals, Sar-o-Barge-Aarzoo, was published in 2001. In 2014, Fireworks on a Windowpane was published. The collection comprised English translations of her work next to the original poems in Urdu. Her poems have also appeared in translation in anthologies and journals in Pakistan, India, the UK and the USA. She has also been translating works of English and world literature into Urdu and writing critical articles.
Tanveer Anjum received a PhD in Applied Linguistics from the University of Texas, Austin, USA, and has been teaching English language and literature since 1980, currently heading the English Department at Iqra University. She has received a national award, Aizaz-e-Fazeelat, for her academic and literary achievements.
Tina Sani began her journey in music in 1979 by initiating formal training in Indian classical music with Ustad Nizamuddin Khan Sahib son of Ustad Ramzan Khan Sahib of Delhi gharana and later on with Ustad Chand Amrohvi.
By nature, Tina is a purist and believes in practicing and passing on the rich tradition of classical ghazal singing. Her accompanying musicians play the traditional instruments, like Harmonium, Tabla and Sarangi. She has sung poets like Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Allama Iqbal, Ahmad Faraz, Parveen Shakir, Munir Niazi, Mirza Ghalib, Firaq Gorakhpuri and many more over the years, and has an impressive repertoire.
Her keen interest in classical music coupled with her love and understanding of Urdu poetry enables her to blend the two, following in the footsteps of ghazal maestros like Khan Sahib Mehdi Hasan, Begum Akhtar, Mukhtar Begum, Farida Khanum, Iqbal Bano, and many more.
In 2004, in recognition of her valuable contribution in the field of music spanning over nearly three decades, Tina was conferred with Pakistan’s highest civil award, the President’s Pride of Performance.
Tina has also initiated recording Maulana Jalaludin Rumi’s Mathnavi in Urdu, to bring the works of this powerful 12th century Sufi-saint to people who do not understand Persian. She is seeking to do this venture with Turkish musicians to bring the flavour of that world to her interpretation of Rumi’s works.
Umber Khairi is a broadcaster with the BBC, and presenter of the Urdu Service’s long running radio programme Sairbeen. Co-founder with the late Razia Bhatti of the independent newsmagazine Newsline, she has also been a contributor to The Toronto Review, The Daily Telegraph (Books), The Guardian (Family), and The Literary Review. She has also been a blogger for BBC Urdu. A columnist with The News on Sunday since 1998, Ms Khairi’s column UK Calling covers a wide range of topics, including literature, popular culture, family, social issues, politics, and the media.
Ms Khairi is a graduate of Princeton University, where she studied Arabic and Spanish in the Comparative Literature department, and an alumnus of Karachi Grammar School.
Her work in progress includes a study of a young female Urdu writer from the early twentieth century; a novel set in 1990s’ Karachi; and an English translation of a memoir by her father.
Urvashi Butalia is co-founder of Kali for Women, India’s first feminist publishing house, and now runs Zubaan, an imprint of Kali. She is an independent researcher and writer, concerned mostly with issues relating to gender. Among her best known publications are the award winning history of Partition The Other Side of Silence: Voices from the Partition of India, which has been translated into more than ten languages. Recently, she edited a collection of essays on Partition entitled Partition: The Long Shadow (Zubaan and Penguin India) and has also written on Kashmir. In 2011 she was awarded the Padma Shri for her work in the field of women’s publishing and writing.
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 remained technical associate and member of various task forces, constituted by the Government of Pakistan.
Dr. Ahmed holds a PhD in Economics from the National University of Ireland. 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 is due to be published in July 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.
Wajid Jawad is a businessman, a publisher and a lover of Urdu poetry. He is well known in the Karachi literary and business circles as a respected scholar. He has been involved with various groups in promoting awareness of Urdu poetry. Wajid Jawad has produced pocket book versions of the complete poems of Ghalib and Faiz and has spoken widely on Ghalib and Faiz’s poetry.
Senior journalistic personality, Wusat Ullah Khan was born in Rahim Yar Khan in 1962. A graduate of Karachi University in International Relations (1982-83) and a Diploma holder in Theatre Arts from the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA), Wusat has been a working journalist for the last thirty six years. He has been attached with the BBC Urdu Service since 1991 and covered the 2003 Iraq war from Baghdad, Cairo, Amman, and Istanbul. He was in Beirut during the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war in Lebanon. Wusat reported the 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha elections while touring 13 states of India. He travelled extensively in the aftermath of the 2005 Pakistan earthquake. His work on the 2010 floods has been published as Sailab Diaries by the Pakistan Study Centre, University of Karachi.
Wusat writes a weekly column Baat say Baat for the BBC Urdu Service (online/Radio). He has produced documentaries for BBC Urdu TV and has also contributed a weekly column to the Daily Express, Pakistan. He is a co-host of the Dawn News daily talk show Zara Hut Kay.
Yasmeen Lari is a celebrated architect, conservationist, and social worker who lives and works in Karachi. The first woman architect in Pakistan, she is best known for her involvement in the intersection of architecture and social justice. Since her official retirement from architectural practice in 2000, her UN-recognized NGO Heritage Foundation Pakistan has been taking on humanitarian relief work as well as historical conservation projects in rural villages all around Pakistan. As an elected Member of the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), her projects have included housing, such as the Angoori Bagh Housing project (1978), and commercial buildings, such as the Taj Mahal Hotel, the Finance and Trade Centre, and the Pakistan State Oil House in Karachi. Lari retired in 2000 from architectural practice. However, she remains active with her historical preservation and other activities as the advisor to the Heritage Foundation Pakistan as well as Chairperson of the Karavan Initiatives.
Karachi-based Yousuf Bashir Qureshi is a well-known fashion designer with his own YBQ fashion line. He is also a photographer, artist, and art educationist.
Born in Karachi to an agriculturist family, he had his early education in this city, later graduating from the University of Nebraska, USA, with a major in Food Sciences. His transition into the world of art and fashion took place when he began to design clothes for himself. The designs became popular and, after graduation, he opened a fashion café in Lincoln, Nebraska.
He moved to Los Angeles in 1997, where his clientele eventually included Oscar winners and other notable figures.
Qureshi went on to design for some of fashion’s biggest brands; including Kenneth Cole’s first women’s line Geisha. His designs were sold to major department stores. During this time, he also made his mark as a photographer and began to develop as a painter.
Returning to Pakistan in 2002, he launched his fashion line YBQ.
At present, Qureshi is a Resident Professor at the Indus Valley School of Art and is also invited to speak for numerous courses around the world.
Classical musician Yousuf Kerai learned to sing and play the harmonium under the tutelage of the late Master Babu Khan. At the age of sixteen, he was accepted as a student of the Tabla maestro Ustad Khurshid Hussain and has been playing the Tabla for the last eighteen years. Kerai holds a BA in mathematics and an MAT in teaching mathematics. He has lectured and taught courses on music and mathematics for Aga Khan University (2011-2014), Peaceniche-T2F (2010-2011), School of Leadership’s Young Leaders Conference (2011 & 2012), Tedx Karachi (2014), Habib University (2016), and has held many recitals and orchestra performances with master musicians in the USA and Pakistan. He currently serves as a faculty member at Habib University where he teaches courses in mathematics, history of mathematics, and music and mathematics. Yousuf is the founder of the Tarz Group, an ensemble of classically trained musicians committed to helping young listeners delight in their South Asian musical heritage so that it can be passed on to future generations as an integral part of our South Asian identity. Tarz Group has held many live concerts in Karachi and Lahore and has released an album titled, The Essence of South Asia, which is available internationally on digital music platforms.
Former senior diplomat and retired foreign service professional, Zafar Hilaly has become well-known as a political analyst and commentator on current affairs, especially concerning the international dimension of issues. Hilaly holds an LLB (Hons.) from King’s College, London.
He joined the Civil Service of Pakistan and then the Foreign Service in 1966–67 and has held such key assignments as Special Secretary Foreign Affairs to the Prime Minister (1992–96) and Additional Foreign Secretary (1992). He has served in various positions with Pakistan missions to Sweden, Czechoslovakia, Washington DC, and the United Nations, and has been Ambassador of Pakistan in Yemen, Nigeria and Italy. Hilaly presently contributes columns to a number of newspapers, including the daily Express Tribune, The News, Daily Times, and the weekly The Friday Times. He frequently appears in TV talk shows and has a regular weekend programme on Channel 92.
Zaffar Junejo is an author, translator, editor, publisher, and science populariser, who lives in Hyderabad, Sindh. He did his Masters in Computer Technology from the University of Sindh, but left to pursue a career in the volunteer sector. He has translated 27 books into Sindhi for young readers. Along with his wife, he manages Phoenix Books, a publication house for children. Occasionally, he also writes for English and Sindhi newspapers and magazines. His contributions cover themes of volunteerism, social change, culture, and literature.
Junejo works at Transformation & Reflection for Rural Development, an NGO which strives to bring about changes in the lives of children, youth and women. He also teaches and conducts workshops at national and regional levels.
Zaheda Hina is a celebrated Urdu writer, who lives in Karachi. Some of her important titles include the short story collections Qaidi sans leta hai, Titlian dhondhne wali, Raqs-i-bismil hai, and Rah main ajal hai, and the novels Na junoon raha na pari rahi (in Hindi), Dard ka Shajar, and Dard-e-Ashob. One of her novels has been translated into English by Neelam Hussain as All Passion Spent. Additionally, she writes weekly columns in Sindhi and in Hindi. She has four Hindi books to her credit. Her works have been translated into Hindi, English, German, Sindhi, Punjabi (Gurmukhi), Marathi, Bengali, Pushto, and Russian.
Fiercely passionate in the causes she espouses, Ms Hina locates herself on the left of the political spectrum. She is a known critic of nuclear technology for any purpose. A recipient of the SAARC literary award, she refused to accept Pakistan’s highest literary award from the hands of the then military ruler but later accepted it from a democratic government. She has worked for the BBC Urdu Service, Voice of America, and Radio Pakistan, and has written plays and serials for Television, notably including the highly acclaimed TV drama serial Zard Paton ka ban.
Zarrar Khuhro is a journalist and columnist. He presently co-hosts Zara Hut Kay on Dawn TV, aired on weeknights.
Zebunisa Bangash is a Pakistani singer-songwriter. Apart from her solo career, she was a member of the music group Zeb and Haniya which she had started with her cousin Haniya Aslam. They released their debut album Chup! in 2008. Her solo career continued even after Haniya Aslam left for Canada. Ms Bangash has sung for the soundtrack of Highway (2014), Bin Roye (2015), Ho Mann Jahaan (2015), Manto (2015) and Fitoor (2016). She also sang the title track of television series Diyar-e-Dil which won Lux Style Award for Best Original Soundtrack and Hum Award for Best Original Soundtrack in 2016.
Zehra Nigah is one of the foremost Urdu poets of Pakistan. She was one of two female poets to gain prominence in the 1950s, when the scene was dominated by men. Coming from a well-known literary and intellectual family, she counts the writer, artist, and TV personality Anwar Maqsood and playwright Fatima Suraiya Bajia among her siblings. Nigah has three collections of poetry to her credit and recently a collected edition of her poems has been published in Lahore. Her poetry is remarkable for its lyricism and engagement with social issues. She has received various awards at home and abroad in recognition of her work. She is also a scriptwriter of popular television serials and films.
US-based physicist Zia Mian co-directs the Program on Science and Global Security at Princeton University, where he also directs the Project on Peace and Security in South Asia. His work focuses on nuclear disarmament and nuclear energy policy. He is co-editor of Science & Global Security, the international technical journal of arms control, nonproliferation and disarmament and also co-chair of the International Panel on Fissile Materials, a 17-country independent group of experts working to end production and to reduce and eliminate global stockpiles of highly enriched uranium and plutonium, the key ingredients for nuclear weapons. His publications include Unmaking the Bomb: A Fissile Material Approach to Nuclear Disarmament and Nonproliferation, Bridging Partition: People’s Initiative for Peace between India and Pakistan, Between Past and Future: Selected Essays on South Asia by Eqbal Ahmad (OUP, 2004), Out of The Nuclear Shadow (OUP, 2003). He has previously taught at Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, and worked at the Sustainable Development Policy Institute. He received the 2014 Linus Pauling Legacy Award for ‘his accomplishments as a scientist and as a peace activist in contributing to the global effort for nuclear disarmament and for a more peaceful world.’
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. Born in Faisalabad, he graduated from Government College, Lahore; 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. Returning to London, he worked for a while, as a guest director at the Guildford Repertory Theatre. It was there that he was picked up for the play A Passage to India at the Oxford Playhouse, a highly successful production which later transferred to London’s West End and thereafter on to Broadway. 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 came to Pakistan and presented the now legendary Zia Mohyeddin Show on television. Later, he accepted the post of Director at the PIA Arts Academy.
Returning to England again, he worked in stage plays and films but used television as his main medium. He set up and produced the weekly cultural programme Here & Now, and Britain’s first Asian soap Family Pride, in which he also starred.
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.
Zoe Viccaji is a popular vocalist, based in Karachi. Music has always been an integral part of her personality, which she began dabbling with at the age of 15. At 17, she performed with her first band, Ganda Banda, following which she experimented with other bands. She performed in the acclaimed stage musicals Mamma Mia and Chicago in Pakistan. Ms Viccaji stepped up her role in Coke Studio as a solo vocalist in Seasons 6 and 7, after participating as a backing vocalist since Season 3.
Zoe is a major in Art from New York and from the Glasgow School of Art. However, she retained a focus on the musical side to her personality and made time to write songs. Ms Viccaji has set up her own home studio where she records music and collaborates with other producers.