By our correspondent
KARACHI: After two exhilarating days of literature celebrations with the children of Karachi, CLF wraps up at the Dawood Public School. Baela Raza Jamil, the Trustee and Advisor of the organizing company Idara-e-Taleem-o-Agahi (ITA) expressed with great delight “Over 20,000 children have attended today, and each one had an incredibly imaginative and creative experience, and each one has a story to share.” The CEO of CLF, Maham Ali further added, “It is very encouraging to see all these young faces excited to broaden their knowledge and come out with their families on a weekend for the love of literature.”
The second day consisted of storytelling sessions by famous television artists including Samina Ahmed, Sania Saeed and Hina Khawaja Bayat. Hina expressed her concerns about the rise in aggression in our society and strongly suggests, “Children should have images of a happy hour when they have fun and experience peace.”
`The famous theater artist Sheema Kermani and her team performed a thematic play on intolerance, violence and lack of education in our society. Another live singing session conducted by Afshan Ahmed brought back delightful childhood memories and her songs echoed as the audiences sung along with enthusiasm. Other sessions were conducted by Maria Memon, Hamida Khuhro, Fahmida Riaz, Sarwat Mohiuddin, Malik Mirza, Khaled Anam and Sidra Iqbal. Collaborative sessions with Toffee TV also fascinated children with live music and engaging visual arts.
While talking to the media Sania Saeed said, “We are losing the tradition of storytelling; storytelling is the best way of transferring our traditions, our values without hammering them into our children’s head. It will be very sad if our children are not able to experience that. I think Children’s Literature Festival has played a very important role in not just the children but in parents too.”
With regard to ITA’s Right to Education Campaign in Pakistan, girls’ education was emphasized upon through the screening of a documentary, followed by an interactive discussion with Samar Minallah and Seema Zahid. In another session, Hamza Ahmed, the young author of the book “Growing up with Books” encouraged children to follow their dreams, no matter what their age be. Baela Raza Jamil and Amra Alam, also officially launched the 12th edition of the CLF Magazine “Uran Tashtaree”, which is based on the theme of music.
With increasing following on Facebook and Twitter, Children’s Literature Festival has made a remarkable impact on children all over Pakistan in terms of love for literature and the importance of creative and critical thinking. The CLF team hopes to do the same for teachers tomorrow through similar interactive sessions where teachers are better equipped to give these skills to their students during classroom hours.
Nisar Khuhro, Sindh Senior Minister for Education and Literacy while addressing the children and parents at the closing ceremony, said “Many more such festivals should be held in many parts of Sindh.” Member, Board of Directors CLF Rumana Husain acknowledged, the Children’s Literature Festival, Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA) and Oxford University Press (OUP) team and gave a vote of thanks to Karachi Youth Initiative (KYI), Dawood Foundation, Dawood Public School, OLPERS, theCanadian High Commission to Pakistan, Open Society Foundation and the Government of Sindh. The day ended with eagerness and anticipation for the Teacher’s Literature Festival tomorrow.