In spite of the fear instilled in the minds of Lahorites due to a series of blasts, they did not flinch in attending the Lahore Literary Festival 2017. It was attended by a huge number of people from all walks of life. The event was first scheduled to be held for three days. It was cut down to one and the venue was also changed.
Started in 2013, this was the fifth edition. It was free and open to public. Started at 10 in the morning and concluded at 7 in the evening. Different hourly sessions were held simultaneously at three halls of Faletti’s hotel.
Some of the prominent speakers included Michael Palin and Tehmina Durrani, Ayesha Jalal and Kamila Shamsie, Katie Hickman, Mohsin Hamid, Bethany Wratislaw and Molly Crabapple, Joef Kohler and Momina Aijazuddin, Nayyar Ali Dada and Anita Anand, William Dalrymple, Alex Von Tunzelmann, Dwight Garner and Elke falat, Zehra Nigah and FS Aijazuddin, Risham Syed, Hameed Haroon, Daniyal Mueenuddin and Arfa Sayeda Zehra.
Michael Palin awed the audience with his sojourns of beautiful areas of Pakistan, Nepal, Indian, Bhutan and Bangladesh. Ayesha Jalal gave us insightful reviews about Pakistan and the society. Mohsin Hamid launched his new book ‘Exit West’. Jeff talked about using food of a new place to understand it etc. Each speaker had something interesting to say and the audience was never bored.
Such intellectual and cultural events should continue to take place no matter how insecure the environment is.