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Children’s Literature Festival 2013

An edited version of this article of The Express Tribune on May 25, 2013. Islamabad – The Pak-China Friendship Centre resembled a big, happy playground on Friday as children and their parents roamed around book stalls, literary discussions, reading sessions and interactive activities at the federal capital’s first-ever Children’s Literature Festival. The festival, which has […]

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Islamabad Literature Festival 2013: Tarrar in a society of taboos

An edited version of this article was first published in The Express Tribune on May 3, 2013. Islamabad – Mustansar Hussain Tarrar, a renowned Urdu writer, hopes he could write his major novels in a society where there was no sword hanging constantly over the heads of writers. Tarrar was speaking at a reading session […]

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Islamabad Literature Festival 2013: What Post-colonialism?

Islamabad – In an interview with David Barsamian, later published in the book “Confronting Empire” (South End Press, 2000), the great Pakistani intellectual, writer and anti-war activist Eqbal Ahmed had suggested that Pakistan never got rid of colonialism because triangle of power — the army, the bureaucracy and the feudal landlords — has remained under […]

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Islamabad Literature Festival 2013: Urdu Short Stories

An edited version of this article was first published in The Express Tribune on May 2, 2013. Islamabad – If someone thinks Urdu short stories are a thing of the distant past when writers such as Manto, Bedi, Krishan Chandar and Ismat Chugtai ruled supreme, they are mistaken. “Just in the past one year, 102 people […]

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Islamabad Literature Festival 2013: Intizar Husain speaks about Buddha, his literary mentors and storytelling

Islamabad – Since the nominees for the Man Booker International Prize 2013 were announced in January, almost every Pakistani who has some interest in the country’s Urdu and English literature knows that Intizar Husain is the first Pakistani and the first Urdu writer ever to be nominated for the international award. What they might not […]

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Islamabad Literature Festival 2013: Pashto poetry deals with war

An edited version of this article was first published in The Express Tribune on May 1, 2013. Islamabad – “What tyrant has attacked my mountains this year/ When I go to shovel the snow, I pick up only blood.” This verse from a recent Pashto poem written by Mukhtar Orakzai, translated into English, best describes […]

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Young artists featured in impressive art exhibition in Islamabad

An edited version of this article was first published in The Express Tribune on Mar 31, 2013. Islamabad – A 2009 graduate of Lahore’s National College of the Arts, Dua  Abbas Rizvi likes to tell stories through her paintings. In “Celestial Gardeners”, a 22 by 30 inches pastel on paper piece, Rizvi shows two girls, who […]

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Iqbal Hussain’s paintings

An edited version of this article was first published in The Express Tribune on Apr 1, 2013. Islamabad – Six women sit huddled on a single charpoy next to a brick wall. Their heads are covered in dark shawls. Their hands and feet are tied with a single length of rope that goes around in a […]

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German journalist’s political thriller on extremism and Islamophobia in the West

An edited version of this article was first published in The Express Tribune on Feb 20, 2013. Islamabad – As Sumaya reads the hate mail received by her boss, Lutfi Latif, the newly elected member of the German parliament, she thinks whether she would say something similarly hateful if she was filled with rage. She reads […]

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Ahmed Faraz and land reforms

This article was first published in The Express Tribune on Feb 15, 2013. Islamabad – Sometime after the 1990 decision by Shariat Appellate Bench of the Supreme Court declaring land reforms ‘un-Islamic’, Abid Hassan Minto, a veteran constitutional expert and progressive politician, remembers meeting the revolutionary poet, Ahmed Faraz. “What kind of a lawyer are you […]

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