Literature Festival Takes Karachi By Storm

IMG_3878Part of the fun of Literature Festivals is meeting old friends and aquaintances. I've known Qaisra Shaharaz for some thirty years. But since meeting her when I was a literature development worker  in Manchester she has become world reknown. And here she is in Pakistan with  poet Iftikhar Arif.A short while later The Karachi Literature Fest-IMG_3884ival is officially opened to an audience of thousands. The keynote speakers were Nadeem Aslam and  the great  Intizar Hussein. Intizar Hussein spoke of magic realism and how this new term describes what is  Pakistan's oldest literary and oral tradition.  It was prophetic. Storm clouds gathered above.  Sheema Kermani then danced to the words of Tagore. She was fierce and defiant.   As the shadows of black crows rippled across the canvas roof  thunder broke  and  rain poured. it was as if the sky above was washing the past for this festival of the future to be cleaned for the present. The next day the newspapers and blogs  would say  "Literature Festival takes Karachi by storm".Sheema Calls the storm