NEW YORK:The Lahore Literary Festival (LLF), which takes place in New York City on Saturday and Sunday, is set to showcase the whole mosaic of Pakistan’s cultural creativity including literature, poetry and music.LLF in New York is being co-presented with the Asia Society, making it the first time a Pakistani literary festival takes place abroad. “We are pleased that what we initiated, the first Pakistani festival of ideas at the Asia Society, is taking place on 7-8 May,” Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi told APP.
“It all started when I called on Josette Sheeran, the President of Asia Society, and proposed the idea to her. She embraced it enthusiastically and Razi Ahmed of the Lahore Literary Festival made it happen,” she added.On his part, Razi Ahmed, who is LLF’s founder and CEO, said, For four years now, we’ve had the privilege of bringing some of the most creative and insightful voices in the world to Pakistan’s cultural capital to engage with our writers, artists and audiences. We are delighted now to be taking some of Pakistan’s finest to the creative capital of the US.”
The LLF in New York, part of a three-year partnership with Asia Society, will feature panel discussions that include businessman, philanthropist, educator and former Finance Minister of Pakistan Syed Babar Ali; New York Times columnist Roger Cohen; artist Salima Hashmi; physicist and author Tasneem Zehra Husain; former Foreign Minister of Pakistan Hina Rabbani Khar; actor, director and screenwriter Sarmad Khoosat; journalist and foreign policy author Ahmed Rashid; and author and filmmaker Sadia Shepard.
Asia Society will also webcast the sold-out 2-day ticketed event. The festival will open on Saturday evening with a performance by singer-songwriter Zeb Bangash. It will be rounded off after day-long discussions among participantson Sunday evening with Qawwali by an eight-member ensemble — the Saami Brothers.
The LLF, founded in 2012, is a non profit initiative incorporated in Pakistan under the Societies Registration Act, 1860. The Asia Society, founded in 1956 by John Rockefeller III, is a non partisan and non profit educational organization that aims at fostering understanding and partnerships between Asian and American people and institutions.