Books launching, cultural activities aglore

CULTURAL capital of Pakistan, Lahore, continues to hum with sorts of literary and cultural activities as newly-written and published books are being lunched and group and solo paintings exhibitions continue to be held and organized at various venues besides other developmental and political happenings almost every day. Hafeez Taib, was a well-known poet and Hamads and Naatgo, who had expired in 2004 after brief illness. But his penned Naats are still being recited and echoing in the hearts of the people all around. A number of Naats collections were published during life time of Hafeez Taib and now collection of his Hamads and Naats has been published under title of “Kainaat Hafeez Taib” by Muhammad Saeeduddin Siddiqui under the banner of Maktaba-e-Insaniyet recently.
Hafeez Taib Foundation Pakistan organized a function at Lahore hotel the other day for launching of Hamads and Naats poetic collection and to pay tributes to the late Hafeez Taib. The function was presided over by Khwaja Ghulam Qutubuddin Fareedi, while well-known literary figures Dr Khwaja Muhammad Zikria and Dr Khurshid Rizvi, were the chief guests. Sarwar Hussain Naqashbandi, Professor Faiz Rasool Faizaan, Hafiz Suhail, Professor Muhammad Raeesur Rehman and Syed Usman Shah were among those who recited Naats penned by Hafeez Taib on the occasion.
Those who paid rich tributes and recalled literary achievements and services of Hafeez Taib included Mujibir Rahman Shami and Dr Riaz Majeed while Hafeez Taib’s younger brother Abdul Majeed Minhas, presented the welcome address. Large number of poets, writers, intellectuals and admirers of the late Hafeez Taib, attended the function. A book appropriately titled “Gandhi Key Chailey”, having images of Mahatma Gandhi, Sarhadid Gandhi Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan and his son Khan Abdul Wali Khan on its title, has been written by veteran journalist and Chief Editor daily “Khabrain” Zia Shahid and published recently by Shehzad Printers in Lahore. The writer has dedicated his well-researched book to his friend late Ajmal Khattak.
The book has been written by Zia Shahid in response to a book “Facts Are Facts” which was written by Khan Abdul Wali Khan many years back and wherein he had dared to dub Founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali as the agent of the British rulers and creation of Pakistan was a conspiracy hatched by the outgoing British rulers rather than his heroic struggle for safeguarding political, socio-economic rights of the Muslims.
An appraisal ceremony of the book “Teesra Qadam” (Third Step) written by renowned poetess and journalist Nasira Zuberi was held at Alhamra Art Centre which was participated by a number of intellectuals, scholars, poets, poetesses and well-known literary figures including Asghar Nadeem Syed, Sughra Sadaf, Saadullah Shah, Zafar Iqbal., Maqsood Wafa, Hameeda Asghar Shaheen, Auyesha Masood, Nasir Abbas and Dr Ibrar Ahmad. The function was presided over by Zafar Iqbal while Asghar Nadeem Syed was the chief guest.
And, a seminar was held at Adabi Baithak, where literary sittings and gatherings of poets, writers are mostly held, of the Lahore Art Centre to honour popular Punjabi poet and Chairman Punjabi Adabi Majlis Maan Booli Shakkargarh Hakeem Arshad Shehzad. The function was organized under the aegis of the Punjab Institute of Language, Art and Culture (PILAC) and was presided over by its Director General Dr Sughra Sadaf while former federal minister Ch Anwar Aziz and Mudassar Iqbal Butt were the chief guests. Those present included Professor Muhammad Abbas Mirza, Amjad Ali Bhatti, Khalid Munir Butt, Tahir Wazirabadi, Ch HassanAkhtar advocate, Professor Dr Jamil Ahmad Paul, Dr Karamat Mughul, Haroon Adeem, Asar Ansar, Sabir Chaudhry and Ahmad Nadeem Arshad.
Solo photography exhibition
A solo photography exhibition titled ” Pakistan Behind the Headlines” by well-known photo journalist and artist Sa’adia Khan was held at the Alhamra Art Gallery which continued for five days. The exhibition was organized by Medicins Sans Frontiers (MSF) in collaboration with the Lahore Arts Council. On display were as many as 77 photographs which the photojournalist had takenwhile exploring the lives and stories of the people of Pakistan especially in the rural areas like Federally-Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Timurgara, Chaman and DeraMurad Jamali as well as Bajaur Agency,Kurrum Agency, Peshawar and Karachi.
The exhibition was initially first held in Peshawar in 2015 and Islamabad followed by London and has reached Lahore to be followed by Karachi this year (2017). Lahore Arts Council Executive Director Captain ® Atta Muhammad Khan inaugurated the exhibition in the presence of MSF Country Representative Catherine Moody and the photojournalist-artist herself. A number of art lovers, artists and art students and people from different walks of life had thronged the art gallery on the opening day and admired the photojournalist-artist Sa’adia Khan for her efforts and struggle which she had made for taking such marvelous photographs.
The MSF is of the few international medical associations working in the rural areas especially FATA. Currently it is engaged in medical activities at seven locations including Peshawar, Bajaur Agency, Chaman, Dera Murad Jamali, Quetta, Timergara and Karachi. Medicins =Sans Frontiers,also known as Doctors Without Frontiers, is an international medical association working since 1986 and providing emergency medical care in Pakistan to those affected by natural disasters, conflicts or lack of access to healthcare.
International moot calls for education emergency
And, Department of Special Needs Education organized an International Conference on Inclusive Education at the University of Management and Technology (UMT). This was the second conference of its kind held in Pakistan and this year’s theme was “ Accommodating Diversity: Creating Educational Environment”. A good number of research papers were presented in the conference on a number of subjects like children’s rights in education, access and equity, diversity and inclusion, challenges in equal participations in education, pedagogy for inclusive classrooms and reforming techer education for inclusive education. The speakers emphasized effective policies and their implementation with the concept of inclusive education, which according to them has become a popular theme for the improvement of schools across the globe, education departments are planning to introduce inclusive education at primary and secondary levels, Education Commission (HEC) is also actively working on inclusive education policy but the official patronage is direly needed at all levels.
They pointed out that he number of out of school children is quite alarming in Pakistan as some 22.6 million school going age children have no access to schooling as the government policies are not addressing the issue seriously thus jeopardizing their future and as such there is dire need to impose education emergency in the country. The moot was addressed by UMT Chairman Dr. Hasan Sohaib Murad, School of Social Sciences, Dean and Humanities and Ambassador of Inclusive Education in Pakistan Dr. Abdul Hameed, a professor of education from George Mason University USA Dr. Rebecca Fox as well as Punjab Minister for Special Education Muhammad Shafiq and Akhuwwat Foundation Chairman Dr. Amjad Saqib.

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