Lahore Literary Festival | KEMU, UHS VCs

'Great expectations' ahead of Lahore Literary Festival
Lahore, Feb 04: Prominent literati are expecting that the Lahore Literary Festival will revive the spirit of art and culture, and allow people to meet the authors they love.

"Events like this are important as they provide an opportunity to the public (avid readers) to meet those who describe the world for them in their words," says celebrated writer Mohsin Hamid.

He is a leading writer in Pakistan and among several other noted members of his community, who are taking part in the festival being held at Alhamra on Feb 23 and 24.

He says events like this set a standard. "We need to have such events in Lahore and other cities like Islamabad and Peshawar on a regular basis," he says.

Ms Tehmina Durrani is another prominent writer attending the festival and she is taking it as a great opportunity to express her views. "Twenty-three years after the publication of 'My Feudal Lord', I look forward to speaking at a public forum in my own country for the first time," she says.

Lahore has long been known as the cultural capital of Pakistan. This beautiful city has been associated with great literature, art, theater and music. The first-ever literary festival has been conceived keeping in mind the legacy of cultural heritage.

It promises to be the first step towards re-establishing Lahore as the cultural heartbeat of Pakistan and enriching the cultural experience of the city's residents by creating an institutional platform for fostering and furthering literary traditions.

In addition to book readings and panel discussions by some dignitaries of Urdu and English literature, the festival will feature exhibitions, stalls, music programmes and an array of delectable food items.

The scheduled panels, conversations and book readings include the launch of Nadeem Aslam's The Blind Man's Garden; The Holy Warrior in Pakistani Cinema to be presented by Hameed Haroon; Discovering Pakistan's English-Language Poetry to be moderated by the internationally acclaimed Ahmed Rashid; Language and Storytelling in the 21st Century; Architecture of Urbanism and Aesthetics; and much, much more.

The event has already confirmed a wide range of prominent writers and authors from across the globe, including Tariq Ali, Bapsi Sidhwa, Tehmina Durrani, Intizar Hussain, Mohsin Hamid, Muhammad Hanif, Zehra Nigah, Nadeem Aslam, Ayesha Jalal, Daniyal Mueenuddin, Ahmed Rashid and Musharraf Ali Farooqi.

In addition to amazing representation of the Pakistani diaspora, the festival organisers have also invited Indian literati Ila Arun, Urvashi Butalia and the most recognisable British face in South Asia, William Dalrymple.

"We are delighted to see the tremendous enthusiasm everyone has shown towards the LLF, especially the generous assistance by individuals and foundations, as well as the support of the City District Government," said Razi Ahmed, founder and CE.

"We're also working closely with schools and colleges in and around Lahore to ensure youth participation geared towards promoting literature reading and critical thinking. This will serve to revitalise the art and literary tradition of Lahore at an institutional and global platform," he added.

"We are excited about the interest and goodwill LLF has generated, and feel strongly about the programme and the panelists we have the privilege of hosting," said Nusrat Jamil, chairperson of LLF's Advisory Board. "It is our hope that the LLF will reinvigorate our passion for creativity, and that all those interested in Pakistani culture be it literature, art or music will join us in being a part of this incredible festival."

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Dawn Education Expo from 5th
Lahore: The Dawn Media Group is organising the two-day 10th DAWN Education Expo 2013 at the Expo Centre, Johar Town on Feb 5 and 6.

The expo is likely to be a truly international event with representation by universities in Pakistan, Australia, Canada, Hong Kong, Ireland, New Zealand, North Cyprus, Turkey, UAE, the UK and the USA.

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Foul play' in selection of KEMU, UHS heads
Lahore: The Punjab health department has reportedly revised the panels of candidates short-listed for the posts of vice-chancellors at the King Edward Medical University (KEMU) and the University of Health Sciences (UHS) to 'facilitate a blue-eyed' senior doctor vying for the KEMU top slot.

A search committee interviewed 40 candidates for KEMU and UHS top slots on Jan 2 and 3. After short-listing, the committee recommended two panels of three candidates each to the chief minister for final consideration.

A source said the chief minister returned the summary to the committee with objection to two candidates and directed it to revise the summary in accordance with the laid down policy.

The source says the summary has been revised and the panels of the short-listed candidates have also been revised on the wish of the 'blue-eyed' candidate who, being a clinician, preferred the KEMU to UHS.

The senior doctor is currently working as principal of a medical institute in Lahore and initially his name was among three candidates short-listed by the search committee for the UHS top slot.

According to the laid down rules, the committee does not have the jurisdiction to exchange panels without repeating the process of interviews and short-listing. Appointment of a candidate to the KEMU from a penal finalised for the UHS would raise questions about the appointments process, say experts.

"Neither candidates were recalled for interviews nor the process was repeated for the new summary," one of the contenders for the top slots said on condition of anonymity.

The KEMU post has been attractive for most medical teachers due to the attached Mayo Hospital, while the UHS has no such facility.

Health Additional Secretary Dr Anwar Janjua, who is one of the members of the search committee, refused to comment on the issue.

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Students get laptops
Lahore: PML-N leader Hamza Shahbaz says educated youth will change the fate of Pakistan in next general elections.

He was addressing a laptops distribution ceremony held at Alhamra Cultural Complex here on Saturday.

The laptops were given to the students of Dayal Singh College, Allama Iqbal Medical College, King Edward Medical College University, Ameeruddin Medical College, University of Health Sciences and vocational institutes. Dawn

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