Children Literature Festival in Islamabad

by Dr Shahid Siddiqui

When Beila Jamil (ITA) called me and shared with me the idea of Children Literature Festival (CLF)  to be held on 24-25 February, 2013 in Islamabad I was thrilled.  Beila, who has been involved in educational enhancement activities for a long time is an old friend.  I am aware of her great experiment of  Sanjan Nagr school and know how in this school quality education is being disseminated to students who come from humble economic background.  Besides her involvement in Sanjan Nagar, Beila established Idara e Taleem o Aghi which is aggressively working in the domain of education. 

CLF painting

When I received the programme of the festival I realized that Beila as a hard task master had lived up to her image as I was asked to conduct/participate in five sessions.  And you cannot say No to Beilasmiley

The CLF was huge a success in terms of number of students, the variety of audience, the enthusiasm of participants, the efficient team of volunteers, the well organized sessions, and the well known resources persons.  The festival was spearheaded by Beila Jamil (ITA) and Ameena Syed (OUP). All this was a breath of fresh air for the students of Islamabad, Rawalpindi and surrounding areas.  On 25th My I was on the panel that focused on Critical Thinking Practices. The moderator for this session was Nargis Sultana.  Among the panelists were Shahid Siddiqui, Aziz Kabani, , and Raheela Shakeel.  I was alry particimpressed by the quality of questions and observation of girls from Sawat. 


Another important session was on  National Language Policy: is a resolution in sight? The session was moderated by Dr Tariq Rahman.  Among the panelists were Shahid Siddiqui, Zubeida Mustafa, Zobair Torwali, Aziz Kabani, Raza Rumi.

Almost all the panelists underlined the significance of mother tongue especially in the early years of Education.

I also enjoyed conducting an interview with Amjad Islam Amajd, a famous poet and play wright.  The session was, Poetry and Prose, Amjad Islam Amjad in conversation with Shahid Siddiqui

CLF POster

It was a great interactive session with the writer who frankly shared with the audience some  interesting anecdotes of his life and also recited his poetry.  He especially recited poems he wrote of children.

I also moderated a session  A Talk on Poetry Sarwat Mohiyuddin  (Potohari/Punjabi) Moderator: Shahid Siddiqui  This was an interesting session that focused on Punjabi poetry and its relationship with social practices. 


Here I briefly shared with you the fours session I was involved with in CLF.  I will write in detail on a session with yound children where we composted poetry.  For that you have to wait for my next post on the blog.











Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *