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This year marked OUP’s eighth annual Karachi Literature Festival (KLF)—one of Pakistan’s major cultural events that reflects the country’s desire to celebrate the pursuit of knowledge, understanding, and creativity.
Originally launched in 2010, the free event has grown in popularity, rising from 5,000 visitors in its first year, to 175,000 in 2016. It reaches out to people of all ages, incomes, and ethnicities, bringing together notable public speakers and authors writing across many languages and genres. The KLF aims to engage visitors with a diverse range of literary and creative activities, such as debates, talks, book fairs, readings, signings, theatre, film screenings, music, storytelling, puppetry, painting, dance, and singing.
Co-founder and organizer of the KLF, Ameena Saiyid, OBE and Chair of OUP Pakistan, is also the founder of the Islamabad Literature Festival, travelling Children’s Literature Festival, and Teachers’ Literature Festival. She regards these festivals as movements for the promotion of literature and culture.
Ameena explains, “The Karachi Literature Festival was the first such literary festival of its kind to be held in Pakistan. The aim was to promote and project authors, particularly Pakistani authors, and attract the general public to books and reading.”