Faiz Mela — a call for curbing extremism

Published February 16, 2015
‘Heer’ being performed at Faiz Aman Mela at Open Air Theatre, Bagh-i-Jinnah.—White Star
‘Heer’ being performed at Faiz Aman Mela at Open Air Theatre, Bagh-i-Jinnah.—White Star

LAHORE: The 23rd Faiz Aman Mela held at Open Air Theatre, Bagh-i-Jinnah, (Lawrence Gardens) roped in thousands of fans of Faiz Ahmed Faiz, including, civil society folks, trade union activists, political workers and students here on Sunday.

The peace festival that has become a regular feature of the city’s cultural calendar concluded with a lively, vigorous music and cultural evening, marking 104th birthday celebrations of the poet. It was organised by Faiz Aman Mela Committee which comprised officials of Awami Workers Party (AWP) and members of several Left-leaning groups. The Mela was dedicated to victims of Peshawar school attack.

The venue, festooned with illuminations, was almost packed to its capacity. There were a number of book stalls set up by different publishers, besides food stalls.

The music performances were so enthralling that many youngsters could help dancing, Bhangra being their favourite folk dance.

A theatrical performance ‘Heer’, directed by Huma Safdar, was impressive in all respects. Music was the core activity of the Mela as vocalists, including Jawad Ahmed, Adeel Burki, Anayat Abid and Lal Band enthralled the audience by singing Faiz’s poetry and different songs and ghazals.

An entertainment starved audience living under persistent fear of terrorism enjoyed every moment of live music performances which were also free of cost.

Faiz’s family members also graced the occasion. Saleema Hashmi, the eldest daughter of Faiz, while speaking on the occasion about Peshawar carnage got so overwhelmed she broke into tears. Ms Hashmi said Faiz’s message was all about peace and love.

Published in Dawn February 16th , 2015

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