ISLAMABAD: Two years into the Children’s Literature Festival (CLF), the organisers decided to make a small, but significant change. They decided to name the rooms where CLF sessions were held after authors and poets, and terms that reflect on Pakistan’s rich literary history. This year, sessions were held in the Khul Ja Sim Sim amphitheatre, the Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai Library, the Iqbal room, the Arfa Karim room and the Manto room, among others.
Typically, literature festivals continue to use the names assigned by the venue. However, the CLF team chose to temporarily rename Lok Virsa’s media centre, library, amphitheatre and more, to reflect Pakistan’s heritage.
Some of the sessions held in these rooms had a connection with the names as well. The Arfa Karim room, named after the computer prodigy who was the youngest Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) until 2008, featured sessions connected to technology, such as the Bolo Bhi sessions on digital security training and safety.
According to CLF organiser Baela Raza Jamil, the decision to use such names was deliberate and meaningful.
She told Dawn, “We started this about two years ago. We sat down together and said, let’s take children into this world of imagination. People are not using these words or names. Khul Ja Sim Sim and all, these are part of our literary heritage; all our famous poets and authors, people will just forget them. So we decided to use these terms wherever we go.”
Published in Dawn October 4th, 2015