LAHORE: The regular feature of Lahore’s cultural calendar, the Faiz Aman Mela being organised in the city since 1992 , was held at the Lahore Press Club on Sunday.
The one-day festival had a lot to offer in terms of music, theatre, poetry and discussions. The venue was lush green Shimla Hill which was nicely decorated. The stage in the backdrop had a big flex bearing Faiz Ahmad Faiz’s portrait and verses.
The festival was organised by Faiz Aman Mela Committee and labour parties in collaboration with the Lahore Press Club. It celebrated 107th birthday of Faiz Ahmad Faiz. The festival was held at the Open Air Theatre in Lawrence Gardens every year but this time it was held at Lahore Press Club because of security issues.
Addressing a large gathering, Faiz’ daughter Salima Hashmi said she was feeling great to be there at Shimla Hill as it was the place where she used to play as a child.
“Faiz gives a message of peace and love through his poetry and this festival also carries the message of peace,” Ms Hashmi said and added that in an atmosphere punctuated with extremism and terrorism Faiz Aman Mela was a reply to extremism. She said the festival would continue to be held every year.
Farooq Tariq, the convener of Faiz Aman Meal Committee, said the festival was a tribute to all the martyrs who became victims of terrorism. He also recited the poem written by late Captain Mubeen. He said the Mela was held to spread the message of peace and love and the struggle against capitalism would continue.
The venue was decorated well and it witnessed a number of performances by artistes. The audience represented people from all walks of life.
A mushaira was also held which had poets like Dr Khalid Javed Jan, Baba Najmi, Jawaz Jaffri , Javed Aftab and Irfan Ahmed. There was also a theatre play performed by ‘Progressive Students Collective’. The play titled The Gaze was a 20 minutes long and it addressed the issue of exploitation of women.
Many singers also performed on the occasion prominent among those were Jawad Ahmed, Lal Band, Adeel Burki, Inayat Abid, Ali Munawar and Nasir Khan.
Published in Dawn, March 20th, 2017