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Festival showcases exquisite art and craft

April 20, 2019

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People visit stalls at the Craft Festival in Islamabad on Friday. — White Star
People visit stalls at the Craft Festival in Islamabad on Friday. — White Star

ISLAMABAD: Three-day craft festival showcasing exquisite and colourful crafts, handicrafts, jewellery and artworks from all over the country started on Friday.

Organised by Nomad Gallery in collaboration with Cultural Diplomacy of the Serena Hotel, over 20 community organisations and individuals set up stalls to display traditional and contemporary handicrafts, handmade clothes, decoration and gift items which were visited by members of the diplomatic community and general public.

Italian Ambassador Stefano Pontecorvo, who inaugurated the event, was all praise of the organisers for putting in effort to showcase the rich heritage of Pakistan under one roof.

He hoped to see more such events to promote Pakistan’s cultural heritage and create opportunities for artisans.

In his welcome address, Aziz Boolani, the chief executive officer of Serena Hotels South and Central Asia, said his organisation had been hosting the festival for the last couple of years.

“We believe that Pakistan has been bestowed with immense talent, potential and superb cultural heritage that need to be tapped,” he said.

He reiterated his support for promotion of crafts and talented people from remote areas and marginalised communities in providing opportunities and platform to them to showcase their work.

Our organisation is committed to promoting education, health, sports and culture activities through its various initiatives including Cultural Diplomacy, Sports Diplomacy and Satrang Gallery, said Serena Hotel’s General Manager Michel A. Galopin.Nageen Hyat, director and curator of Nomad Gallery, said the aim of the festival was to revive and promote the cultural diversity and traditional craft of the country.

“We are celebrating through collaborative initiatives with our partners to highlight our rich legacy and inspiring journey of Nomad since its inception in 1984,” Ms Hyat, who is also an artist and rights activist, said.Photographs of Kalasha people, sculptures, traditional jewellery, handicrafts, hand-made clothes, rugs and decoration pieces from Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Sindh, Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan were also on display.

Visitors also evinced keen interest in dry fruits, apricot, walnut, hempseed and seabuckthorn oils at the Gilgit-Baltistan stall.

Sher Azam said that hempseed oil and seabuckthorn oil were used as medicines for detoxification of the body. He said organic fruits and agri-products from Gilgit-Baltistan were becoming popular among people in the capital.

Zahra Haque, a young artist who has returned from Canada, displayed beautifully designed laser-cut greeting cards, decoration pieces and sleeping suits.

On a stall costars made of recycled papers and cushions also attracted visitors.

Mohammad Nabil and his wife Sadia Nabeel displayed unique designs and colourful jewellery made of resin and wood.

Works of noted calligrapher Rifat Khattak and painter Ahmed Habib were also on display.

Published in Dawn, April 20th, 2019