11th Karachi Literature Festival promotes habit of reading and healthy discourse:Shafqat Mehmood

Karachi (Cliff News)Federal Minister for education and Professional training Mr Shafqat Mehmood stated about 11th Karachi Literature Festival is a very exhilarating experience for me. I have never seen so many literary icons in one place and it is a real honour to be able to meet them and discuss issues of common interest. The very richness of this occasion fascinates me and creates in me the wish that instead of being a former bureaucrat and now a minister, I should also have followed the profession of art and literature and expressed my thoughts and feelings in a free-flowing manner.”“As you would be aware, the subject of education is a major priority for the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan and he has given me special instructions to make education viable and progressive if Pakistan is to move ahead on the path of national development. It is events like the Karachi Literature Festival that greatly enable our government to further the cause of education because these events promote the habit of reading and healthy discourse between individuals of all ages.”The Karachi Literature Festival is a three-day event being held on 28, 29 February and March 1. After the inauguration, on 28 February, the following two days of the Festival will comprise full days of discussions, talks, readings, author signings, art exhibition, performances, talks and discussions, etc. A food court and book fair have also been set up at the Festival.The theme of the Festival this year is ‘Across Continents: How the Word Travels.’ As every year for the past ten years, the purpose of KLF is to bring together international and Pakistani writers to promote reading and showcase writing at its best.Earlier, in his welcome address, Mr. Arshad Saeed Hussain, Managing Director, Oxford University Press Pakistan, said, “The institution I head is, by its nature, deeply involved in the process of educating Pakistan. I would suggest to you that an event like the eleventh KLF we are inaugurating today, is part and parcel of that process. By bringing together scholars, intellectuals, artists, writers, and policy makers to engage in discussion over many issues, we are creating living examples of Critical Thinking to place before you. By testing and sharpening new and maybe challenging ideas, we are encouraging innovative thinking and promoting Thought Leadership. In this festive spirit, we continue to encourage the habit of reading among young and old alike.” He further added, “KLF brings us together to express ourselves creatively and to engage with the fast changing political situations that surround us, through literature, music, poetry, songs, visual performing arts and other genres. KLF is a platform for people to speak in an open and free forum in celebration of the human spirit in all its forms.”The Guest of Honour, H. E. Dr Christian Turner CMG, British High Commissioner to Pakistan, spoke on the occasion of his very interesting experience of being in Pakistan and his deep fascination with the country’s cultural identity. Remarks were also made on the occasion by Jason Green, Public Affairs Officer, US Consulate, and Ms. Anna Ruffino, Consul General of Italy in Karachi, while Keynote Speeches were delivered by Mr. William Dalrymple, author and historian, and Ms. Zaheda Hina, Urdu short story writer and playwright.Several book awards instituted by KLF were also announced on the occasion. These comprised:KLF-Infaq Foundation Urdu Literature Prize. The books shortlisted for this prize were Chaar Darwesh aur Aik Kachwa by Syed Kashif Raza, Ae Falak-e-Na Insaf by Hasan Manzar and Sindhi Adab: Aik Mukhtasir Tareekh by Attiya Dawood. The winner was Ae Falak-e-Na Insaf by Hasan Manzar. The jury comprised Mr Asghar Nadeem Syed, Dr Nasir Abbas Nayyar, and Mr Hameed Shahid.KLF-Getz Pharma Fiction Prize. The shortlisted books were Call Me Al by Sheheryar Sheikh, The Miraculous True History of Nomi Ali by Uzma Aslam Khan, Red Birds by Mohammed Hanif and The Selected Works of Abdullah the Cossack by H M Naqvi. Red Birds by Mohammed Hanif won the Prize. The jury of the prize comprised Mr Ghazi Salahuddin, Ms Hoori Noorani and Dr Nadya Chishty-Mujahid.KLF-HabibMetro Non-Fiction Prize. The books short-listed comprised Interpretation of Jihad in South Asia by Tariq Rahman, The Parliament of Pakistan by Mehboob Hussain, and From Kargil to the Coup by Nasim Zehra. Interpretation of Jihad in South Asia by Tariq Rahman was declared the winning entry. The jury of the Prize comprised Dr Syed Jaffar Ahmed, Mr Zafar Hilaly and Mr Muhammad Ali Siddiqi.The Awards function was followed by a Kathak performance by Zahshanné Malik titled ‘A Tribute to Perveen Shakir’.The first day of the KLF featured a session ‘The Story of Qawwali’ based on a talk by Ally Adnan which was interspersed with performances by Ghayoor-Moiz-Mustafa Qawwal, Farid Ayaz and Abu Mohammad. A discussion was held on ‘Education in Pakistan: A Roller Coaster Ride’ and featured Shafqat Mahmood, Asad Ali Shah, Amjad Waheed and Shahid Siddiqui as speakers. Baela Raza Jamil moderated the discussion.A discussion titled ‘Challenges to International Diplomacy Today’ was also held on the opening day of KLF. The panellists included Christian Turner, Shahid Amin and Tariq Waseem Ghazi and Shaheen Salahuddin was the Moderator. A session titled ‘Women of Substance’ was also organized centering around the lives of Fatima Jinnah, Benazir Bhutto and Asma Jehangir. Participants in the discussion were Victoria Schofield, Sheema Kirmani and Karamat Ali.  The moderator was Fouzia Saeed.The Atlantic Muse by the Arabian Sea: Poetry in English’ featured poetry recitations by emerging as well as established poets like Adrian Husain, Arfa Ezazi, Farida Faizullah, Fatima Ijaz, Harris Khalique, Ilona Yusuf, Maya Nadeem, Peerzada Salman, Sadaf Halai and Tehmina Ahmed. 

About Oxford University Press

Oxford University Press (OUP) is a department of the University of Oxford. It furthers the University’s objective of excellence in research, scholarship, and education by publishing worldwide. OUP Pakistan is committed to promoting the reading culture and to improving the intellectual content of life in Pakistan. It has an extensive school and college textbook publishing programme which addresses the need for books that are both of high quality and specific to the environment. It has gained a reputation for publishing well-researched academic and general books which are considered to be authoritative and definitive works on Pakistan.

About Karachi Literature Festival

Karachi Literature Festival (KLF) seeks to create an intellectual space in which the diversity and pluralism in Pakistan’s society and that expressed by authors from literary and cultural traditions beyond Pakistan’s borders can be freely accessible to people in an open and participatory manner.

 

 

Artificial Intelligence can boost education efficiency:Jibran Jamshad

Karachi(Cliff News)“The Middle East and Africa has reached a key chapter in its education story. Up until now, the conversation around education has revolved primarily around improving the standard of education across the region. But as digital transformation continues to sweep across the globe, there’s a unique window of opportunity to fast-forward to a completely revolutionised era of education.” These thoughts were expressed by Jibran Jamshad, Microsoft Country Education Lead for Pakistan.He further explained that for years, the general level of education across the region has been improving at a steady pace. “According to the World Bank, the average level of schooling in the Middle East and North Africa Region (MENA) has quadrupled since 1960, with the rate of illiteracy having almost halved. At the same time, statistics tell us that the region has made significant strides when it comes to school enrollment. But despite this progress, the general standard of education across the region still varies significantly, with many countries yet to attain the level of learning to which they aspire”, he added.Research shows in many cases curriculums favour an approach to education based on rote learning, which means students are not always exposed to 21st century skills, such as working in teams, problem solving and innovation. Skill sets such as these are only going to become more important as automation begins to replace lower-skill jobs. Recent Microsoft research conducted in collaboration with McKinsey & Company’s Education Practice shows that by 2030, the fastest growing occupations will require higher-level cognitive skills in areas such as collaboration, critical thinking and creativity. Already as many as 30 to 40 percent of jobs in growth industries require soft skills.Though the need for social-emotional skills is clear, teachers don’t always feel adequately equipped to teach these skills. And to build crucial cognitive, social and emotional skills, educators need training, technologies and time. Technology can play a critical role in helping to overcome these challenges – AI, in particular, has significant potential to increase the efficiency of education, whether by freeing up educators’ time or helping them develop a more student-centred approach to learning.Microsoft’s research shows technology can free up as much as 30 percent of teachers’ time, making it easier for them to respond to individual and group needs. And the same study shows students who receive personalised instruction perform better than 98 percent of traditionally taught students. AI-enabled tools are also far more easily accessible than educators might realise. Those found in Microsoft Office 365, for example, are available in programmes such as Word, OneNote and PowerPoint, meaning they are free and easy to use.Immersive Reader, for example, helps students with learning differences such as Dyslexia build reading confidence. Students can use features like Line Focus, which reduces visual crowding and highlights text to improve readability. On the more sophisticated end of the spectrum, AI can provide educators with greater insight as to how students are progressing so they can adjust their approach, supporting students’ individual needs.Many schools have improved the academic interaction between students and educators through applications like OneNote and Teams. The tools not only promote better collaboration and productivity, but also enhanced interaction between the students and their teachers. The schools digital transformation has a strong impact on student performance, from day-to-day activities to official exams, completely transforming the entire learning journey. These technologies are particularly effective in breaking down the barriers in communication between students of different abilities. By drawing on AI, these tools can help ensure every student has a voice.Even simple AI-enabled features like those found in Office 365 can help tertiary-level students with their academic pursuits. PowerPoint Editor, for example, draws on machine learning and natural language processing, enabling students to proof read their content more effectively. The tool even provides helpful suggestions as to how students should refine their style of writing.This is a promising sign that we are moving in the right direction as incorporating technology in today’s classrooms can help catapult the region’s education sector into the digital era. And ultimately, empowering young people to become successful, capable, and active contributors to the digital economy will create prosperity.

Peek Freans spreads joy at “Tamasha Ghar”

IMG_20191009_152254

Karachi(Cliff News)Pakistan’s number one selling biscuit brand, Peek Freans, sponsored “Tamasha Ghar”- a fun filled event with free entFrery for everyone, that included Open Mic Sessions, Mime and Clown readings, and Live Theater for children on the 28th & 29th September at the Governor’s House, Karachi.The event was part of “Sheher-e-Fun”- a children’s festival organized by “Pursukoon Karachi”. The purpose of the event was to enable change and make children from local schools understand how they are responsible for their city in an interactive environment. The event also provided powerful networking opportunities and a platform for the exchange of different ideas on how to make Karachi better. In the Open Mic Session, students were given the chance to showcase their talents in front of a live audience. Through poetry recitals, singing and playing instruments, kids got numerous opportunities to show off their artistic skills. Students who participated were given goody bags by Peek Freans as a way to appreciate their efforts.Speaking at the event, Peek Freans’ Marketing Head, Ayesha Janjua said, “It’s all about creating a space for children to have fun and express their creativity in a supportive environment. Peek Freans’ aim is to spread joy among kids and help them understand and express their feelings about their city, “Karachi”, all while keeping it full of fun and entertainment. It also provided them with a great opportunity to be exposed to genuine displays of art and humanity.”“Tamasha Ghar” provided a fantastic variety of entertaining and holistic activities for children all of whom came from different backgrounds, thus enabling the brand to promote diversity and inclusion. The turn-out at the event affirmed the need for such interactive activities to be arranged for children in the future.

IMG_20191009_152240

About EBM:

EBM has been baking nutritious delights for Pakistani consumers under the brand name Peek Freans since 1996. As one of the pioneers of the industry as well as a dominating market leader, EBM continues to innovate on each of the three fronts: product, quality, and communication.

Hidden heroes and living legends

Written by:Syed Qalbe Muhammad

IMG_20190724_151519

There is a lot of legends and heroes in this world.Everyone have their own choice to select his ideal personality but there is a legend behind the legend.The real heroes are always behind and they are always aiming to support the future talent.Currently there is a lot of hidden heroes and living legends who are currently support his country despite of economic,water, environmental, education and sports crisis in the country.There is a long list of those people who never care what he gets from Pakistan but their life aim is to deliver his services for his Homeland weather they belong for any feild.I wrote this article to support his services and work for better future of upcoming generation.This is difficult for me to make a sequence of those persons I just write randomly without any protocol because all these dignities are the same.If we talk about the seniority so I select the name of former station director of Pakistan Mr.Yawar Medhi his honest services never forget for the better of this country.He gave lots of legends to Pakistan film,drama,radio and tv industry.Indiplomatic affairs we never neglected the honest services of former consulate Syed Abul Hassan Naqvi in different countries.He was also the executive secretary of SARAC and I personally witnessed that he always work on merit.One of his working partner and family friend Late Barkat Ali Khan also play their role for betterment of Pakistan across the globe and always work for the benefit of country.All these persons families still serving for Pakistan from abroad and present the soft image of his Homeland which are highly remarkable services.One of my good friend and National record holder Nadeem Yousuf despite of ignorance that he never selected for Pakistan cricket team still serving and searching the real talent for his country.He promoted the deserving players all over Pakistan and still representing his country in the age of 63.All of his friends and former cricketers Sajid Abbasi,Shahid Wadood still working in remote areas like tharparkar,badin and some other districts to provided the basic facilities of needy people.Former cricketer Naseer Pasha remain available to help to Pakistani sports persons to groom and Polish the upcoming talent while country is suffering for the shortage of sports stars.Dr.S M Tahir former first class cricketer also affiliated with same services.His main root cause is to provide the best brain for his country with great sportsmanship.To create soft image of Pakistan President International Friends Forum Mujeeb ur Rehman Khan organized different culture and sports activities on the platform of Cliff and always in contact with diplomats,consulates and different international bodies for make country economic future bright.Omer Siddiq Bhai also talk and think about Pakistan when I meet him in dubai despite of his health issues he worried about the country.Engr.Kashif Hafeez who is affiliated with three national institutions and sports he was donated his whole life for betterment of sports, education and technical reforms in the country.The main purpose of wrote this article not to only say thanks to all these Noble personalities also trying to give a message to present and future generations to make role model of these unfame personalities and keep trying to make green flag higher as much as you can.May Allah bless Pakistan forever.Ameen

Pakistan Zaindabad

IMG_20190724_151626.jpg

AMI School to promote inclusive learning

AMI School Logo

Karachi(Cliff News)Over the past five years, The AMI School has been a crucial partner in a collaborative Action Research project, along with the Occupational Therapy departments at Brunel University, London and Dow University of Health Sciences, Karachi. Through this inter-professional collaboration, the teachers involved in the project have become highly skilled researchers and peer educators for their colleagues.On their panel is Dr Debbie Kramer-Roy, an occupational Therapist, Lecturer and works with AMI as a Project Coordinator. She is a passionate advocate for the rights of all children to high quality and inclusive education, and uses Action Research to develop the vision, knowledge and skills required to make this happen in real-world contexts. Debbie explains: “the teachers and occupational therapists involved in the project have developed a contextually appropriate approach to inclusive education and the Resource Guide that has been produced has the potential to spread the vision, knowledge and skills to schools across the country. A key learning point has been that inclusive teaching improves the learning experience and environment for all children in the school, demonstrating that inclusive education is an excellent approach to whole-school improvement”Working with its chief objective of expanding its scope of services, AMI plans to set up a model of an educational enterprise (Education Eco-System) which is not only unique in design but also aims to change the meaning of the term “expansion” in the context of education. Instead of using the present model of establishing more schools,  it proposes horizontal growth by developing supporting units to not only enhance the quality of education for students, teachers and parents but to initiate positive changes at the community level leading to meaningful changes in the social attitudes and behavior.The AMI School is committed to an education system built on this approach to accepting responsibility for all children to a welcoming and respectful environment. The School recognizes the importance of social acceptance and high self-esteem as pre-requisites to real learning in the school setting.  It actively seeks to create an environment which facilitates the learning process for everyone and to remove the barriers that can hinder participation or exclude individuals from daily routines. Regular schools with this inclusive orientation are the most effective means of combating discriminatory attitudes, creating welcoming communities, building an inclusive society and achieving education for all.

About AMI:

The AMI School, has been operating as a renowned and well established institution for several years now and is one of the projects of Education Works Pvt Ltd. Apart from the school, the Company runs a Day care and learning Centre, transport services for more than 700 children and nearly 200 employees. It has steadily been growing in size and facilities over the last decade and is now perfectly poised to undertake major expansion in its scope of services.

 

 

 

Goverment wants to promote literary activities:Imran Ismail

Karachi(Cliff News)Governor Sindh, Imran Ismail said that the current government wants to promote literary activities. “Doors of Governor House Sindh, Karachi are open to all literary events and government will extend cooperation in this regard”. He was addressing the inaugural ceremony of the first Adab Festival Pakistan, the 3-day literary event being organized at Sindh Governor House, Karachi. “Through Adabfest we want to create a new Silk Route through which all the grandeur of our traditions and culture, literature and the arts, expressed through every language in the country, can travel out of obscurity to join the world’s assemblage of cultures and their luscious fruit”. These thoughts were expressed by Ameena Saiyid OBE, SI, Chevalier des Ordres des Arts et des Lettres, Founder and Director Adab Festival Pakistan, at the inaugural ceremony of first Adab Festival Pakistan.The Adab Fest will be held on 1, 2, 3 February 2019 at the Sindh Governor House Karachi, the historic location where Quaid-e-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah took his oath as Governor General on 14 August 1947, and where he lived and died. Entrance is from the main gate on Aiwan e Sadar road. On most days entrance into the Governor House is not allowed except for Sundays when it is open to the public, but for Adab Fest the Governor House is open to the public for from 2 pm to 9 pm on Friday, 1 February, and from 11 am to 9 pm on Saturday and Sunday, 2 and 3 February.Ameena Saiyid said that we want to celebrate all that has already been achieved, and also to encourage and boost creativity in all its luminous forms. From the bards of Balochistan to the storytellers of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the modern-day writers of Islamabad, Lahore and Karachi, from the rich traditions of Punjab and Sind, and the unopened treasure chests of Gilgit Balochistan, we hope to coax more and more manifestations of talent in culture and inspired research. We wish to nurture and promote them. Indeed we would like to create a new Silk Route through which all the grandeur of our traditions and culture, literature and arts, expressed through every language of this country, can travel out of obscurity and insecurity to join the world’s assemblage of cultures and their luscious fruit.In his inaugural speech, Founder & Director of Adab Fest Asif Farrukhi said that the inauguration ceremony marked the culmination of a long process of tribulations and challenges. He recalled that Ameena Saiyid persisted with the planning in odd places including the cafeteria of the Sindh High Court, “as we were determined to make the best of this opportunity and not to be hectored or pressurized.” It was the pleasure of dealing with books and working with authors and poets which kept alive the spirit. He paid rich tributes to the recently deceased poet Fahmida Riaz and reciting her verses, she remained a guiding spirit”.On Getz Pharma’s partnership as the Lead Sponsor of AdabFest, CEO Getz Pharma Khalid Mehmood in his speech said “Literature and heritage is the soul of any nation. Ameena sahiba and Asif Sahab have done a great service to this nation by founding these literary festivals. As one of our main CSR areas, we encourage these events because they go a long way in building a more tolerant, well informed and educated country.”  At the inaugural ceremony, the ‘Adab Festival Pakistan Getz Pharma Fiction Prize’ was awarded to Kamila Shamsie for her book “House Fire”. The short-listed names of Bina Shah, Kamila Shamsie, Mohammed Hanif, and Zarrar Said.
After the launch ceremony, Nasim Zehra’s book “From Kargil to the Coup: Events that shook Pakistan” was launched. The session panel included Hameed Haroon, Najmuddin Shaikh, Gen (R) Waseem Ghazi, Shahid Amin, Ahmed Rashid with the author and was  moderated by Mosharraf Zaidi.In the background on Supreme Court of Pakistan’s order for all encroachments to be removed from Karachi within 15 days, the session on “Karachi: Encroachments & Demolitions” had a panel that included Faisal Siddiqui, Iftikhar Ali Shallwani, Muhammad Toheed, Noman Ahmad and it was moderated by Rumana Husain.Another interesting session “Contextualizing Feminism” it was discussed how are women’s empowerment, autonomy, human (including sexuality and reproductive) rights, and economic justice reflected in the work of panelists Fatema Hassan, Hani Baloch, Maheen Usmani, Maniza Naqvi, Saira Shah Halim, Severine Minot, and panel chair, Fawzia Afzal-Khan.In the session “The doors of perception: Accessing the unseen in Islamic tradition”, Professors Nur Sobers-Khan, Waleed Ziad, and Francisco Luis engaged in a discussion on ihsan and the esoteric traditions in Islam, touching on topics ranging from aesthetics, the perception of beauty, dream interpretation, Islamic psychology, spiritual travel and wayfaring, divine energy, and meditative practices.

Annual Edition of Premier Children’s Urdu Publication launched

Photo-Mahnama Sathee Annual Edition Nov2018
Karachi(Cliff News)When it comes to children’s literature, Urdu is well-ahead than the rest of the world’s languages being spoken and written today. This was said by Muhammad Tariq Khan, Editor-in-chief of Mahnama Sathee at the launch of its annual edition of the year 2018. He said the government in any part of the world has never been that supportive of literary pursuits, as this is the very struggle of writers and poets who keep the flag flying high as far as the creation and promotion of literature is concerned.Celebrating its 41-year anniversary in November 2018, the annual edition of Pakistan’s premier children’s Urdu monthly ‘Mahnama Sathee’ has recently been launched. The publication of children’s magazine annual edition for the year 2018 is a milestone in the history of Urdu literature produced for schoolchildren and young adults, particularly in the Sub-continent.“The young lot of short-story writers and poets are capable enough to carry on the legacy left by such classical literary figures as Sufi Ghulam Mustafa Tabassum, Pirzada Ashiq Keranvi, Ismail Mirthim Mirza Adeeb, Shanul Haq Haqqee, etc.,” said Muhammad Tariq Khan, Editor-in-chief of Mahnama Sathee.Started its journey in 1977, Mahnama Sathee is one of the leading literary initiatives taken in the Sub-continent for the promotion of children’s literature and family reading and to accelerate the overall literacy drive and education. The 2018-annual edition of Mahnama Sathee contains a literary treasure created by leading writers and poets of the country. Among the most prominent names are: Fozia Khalil, Shazia Farheen, Ibn-e-Aas Mohammad, Usman Farooq, Maham Jawaid, Altaf Hussain, Ilyas Nawaz, Seema Siddiqui, Ahmed Hatib Siddiqui, Hafsa Siddiqui, Bina Siddiqui, Javed Bisam, Hammad Zaheer and many others.