The actor attended the fourth Faiz International Festival with her poet husband Javed Akhtar
LAHORE: The fourth Faiz International Festival kicked off with a bang yesterday as renowned Bollywood stars – poet Javed Akhtar and his actor wife Shabana Azmi – joined the gala held at Lahore’s Alhamra Hall.
The mela‘s first day saw an exhibition at Alhamra Art gallery featuring posters of Faiz Ahmad Faiz and his work. A play titled Kaala Mainda Bhes was also performed by Ajoka Theatre, paying tribute to their late founder, Madeeha Gauhar. Furthermore, a musical night was held with singer Tahira Syed.
The Faiz Festival will be run until November 18, 2018 and will be featuring around one hundred celebrities (local and foreign) as well as 30 international scholars who will be speaking at different sessions during the event.
Unsurprisingly, Azmi and Akhtar were the center of attention at the fete, with an innumerable amount of people heading to the venue for the actor’s session. Alongside the general public, various showbiz personalities, literary giants, human rights activists and prominent foreign guests were also present.
Alhamra Hall was chosen as the location for the event as it is the hub of entertainment where numerous activities, literary discussions, theatre showcases and musical performances are held.
Before the festival, Punjab’s Information and Culture Minister Fayyazul Hasan Chohan and Governor Punjab Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar met up with the Arth actor and Akhtar for their official welcome.
The festival’s administration had sent out a special invite to the Masoom actor and her husband. Both Akhtar and Azmi entertained audiences alike, with the former reciting his poetry and the latter making her appearance during a special event titled ‘Kaifi and Faiz’, alongside Faiz Ahmed Faiz’s daughter Salima Hashmi. The name of the session has been derived from both Azmi and Hashmi’s fathers as the former is the daughter of Kaifi and the latter of Faiz.
During the session, the two personalities spoke about the work of famed poets and the circumstances of their era. Advocate Ibn Abdur Rehman, writer Dr Sughra Sadaf, Faiz’s daughter Muneeza Hashmi, and many other great personalities were amongst the audience.
The Sparsh actor also spoke of her father and his relationship with the legendary Faiz. “My father and Faiz Ahmad Faiz were progressive and revolutionary poets who spoke of ground realities and public situations within their poetry,” Azmi shared.
She continued, “Their poetry stimulated from work and struggle wherein they asked the public to never lose hope. There’s a reason people still take guidance from the poetry of Kaifi and Faiz, till this day.” The Ankur star went on to recite Faiz’s poetry after which Akhtar also presented his own. Although the Kal Ho Naa Ho lyricist provided a snippet of his work to the audience yesterday, a complete session titled ‘Mohabbat Ki Zubaan’ will be held today, during with Akhtar will speak alongside poet Amjad Islam Amjad.
They both received a great response from the audience. Azmi was so overwhelmed and joyed with the positive reaction that she stated she will make sure to partake in the festival next year as well.
Edited by Ramsha Vistro
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