Abdul Rehman Momin
Abdul Rehman Momin is presently completing his BA (Hons.) from Karachi University and is associated with a children’s magazine, Sathee. He also hosts a literary programme on a private channel. Momin began writing poetry in 2011 and soon acquired an eminent position amongst upcoming young poets. Although, he is not particularly inclined towards any one genre, he usually expresses himself through ghazal. He is inspired by Mirza Ghalib and Allama Iqbal.
Adrian A. Husain
Adrian A. Husain is a scholar, literary critic, and poet in the English language. He presently teaches at the College of Business Management, Karachi. Husain is the author of Politics and Genre in Hamlet Oxford University Press, and a monograph on Richard II titled Time and the King. His articles and poetry have been published in well-known literary journals and anthologies such as Pieces of Eight and The Blue Wind. He is the author of Desert Album, a selection of poems published by Oxford University Press in 1997. A recipient of the Guinness Poetry Prize, Husain was given the tribute by the late Khalid Hassan as ‘the finest living Pakistani poet writing in English’.
Afia Aslam is an editor, writer, and award-winning blogger based in Karachi. She is a co-founder and director of Desi Writers’ Lounge (DWL), a global platform for new writing from South Asia, and was editor of DWL’s literary magazine, Papercuts, for five years. She and her husband are the founders of Pakistan’s only international short-story prize, the Dastaan Award. Ms Aslam’s essays and articles have appeared in various publications in Pakistan and abroad.
Ahmed Shah was the first elected President of the Arts Council of Pakistan, Karachi, and has continued to serve in that capacity for the past 11 years. During Shah’s tenure, the Arts Council has seen an upsurge in its activities, including theatre festivals, music festivals, youth festivals, dance festivals, literary festivals, and activities highlighting socio-political issues
Ahmer Ali Rizvi
Ahmer Ali Rizvi is an enthusiast Birdwatcher and Wildlife Explorer from Karachi having special interest in migratory birds. He has been exploring wildlife all around the country for more than 20 years and shows keen interest to watch and document migratory birds that visit the coastal belt of Karachi. He has been sharing his experiences through various articles in newspaper, magazines and on other social forums. He is also a founder member of Birdwatcher’s Club of Pakistan and Sindh Wildlife Club. he has also worked in various documentaries relating to wildlife for local TV channels, one of the most famous was Birdwatching in Karachi by Geo TV.
Aijaz A. Qureshi
Aijaz A. Qureshi is an educationist and development professional. His experience spans over 40 years in education research, community development, social mobilisation, environmental management, participatory development, and change management. He has been Professor of Development Economics, University of Sindh, Jamshoro, for about 25 years where he also served as Director, Sindh Development Studies Center, Institute of Business Studies. He headed the National Rural Support Programme (NRSP), Sindh Rural Support Organisation (SRSO), Sindh Irrigation and Drainage Authority (SIDA), and Sindh Rural Support Programme (SRSP), in Sindh. Prof. Qureshi has been a Visiting Fellow at Wye College, University of London, UK.
Akbar Allana has over two decades of experience in the film and television industries. Allana has made dozens of television programmes, commercials and corporate documentaries. He has produced several internationally acclaimed and award-winning films, and has created content for a number of Blue Chip clients, such as National Geographic, HBO, Fox, HBL, and the Aga Khan Development Network. Having identified a gap in the market for high quality content, he launched GrayScale in 2014—with a vision for the company to be a cut above the competition.
Akbar Liaquat Ali Khan
Akbar Liaquat Ali Khan is a Karachi-based businessman. The son of Pakistan’s first Prime Minister, Liaquat Ali Khan, and former Ambassador and Governor of Sindh, Begum Ra’ana Liaquat Ali, he attended Belmont Preparatory School and Mill Hill School in England, and studied Law at King’s College, London. After returning to Karachi, he ran a major trading company and was additionally involved over t he years with airlines and travel as well as with other businesses.
Ali Gul Pir
Ali Gul Pir is a rapper, comedian, writer, and actor. In a short span of time Ali Gul Pir has become one of the most influential entertainers of Pakistan.
Aliya Iqbal-Naqvi is Faculty for History at the Department of Social Sciences and Liberal Arts at IBA Karachi, where she also oversees the senior thesis research programme. She previously headed the Liberal Arts Program at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture. Ms. Iqbal-Naqvi holds a BA and two MA degrees from Harvard University in the US, and is in the process of completing her Ph.D. from the same institution in the field of Indo-Muslim Civilizations. In addition to her academic career, Ms. Iqbal-Naqvi also works in the social sector: she is a founder-member of “The Karachi Conference Foundation” which showcases cutting edge research on all aspects of the city of Karachi at an annual conference; she is a Director on the Board of Greenstar Social Marketing, Pakistan’s largest non-profit organization working in the fields of family and reproductive health; and she serves as a Trustee of the Nasra School Education Trust.
Amar Jaleel is a fiction writer and columnist. He writes in Sindhi, Urdu, and English. His writings are strongly influenced by Sufi philosophy and imagery. He has worked for Pakistan Broadcasting Corporation, and thereafter the People’s Open University (now Allama Iqbal Open University), Islamabad, where he went on to become the Vice Chancellor. Life Fellow of the Pakistan Academy of Letters, Jaleel has 30 books to his credit. He is recipient of President’s Award for Literature, Pride of Performance, Akhal Bharat Sindhi Sahat Sabha National Award from India, Pakistan Writers Guild Award (thrice), Nishan-e-Fazeelat, Alumnus Karachi University, Nishan-e-Sapas from Pakistan Art Council Karachi, Shah Latif Excellence Award for Mystic Literature, K-Electric Pride of Karachi Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award from the Government of Sindh.
Amar Sindhu is Assistant Professor, Sindh University, Jamshoro. A poet with origins in Sindhi Literature, she is also a columnist and political analyst. Her poetry has been translated into the German language. She has contributed many articles in Urdu and English. Amar Sindhu is known for her unflinching human rights activism, her unequivocal support for the underprivileged sections of society, and her ability to speak her mind. She also published a magazine named Adrish on political, social, cultural and theoretical issues. One can find love, rebellion and passion altogether in her strong poetic expression. She is also an author of a bilingual book of poetry.
Ambareen Hasib Amber
Ambareen Hasib Amber is a prominent poet of Pakistan. A collection of her poems has been published under the title Dil ke Ufuq Per, which was awarded the Perveen Shakir Aks-e-Khushboo Award, 2012. Holding a PhD from Karachi University, she is also a critic and has written several articles which were published in literary magazines and anthologies. She is also the author of Asri Adab ke Rujhanat and Urdu main Tareequi Passand Tanqeed ka Tehqeeqi Mutala and editor of the renowned literary book series Asaleeb. Amber has represented her country at international mushairas in India, the US, and the Gulf and has written several songs for PTV. She has also written Radio Pakistan’s programme Geeton Bhari Kahani for three consecutive years. As a TV and radio anchor, she has hosted several religious and literary programmes.
Amber Alibhai is general secretary of Shehri-Citizens for a Better Environment (CBE), a not-for-profit organisation established in 1988. Ms Alibhai has been engaged with this organisation for the last 28 years. Shehri-CBE’s mission is to develop and implement a strategy in which the environment of Pakistan, in particular the built environment, is managed and developed in a transparent and participatory manner with a view to ensure the supremacy of the citizen interest in all matters effecting their engagement with the environment around them. Shehri-CBE’s aim is to achieve this by encouraging participatory development through active engagement by citizens, creating awareness of and applying existing legislation, and promoting accountability
Amin Gulgee is an artist, sculptor, and art curator living and working in Karachi. The son of the famed artist Ismail Gulgee, Amin has carved out a distinctive creative path of his own. He works primarily in sculpture, installation, and performance art. He has held multiple solo exhibitions worldwide, as well as numerous international group shows. Gulgee has curated many group exhibitions at his eponymous non-commercial gallery in Karachi and elsewhere and was Chief Curator of the inaugural Karachi Biennale in 2017. Gulgee’s work is in important international collections and he has received numerous awards, including the President’s Pride of Performance in 2005, one of Pakistan’s highest civilian honours
Amra Alam is a Karachi-based children’s writer and has authored over 80 storybooks in Urdu for children of all ages. She has also written and translated numerous stories for publication in India, many of which have been further translated into various regional languages. Ms Alam was the Founder and Chief Editor of Suntra, a magazine for children in Urdu, published from 2006 to 2012. Later, she edited the children’s magazine Uran Tashtaree—Flying Saucer, which was published from the platform of the Children’s Literature Festival. Ms Alam has written 18 serials for different television channels. She is a recipient of the Anita Ghulam Ali Award. Presently, she is conducting story writing workshops in different institutions
Anita M. Weiss
Dr Anita M. Weiss is presently Professor of International Studies at the University of Oregon, USA. She has published extensively on social development, gender issues, and political Islam in Pakistan. Her recent books include Development Challenges Confronting Pakistan (co-edited with Saba Gul Khattak, 2013), and Pathways to Power: The Domestic Politics of South Asia (co-edited with Arjun Guneratne, 2014). She has also written Interpreting Islam, Modernity and Women’s Rights in Pakistan (2014), which analyses how distinct constituencies in Pakistan are grappling with articulating their views on women’s rights. Her new book project is Countering Violent Extremism in Pakistan: Local Actions, Local Voices. Professor Weiss is a member of the editorial board of Globalizations, has been a member of the Research Advisory Board of the Pakistan National Commission on the Status of Women, and is the co-PI of the Karakoram International University and the University of Oregon (KIU-UO) University Partnership.
Dr Anjum Halai is an international education expert with long standing experience in higher education in low/middle income countries like Pakistan and those in East Africa. She obtained her doctoral degree from Oxford University was and has been an adjunct professor at the University of Alberta Canada and a research fellow at the Centre for International Education and Development Sussex University, UK. Currently, Dr Halai serves as Professor of Education and Dean Faculty of Arts and Sciences at a private university in Karachi. Her research interests are in social justice issues in education. She has published widely in international journals of repute and co-edited monographs and books on significant issues in education.
Anwar Maqsood Hameedi is a well-known entertainment personality. He is a television scriptwriter, television host, satirist, humourist, and occasional actor. Associated for many years with Pakistan Television Corporation (PTV), Maqsood served as a presenter for a variety of shows, including Studio Dhai, Studio Ponay Teen, and Show-Sha. He has written scripts for several television series and plays, including Fifty-Fifty, Show Time, Aangan Terha, Fanoon-e-Latifey, Talaash, Aisa Bhi Hota Hai, Sitara aur Mehrunnisa, and Nadan Nadia. His stage plays, which were a resounding success, include Pawney 14 August, Sawa 14 August, Anwar Maqsood ka Dharna, and Siachen. Maqsood has also worked as a director and presenter at ARY TV for almost 15 years. His most popular program was Loose Talk. He is a recipient of the Hilal-e-Imtiaz award.
Anwar Shaoor is one of the most prolific Urdu poets of our time. He has a large following amongst admirers of Urdu poetry and has received high accolades from critics and contemporaries alike. With three collections of ghazals to his credit, Andokhta, Mashq-e-Sukhan, and Mee Raqsam, his work is read in literary journals around the world.
Aquila Ismail Karachi-based author and social worker Aquila Ismail has written extensively on literature, women’s issues, and the development concerns of Karachi for leading Pakistani newspapers and magazines. With a Degree in Electrical Engineering, Ms Ismail was Associate Professor in the Electrical Engineering Department of NED University of Engineering and Technology. At present, she works with Karachi based development NGO, Orangi Pilot Project (OPP). Her published works include translated fiction such as Harvest of Anger and Other Stories, Godavari, Reflections in a Cracked Mirror, : Stories of Mariam, Alli Gujar, Baby Nagina and Others and Zindabahar Lane. She has edited and written several non-fiction books, including The Microcredit Programme of the Orangi Charitable Trust. Her debut novel Of Martyrs and Marigolds was published in February 2012. At present, she is working on a book on the life and work of her sister, Perween Rahman.
Arfa Ezazi co-edits Karachi-based bilingual literary journal Zau. Her poetry in Urdu and English has appeared in publications, including Anthology of Asian Women (Singapore) and issues of Dunyazad Book Series (Karachi). She holds a Master’s in English Literature, and is currently pursuing an M.Phil. in the same discipline. Alongside this, she is a Visiting Faculty member at the University of Karachi, and Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi.
Dr Arfana Mallah is a Professor at University of Sindh, Jamshoro. A founder member of Women’s Action Forum (Hyderabad), she writes columns in Sindhi newspapers and recently did a weekly Vlog for web-based Sindhi newspaper Pahinji Akhbar. Dr Mallah has written a series of short stories about women displaced in the mega flood of 2010, which were published in Sindhi daily Kawish. Associated with the Sindhi electronic media for 15 years, she hosts weekly shows on various Sindhi channels. Presently, she has been elected General Secretary of Sindh University Teachers’ Association. She has also been elected as member of the University Syndicate, where she is actively pursuing issues of academia at various forums.
Arieb Azhar is an acclaimed singer, writer, columnist and cultural promoter. A pioneer of contemporary Sufi music of Pakistan, Arieb has performed in all major venues and festivals of Pakistan as well as toured abroad extensively. He has over 25 years of experience in music management and culture generation both in Pakistan and Europe. He founded the Music Mela Festival of Islamabad which he curated for three years, and is presently founder and director of Art Langar—a festival that connects music and arts with the spirit of charity and community integration. Arieb is a regular speaker on the topic of culture generation and Sufi poetry of Pakistan; and has produced several documentary films on music and music heritage
Arshad Saeed Husain
Arshad Saeed Husain took over as the Managing Director of Oxford University Press, Pakistan in February 2018. He has over 25 years of experience of leading multinational companies in Pharmaceuticals, FMCG, and Life Sciences sectors. Prior to joining OUP, Arshad served as the CEO of Aman Health Care Services. Earlier, Arshad served as the Managing Director of Abbott Laboratories Pakistan Limited. He was Managing Director of Syngenta Pakistan Limited and also served as President Director of PT Syngenta, Indonesia. He has also served in senior leadership positions at GlaxoSmithKline Pakistan Limited and ICI Pakistan Limited. Arshad has been President of the American Business Council and was also Chairman of the Pharma Bureau. He was also a founding member of the Swiss Business Council and Chairman of CropLife Pakistan. He also serves on the board of directors of the Rotary Club of Karachi Metropolitan. Arshad is a graduate of the London School of Economics (LSE) with a specialization in International Trade and Development
Ashfaq Hussain, a Canadian of Pakistan origin, is a well-known poet and writer. He is considered as one of the pioneers of Urdu literary activities in Canada. Ashfaq published a highly reputable monthly literary journal, Urdu International, under the guidance of Faiz Ahmed Faiz. Currently he is Associate Editor of a children’s book series, a joint project of Multicultural Department, Government of Canada, and Urdu Chair of McGill University, to prepare Urdu reading and writing materials for Canadian students as well as a teaching manual for Urdu teachers. In 2011, he was honoured with the prestigious President of Pakistan’s Pride of Performance Award. Some of his publications include Aitabar (1979), Aashian Gum Karda (2009), Mein Gaya Waqt Naheen Hoon (2010).
Asif Noorani is a well-known journalist, author, and literary personality. He writes on cultural subjects, such as literature, art, music, and movies. His writings are often laced with wit and humour. An ardent crusader for closer relations between India and Pakistan, he conveys his viewpoint through his writings and occasionally through the talks he gives in India, Pakistan, and the USA. His first book, Tales of Two Cities, co-authored with Kuldip Nayar, was a best-seller and has been translated into Marathi. His books Mehdi Hasan: The Man and His Music and Journey through Pakistan are also perennially popular
Asif Raza Mir
Asif Raza Mir is a Pakistani film actor who was active especially during the 1980s. He acted in a number of popular films, including Badalte Mausam, Daaman, Haye Yeh Shohar, Mere Apne, Playboy, and Saathi alongside various cinema stars. He has also been actively involved in several famous television drama serials such as Darwaza, Samundar, Tanhaiyaan,Tansen, Choti Choti Baatein, Roshni, and Ishq-e-Gumshuda. He is the founder of A & B Entertainment, a television production house in Pakistan.
M. Athar Tahir is a Lahore-based English language poet and a retired civil servant. Thrice the recipient of the Patras Bokhari Award, the highest National Prize for Literature in English, he is a poet, essayist, short story writer, translator and scholar of Punjabi texts, as well as a calligrapher-artist, and art critic and art historian, Tahir has published over twenty books, including several volumes of poetry and essays, such as A Certain Season and Body Loom. His poems, also translated into Italian, Urdu, and Chinese, have been set as text for Secondary Schools and for the Cambridge O Level Syllabus, and have also been included in several OUP anthologies and in Language for a New Century (W.W. Norton & Co., USA). He is the Founder-Director of the International Centre for Pakistani Writing in English (ICPWE) at the Kinnaird College, Lahore. He has been awarded the Tamgha-i Imtiaz (1998) and the Sitara-i Imtiaz (2009) for his works.
Atif Badar has been part of the theatre, drama, acting, and entertainment scene for the past two decades. He is an actor with a wide range of experience—from theatre, voice-overs, mini screen, to a film Ramchand Pakistani directed by Mehreen Jabbar. He started his theatrical career, as an actor, in 1993 with Tehrik-e-Niswan theatre group and has also worked with the Katha theatre group. He has taught theatre for two years at Habib Girls School and Habib Girls College and directed two theatre plays for Habib Girls School. He also taught theatre and creative movements for 4 years at Meritorious School Karachi. Presently, he is working as a theatre and creative movement teacher, writer, and director in three well-reputed schools of Karachi.
Atiya Khan has been working in the advertising and media industry in Pakistan for nearly 20 years. During this time, she’s received recognition and accolades not only in Pakistan but in Canada as well, where she launched an independent online media channel. She has been directing and producing TV commercials, music videos, television films shows since 1994. She has also produced and presented a highly successful, moderate religious talk show series for a private television channel in Pakistan. She studies Islam under the patronage of Sheikh Nazim Al-Haqqani and has been promoting Sufism and moderate Islam through various avenues. She is a social activist and has a number of new projects in development, including a civil society movement called, 3rd Option.
Atta ur Rehman Khan
Atta ur Rehman Khan, penname Bazabaan-e-Atta, is a host, compere, debater, public speaker, young writer, micro fictionist, and writes 50 words stories. A representor at Radio Pakistan, he is president Youth Literary Club, Pakistan–Russia Friendship Society; member, Arts Council of Pakistan; columnist, Pakistan Federation of Columnist; and member, Youth Parliament Pakistan. He promotes literature and youth activism on social media.
Attiya Dawood is a celebrated Sindhi poet, writer, and activist. She has been hailed as ‘the most important feminist writer in Sindhi’ by Shaikh Ayaz, the renowned Sindhi poet. Through her writings, Dawood highlights the oppression of women in the Pakistani society in the name of tradition. Her poems have been translated into English and Urdu, and German by Annemarie Schimmel. She has published several books, the latest being Sindhi Adab: Aik Mukhtasar Tareekh (OUP, 2019). She is a recipient of the Sindh Adeeb Award from Akhil Bharat Sindhi Boli Ain Sahit Sabha, India.
Aysha Baqir is a social activist and founder of Kaarvan Crafts Foundation—a pioneering not-for-profit economic development organization, which focuses on poverty alleviation through the provision of business development and market-focused trainings for girls and women. In 2013, she relocated to Singapore. She is on the Board of Kaarvan Crafts Foundation, is an Ashoka Fellow, and a member of Singapore Writers Group. During the time she spent in the villages, her life interfaced closely with the local girls and women. The characters in her debut novel, Beyond the Fields, challenge the roles that have been defined for them, determined instead to persevere and achieve their dreams. She is currently working on her second novel.
Azra Abbas is an Urdu poet and a well-known literary personality in her own right. In 1981, she published Neend ki Musafatain, an extended prose poem written in the stream-of-consciousness style. Since then, she has published four collections of poetry, her memoirs, a compilation of short stories, and a novel. In 2017, Oxford University Press published a translation of her work, titled Kicking up Dust, in which she reminisces on various aspects of her childhood
Azra Naseem has over 16 years’ experience of educating educators. She has worked with school teachers, teacher educators, educational managers, nurses, physicians, surgeons, and others on the use of technology in education in Pakistan, Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Afghanistan, and United Kingdom. Ms Naseem’s current research on digital literacy, gender and access, and mobile collaborative and just-in-time learning design have led to several publications and conference presentations. In 2017, she was recognized as a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy of United Kingdom. Azra is a faculty member and assistant director ‘Network of Blended Learning’ at a private university in Karachi.
Baela Raza Jamil
Baela Raza Jamil is Chair, PAL Network Advisory Committee and CEO, Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi, leading the citizen-led Annual Status of Education Report, Pakistan. Baela is the founder of the Children’s Literature Festival in Pakistan and Managing Trustee at the Sanjan Nagar Public Education Trust. She is the commissioner to the international commission on Financing Global Education Opportunity (Education Commission); and serves as one of the twelve global/commonwealth members of UK-Platform for Girls Education. Baela is Chair, Global Alliance to Monitor Learning (GAML) SDG 4.2 at the UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS) and advisory member, Global Business Coalition for Education (GBC Ed). She serves on several boards and coalitions on education and child rights in Pakistan.
Bilal Zahoor is the founder and Editorial Director of Folio Books, a Lahore-based independent publishing house. He studied chemical engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, but did not let his academic training obstruct his passion for establishing an independent publishing platform in Pakistan. Zahoor aspires to contribute to a more socially just world by publishing works bucking the neoliberal trends and authoritarian tendencies. He is the c0-editor (with Raza Rumi) of Rethinking Pakistan: A 21st Century Perspective.
David Heath is a renowned flautist and composer who has written for some of the greatest names in classical music: Nigel Kennedy, James Galway, Evelyn Glennie, William Bennett, Leonard Slatkin, The Philharmonic Orchestra, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, and the English Chamber Orchestras.
David Waterman is Professor at La Rochelle University, France, where he is a member of the research team CRHIA (Center for Research in International and Atlantic History); he is also Director, University Asia Pacific Institute, and Director of the PhD programme in the Humanities. He is the author of Where Worlds Collide: Pakistani Fiction in the New Millennium (OUP, 2015). Dr Waterman is currently working on Pakistani history, culture and literature in English, and has served on the editorial team of Pakistaniaat: A Journal of Pakistan Studies.
Deborah Baker‘s most recent book, The Last Englishmen: Love, War and the End of Empire (2018) weaves together a story of Himalayan exploration and India’s experience of the Second World War. Set in Calcutta, London, and the high Himalayas, its cast of subjects include English and Indian writers and painters, explorers, communist spies and political rogues. Her last book, The Convert, about the American convert and ward of Maulana Mawdudi, Maryam Jameelah, was a finalist for the National Book Award. Baker has received Guggenheim and Cullman fellowships as well as a Whiting award for creative nonfiction. She divides her time between India and New York.
Born in Venice, Dr Elena Nicolai holds a PhD in Italian Literature and one in Classical Studies; she has also specialized in Immigration and Social Policies Studies, as well as in Intercultural Pedagogy. She has long experience in the International Cooperation field, with special focus on Education, and has worked in collaboration with different Universities and NGOs in Africa, Middle East and also in Pakistan. She has published various academic papers, a book on Renaissance Literature (Literary and Art Runs during the Renaissance, Napoli 2017) and two fiction books: Il vecchio Leone, 2017; L’Albero delle Quaglie – Tra I sentieri di Islamabad un segreto, 2018
Erum Khalid Sattar
Dr. Erum Khalid Sattar is a Visiting Fellow at the Harvard Law School. With a Doctorate in Juridical Sciences (S.J.D.) from Harvard Law School, her research focuses on issues of water federalism and trans-boundary water sharing in the Indus River Basin. Prior to Harvard, she qualified to become a Barrister-at-Law from The Honourable Society of Lincoln’s Inn. She co-founded the Water Law Study Group at Harvard Law School and teaches water law and policy and environmental law at Pace University School of Law, Northeastern University School of Law, and Tufts University. She will also be a Visiting Professor at the National University of Singapore School of Law in 2019-20, where she will teach the school’s first-ever course on water law.
Fahd Husain presently wears two hats—Executive Director News, Express News TV and Executive Editor, The Express Tribune. He began his career with the Muslim newspaper in 1991. Since then, he has held senior positions at The Nation and Gulf News (Dubai) and served as Editor, The News. He has worked at PTV as an anchor for several shows and later at the leading American TV channel, CBS News, in New York. He was also the anchor of Pakistan’s first independent English talk show on Geo TV. He then worked as Director, International Affairs at ARY TV. He has also hosted prime time talk shows on Express News, ARY, and Waqt News. His international assignments include covering the US Presidential Elections in 2004 and travelling to Lebanon to cover the Hezbollah–Israel war in 2006.
Farida Faizullah is a Karachi-based educationist and English language poet. Currently a Visiting Faculty of English Literature at Aga Khan University, she was formerly Associate Professor of English at Abdullah Government College for Women. She has co-authored English Skills for Classes 11 and 12, English language textbooks published by Oxford University Press. As a student and young poet, she used to participate in the poetry circle Mixed Voices
Fariha Amjad Ubaid
Fariha Amjad Ubaid is an architect, city planner, and educator, currently working in Karachi as Associate Professor at the Architecture Department of NED University and in her own studio practice. At the university, she has taught courses in history of art and architecture, urban planning and design studio. She founded the Archives in 2002 and the History Group in 2007. She has researched, spoken and written widely. Fariha’s design works have ranged from small products, institutional buildings, interior environments, to large scale urban planning projects and interventions in the country
Dr Farrukh Iqbal has been the Executive Director, Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi since August 2016. Prior to that, he was at the World Bank where he served for 33 years in both technical and senior managerial positions. He has produced five books and numerous academic articles and conference papers. Dr Iqbal currently serves as a member of the Prime Minister’s Economic Advisory Council as well as of the Monetary and Fiscal Policies Coordination Board. He is also the Chairman of the National Business Education Accreditation Council.
Fazil Jamili is a Karachi based Urdu poet and journalist. He is currently Editor at Interlink Multi Media (IMM), digital company of Daily Jang & The News International. Prior to being part of the Jang Group he was associated with Samaa TV as Editor Content and Daily AajKal as Resident Editor). He has also been active in the struggle for journalists’ rights and was elected twice as President Karachi Press Club. Jamili is the author of Gumnam Aadmi Ka Bayan, a poetry collection published in 2017.
Ghazal Ansari is an Urdu language poet. Well-known for her style of recitation and her melodious voice, she has taken part in mushairas both nationally and internationally, and has presented her work on radio and television. Two collections of her poems, Adhuray Khawaab and Sunehray Khawaab, have been published. In 2011, she co-founded the Yorkshire Adabee Forum, a literary organization aiming to promote literature with a focus on the Urdu language.
Ghazanfar Hashmi is a well-known poet, author, translator, columnist, and television personality. He is Executive Director of the International Academy of Letters, USA—a think tank working to build bridges through dialogue, arts, and culture. His published works include books of poetry (Mohabat Khawab Hay, Roshni to Main Be Hun), Babies don’t have Nations (a translation of Latin American Resistance Poetry), Meray Hum Nafas (interviews of literary personalities), and collections of his columns Roshandaan and Mulaaqaat. Hashmi is also associated with a premier Pakistani TV channel in the USA. He has hosted a number of talk shows and interviewed various international diplomatic and political personalities on Pakistani and foreign TV channels.
Ghazi Salahuddin is a senior journalist who writes a weekly column for The News (English) and Jang (Urdu). Before he became the launch editor of The News in Karachi in February 1991, he served Dawn in a number of important positions, including as News Editor. During the martial law of General Ziaul Haq, his column ‘Karachi Diary’, was a leading voice of dissent. He has also been associated with the electronic media and for some time was on the panel of PTV’s Kasauti quiz show. In recent years, he hosted a programme on books on Geo TV. In his youth, he wrote Urdu fiction that was well-received. Mr Salahuddin is also a social activist and human rights defender. He is a recipient of the President’s Pride of Performance Award in journalism and was presented with the Bibliophile of the Year Award 2011 by the National Book Foundation.
H.M. Naqvi is the award-winning author of the acclaimed novel Home Boy. Longlisted for the Dublin Award, shortlisted for the Shakti Bhatt, Home Boy was awarded the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature in 2011 at the Jaipur Literary Festival.
Naqvi has worked in the financial services industry, taught creative writing at Boston University and at the Lahore University of Management Sciences, written for The Global Post, Caravan, and Dawn, and appeared on CNN, NPR, and BBC World Service.
His second, Karachi-based novel, The Selected Works of Abdullah the Cossack was launched in South Asia in February and will be published in the US by Grove Atlantic in April.
Hafsa Saeed is an aspiring writer and a literature enthusiast who is currently working as the Dean’s Coordinator at Habib University, Karachi. She has contributed to The News, Women’s Own magazine and has written for various online life & style websites. She is working on a novel, which explores the lives of desi women who choose to stay in abusive marriages.
Hammad Rizvi Los Angeles-based Hammad Rizvi is an award-winning writer and director, most notable for his films Rani, Road to Peshawar, and Sunny Square. A Pakistani-American raised in various parts of the world, his films often tackle topics that are as diverse as they are raw. He holds a BBA in Finance and an MFA in Film Production from the University of Texas at Austin, and was recently awarded Outstanding Writer at the NBCUniversal Short Film Festival.
Hamna Zubair is a writer, critic and editor of Dawn’s culture website IMAGES. As a journalist her work focuses on the arts, gender politics, and pop culture. Her writing has appeared in Slate, Salon.com, Vogue, Herald, and more.
Hamza Akram Qawwal & Brothers
Hamza Akram Qawwal & Brothers, grandsons of the revered Munshi Raziuddin Qawwal, have been acclaimed for their riveting interpretations of qawwali. This award-winning ensemble represents the 26th generation of the seven centuries-old Qawwal Bachon ka Gharana of Delhi founded by Saamat bin Ibrahim, the first qawwal of the subcontinent and principal student of mystic Amir Khusrau. Hamza has studied with the renowned Ustad Naseeruddin Saami, as well as with his uncle, Farid Ayaz Qawwal. He and his brothers—Taimoor and Abdul—have toured various countries and performed at many festivals. The ensemble performs songs that range from the classical Persian and Brij Bhasha poems to contemporary Punjabi and Urdu poetry
Harris Khalique is a trilingual poet, writing in Urdu, English, and Punjabi. With eight collections of verse to his credit, he also writes non-fiction, besides contributing regularly to literary and news publications. His major poetic works include Ishq ki Taqveem Mein, Between You and Your Love, and the award-winning collection Melay Mein. He has spoken widely on themes straddling literature, culture, politics, human rights, and international development. In 2017, Oxford University Press Pakistan published his essays titled Crimson Papers: Reflections on Struggle, Suffering, and Creativity.
Haseena Moin is a Pakistani dramatist, playwright, and scriptwriter and has written several plays for stage, radio, and television, some of which have gained international repute. She is the recipient of the Pride of Performance award for her services to the performing arts in Pakistan. She wrote Pakistan’s first original television script, Kiran Kahani, aired in the early 1970s, before which there was a reliance on novel-based scripts. Some popular drama serials she wrote include, Ankahi, Tanhaiyaan, Kiran Kahani, Dhoop Kinaray, Aahat, Uncle Urfi, Shahzori, Kohar, Des Pardes, Pal Do Pal, Aansoo, Kasak, Parchhaiyan, and Parosi. She has also written several stand-alone plays based on social issues like the popular Aahat. She wrote the script for the film Yahan Se Wahan Tak, and the dialogues for the film Nazdeekiyan. She was the first Pakistani writer to write dialogues for a Bollywood film, Henna.
Hoori Noorani runs the Karachi-based publishing house Maktaba-e-Danyal, which she inherited from her late father Malik Noorani. Her love for literature and linguistics led her towards a Master’s degree in Philology with a major in Russian and World Literature from the People’s Friendship University in Moscow. Maktaba-e-Danyal has published the works of renowned authors, including Mushtaq Ahmed Yousufi, Syed Sibte Hassan, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Iftikhar Arif, Fahmida Riaz, and Habib Jalib. Currently, the publishing house is working on translations of Russian classical literature into Urdu. Ms Noorani is also a trained classical dancer.
Huma Baqai is Associate Dean at the IBA, Karachi. She has been associated with teaching and research for over 20 years. She works with both national and international media as an international relations expert and political analyst and has anchored current affairs programmes on PTV, News One, and Channel 24. She is also a certified corporate trainer from the International Academy for Leadership, Gummersbach, Germany.
I. A. Rehman
I. A. Rehman is a distinguished Lahore-based journalist and human rights activist. He has been associated with journalism for over 65 years. He served as Editor-in-Chief of the Pakistan Times (1988–90). During the East Pakistan (now Bangladesh) crisis, he worked as the managing editor of daily Azad (Urdu). He spent the Ziaul Haq period (1978–88) as the executive editor of weekly Viewpoint. Besides hundreds of articles and papers contributed to national and foreign publications, he has three books to his credit: Jinnah as a Parliamentarian (co-editor), Arts and Crafts of Pakistan, and Pakistan under Siege, a collection of his own columns. I.A. Rehman worked as Director of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) for two decades and as its Secretary General till 31 December 2016.
Ikram Sehgal is Chairman, Pathfinder Group Pakistan, which includes two of the largest private security companies in the country. Mr Sehgal is also involved in various national and international organizations. He is member, World Economic Forum (WEF); International Organization for Migration (IOM); Director, East West Institute (EWI), a US based think-tank; and member, WEF Global Agenda Council (GAC) for counter-terrorism. He is a regular op-ed contributor to newspapers and frequently appears on current affairs programmes.
Ilona Yusuf is an English language poet, editor, and critic. She is also a designer and print-maker. Presently Associate Editor of The Aleph Review, she has also freelanced for Nukta, Newsline, and ArtNow, and written essays on Pakistani poetry in English. Her poems have been published in book form and in literary journals here and abroad, in print and online. She worked as an editor for the Alhamra Literary Review in the early 2000s, and guest edited a special issue of Pakistani poetry in English for the Canadian poetry magazine Vallum in 2012. As a printmaker, she integrates word and image in the form of artists’ books; lighting design and conversation piece furniture are her bread and butter.
Imrana Maqsood is a novelist and playwright. Wife of the celebrated entertainment personality, Anwar Maqsood, she has her own claims to fame. She has also written cookbooks and is a three-time winner of the President’s Award, National Book Foundation for Children’s Supplementary Readers. Following her biography of her husband, Uljhe Suljhe Anwar, her most recent work is Subah ka Nashta Shaam ki Chai: Imrana Maqsood kay Sath, which she is launching at the KLF 2019
Dr Ishrat Husain is adviser to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Institutional Reforms and Austerity. A former Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, he also served as Dean and Director of the IBA (Institute of Business Administration), Karachi from 2008 to 2016. He had a distinguished career at the World Bank for two decades (1979–99) and was a member of the Mahathir Commission that developed Vision 2020 for the Islamic Development Bank. Dr Husain has been conferred the Hilal-e-Imtiaz (2003) and the Nishan-e-Pakistan (2016) awards. His publications include Governing the Ungovernable (OUP, 2018), Economic Management in Pakistan 1999–2002 (OUP, 2003), Pakistan: The Economy of an Elitist State (OUP, 1999), and The Economy of Modern Sindh (OUP, 2019).
Izhar Soomro is a senior journalist, author, poet and academic. Founder and Chief Organizer of the Hyderabad Literature festival (HLF), he is Managing Director of the Academy for the Promotion of Art, Literature and Literacy (APAL). He has been writing for various Sindhi and Urdu Newspapers for over three decades.
Khan has had a long career in the international energy sector, including the power sector of Pakistan. He has traveled extensively, having lived in Canada, Spain, Mexico, Cuba, the Far East, as well as the UK. He comes from a family of scholars, writers, and storytellers. He is a lifelong Tai Chi practitioner, and he has an avid interest in world philosophies and spiritual traditions and practices. Jaffar Khan’s book of poetry, What Was I Thinking, is his first published work
Jahanzaib Haque is a journalist and researcher who has been associated with the top media groups in Pakistan. A specialist in online journalism, he has launched and headed some of the biggest news sites in Pakistan, such as Tribune.com.pk, Express.pk, DawnNews.tv, and Dawn.com—Pakistan’s biggest English language news site. He is currently serving as Chief Digital Strategist and Editor, Dawn.com—heading the Dawn Media Group’s digital platforms in terms of editorial content and strategy. Haque writes on media, the internet, and human rights in relation to cyberspace. He is also the founder of Digital Journalists of Pakistan—an online platform that connects journalists across media groups.
Javed Ahmed Mahar
Javed Ahmed Mahar holds a Master’s in Forestry from the Pakistan Forest Institute, as well as an LLB. As a Wildlife Conservator in the Government of Sindh, he is responsible for the protection, conservation, and management of wildlife in Sindh.
Javed Jabbar’s range of activities and concerns covers writing, filmmaking, voluntary services, media and communications, environmental issues, politics, and public affairs. In addition to fifteen books including anthologies, and one screenplay to his credit, the third edition of Jabbar’s book, Pakistan—Unique Origins; Unique Destiny? was published in 2017, along with its Urdu and Sindhi language translations. At the 9th KLF, his book, Pathways, won the UBL Literary Prize for the Best English non-fiction book of 2017. The Urdu translation of his book, What is Pakistaniat? is being launched at the 10th KLF—its English edition was launched in February 2019. As a minister in three federal cabinets and as a senator, he has played a major role in enhancing freedom of the media in Pakistan. He drafted the laws which introduced private electronic media to Pakistan and the Freedom of Information Ordinance.
Javid Aly Khan
Javid Aly Khan is Shaheed-I-Millat Nawabzada Liaquat Ali Khan’s nephew.He did his M.A. in English Literature from Karachi University and M.A. Honours in English from Cambridge University, England.He taught English at Karachi University for over four years. Some of his distinguished students include Anwar Maqsood, Javed Jabbar, Irfan Husain the columnist & author, the late Razia Bhatti,Editor of Herald. He has written articles for Dawn, Herald and Sun and now write regularly for Friday Times.Mr Khan took the Foreign Service lateral entry exam from Sweden, appointed Director and was posted by Mr. Bhutto personally to set up a mini Foreign Office in Karachi at the same time Begum RA’ANA Liaquat was Governor of Sindh. He resigned when Zia ul Haq took over, refusing to work for a military dictator, left the country to work abroad and now live in the UK.
Jawad Sharif is an award-winning filmmaker, known for his signature visual storytelling style. He is an alumnus of the UCLA School of Theatre, Film, and Television, Swedish Institute, and Institut Fur Auslandsbeziehunge in Germany. Sharif is also a jury member of the Jaipur Library Academy Awards, India. He has worked on a number of socially and culturally sensitive film projects involving the themes of human rights and social injustice besides arts and culture. His feature film, Indus Blues has won the Grand Jury Prize at GIFF and has been nominated in several other international film festivals. He has also won several awards for his film K2 and the Invisible Footmen, which has been screened in film festivals around the world.
Kaif Ghaznavi is a faculty at the National College of Arts, Lahore. A Master’s in Fine Arts from the California College of the Arts, San Francisco, she embarked on a new set of career altogether. Founder of Kaif Wala Foundation and Director, Bunvat Festival she is currently under training for classical singing and Odissi dance. She also enjoys a portfolio in theatre and television, which boasts about advocating empowering humanity and culture. She strives to cultivate ‘civic pride’ within the society by holding cultural festivals.
Dr Kaiser Bengali is an economist with over 35 years’ experience in teaching, research, and policy advice. He was Managing Director of the Social Policy & Development Centre, Karachi. Dr Bengali was consultant for Economic Affairs and head of the Chief Minister’s Policy Reform Unit, Government of Balochistan. Earlier, he was advisor to the Chief Minister of Sindh for Planning & Development. He was also the first head of the Benazir Income Support Programme and designed the programme. From being Sindh’s representative on the 7th National Finance Commission (NFC), he has now been nominated on the 8th NFC to represent Balochistan. He has over 35 research publications in national and international journals and conferences. He is the author/editor of several books and regularly contributes articles in newspapers and appears on electronic media.
Is a social activist and is best known for her work for Pakistan’s transgender community. Making her debut in the fashion world, she used her media presence to combat prejudice against transgender persons. Her participation in documentary projects, such as Chuppan Chupai, and a BBC 3 documentary, also helped raise global awareness on trans and gender issues in Pakistan. Ms Chaudhary also works with a political policy making team at government level that is promoting legislation for inclusive rights for the transgender community. She is presently working to establish the Sub Rang Society
Khaled Anam is a singer, actor, song-writer, theatrical producer, and performer. He also hosts and produces a radio show based on Urdu literature and old songs on FM107. With a Master’s from Karachi University, Anam has done various theatrical training courses with Grips Theatre in Berlin, Germany. As part of a core team responsible for translating and adapting over 100 episodes of Open Sesame of Children’s Television Workshop into Urdu—he was solely responsible for translating and re-recording the songs of all episodes. A founding member of Grips Theatre, Pakistan, he has performed in both children’s and regular theatre all over Pakistan, India, UAE, and Germany. In recognition of his services to children’s theatre and education, Anam has been conferred the Goethe-Institut Award of Merit. Author of Bachon kay Geet (OUP, 2014), he is also an ambassador for the Children’s Literature Festival. He has been awarded the President’s Pride of Performance by the Government of Pakistan.
Khalid Nadeem is a poet and literary scholar who lives in Sargodha. He holds a PhD from the Punjab University Oriental College, Lahore, against his thesis, Dr Akhtar Husain Raipuri: Life & Contributions. He joined the University of Sargodha in 2008 and is working as an Associate Professor in the Department of Urdu Oriental & Languages. Nadeem knows five languages, viz. Punjabi, Urdu, Persian, Hindi, and English. His major fields are research, criticism, editing, translation, and poetry. He has published 19 books from Lahore, Karachi, Rawalpindi, Delhi, Kolkata, and Azamgarh.
Khusro Mumtaz has written extensively on film, theatre, and music for various publications such as The News, Dawn, and The Friday Times and is one of the leading film critics in the country. He has co-hosted a successful movie review programme on television which ran for a number of years; served on the Kara Film Festival Jury and Lux Style Awards Jury for Film Awards a number of times, and is the first and (so far) only recipient of the Kara Film Festival award for film criticism. He also writes opinion columns for the national newspapers, The News and The Daily Times
Kulsoom Aftab is a dramatist, poet, actor, original content creator, director, translator, voice-over artist, script consultant, writing and acting coach, student counsellor, and NAPA faculty. Kulsoom is an activist for meaningful entertainment, female empowerment, and original content. Her work includes award-winning documentary, Our Jacob; Urdu translation of Stanislavsky’s An Actor Prepares; gave voice-over in 3 Bahadur (first Pakistan animated movie); and played the lead in Shakespeare’s Antony and Cleopatra (NRT). Her forthcoming work includes an Urdu adaption of Shakespeare’s All’s Well That Ends Well, and the feature film, Jugnu, produced by Jami, to be released in 2019.
Maheen Humayun is a writer, poet and journalist based in Karachi, Pakistan. She works as an Editor for the Love and Health section at The Tempest and focuses on women’s rights and social issues. Her novella, “Special,” was published in 2012, and she continues to write short fiction and poetry. She is also an avid art journaller, coffee drinker, and impassioned feminist.
Maheen Zia is a Karachi-based filmmaker. Her documentary has been aired both locally and internationally on Al Jazeera, Nat Geo, NHK, Geo Television Network, Aaj Television and Samaa Television. In 2008 she received the Berlin Today Award for her short fiction film Match Factor. In 2015, her first feature length documentary Lyari Notes—co-directed and co-produced with Miriam Chandy Menacherry—had its world premiere at International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam and aired on Al Jazeera’s Witness slot. She has also produced documentaries for WWF and IUCN Pakistan. A founding member of the KaraFilm Society, she has also served as a jury member at several international film festivals such as Dhaka International Film Festival, Fajr International Film Festival, Kabul Documentary and Short Film Festival, Hyderabad International Film Festival, Tehran International Short Film Festival, and the Tampere Film Festival. She has collaborated on several projects with Madiha Aijaz and the two recently begun work on a feature length documentary.
Mahera Omar is a documentary filmmaker. Her film Perween Rahman: The Rebel Optimist won the best documentary award in the Across the Border category at the 7th Delhi International Film Festival and a special jury mention at the 6th Nepal International Human Rights Film Festival. Her other films include Gutter Baghicha, Pakistan Chowk, City by the Sea: The Future of Karachi’s Coastline and A Garden in Shigar. She also directed Janu Janwar, a weekly series on animals, and the documentary Sea Turtles in Pakistan for Geo TV. Since 2014, she has been recording qawwali and classical music in Pakistan as part of the Dream Journey sessions. Ms Omar is also co-founder of Pakistan Animal Welfare Society (PAWS).
Mahin Abdul Wahid Baloch
Mahin Abdul Wahid Baloch is a teacher, trainer, purposepreneur, and a social worker. She is the founder of Mestag Foundation through which she provides free education to street children in Lyari, Karachi. She formed her theatre group Rock the Band to use it as a powerful tool to convey socially relevant messages. Her first play was in English, New Day Will Come, which she performed at the Karachi Youth Festival and won first prize. She has also done plays in Urdu and Balochi too.
Malahat Awan is President of the Tehzeeb Foundation, which has been working for the preservation and promotion of music, fine arts and literature for the past many years. Theb Foundation regularly arranges music concerts. which are attended by hundreds of people, and invites artists from all over the world. The Foundation has produced over 60 music CDs and published various books on music and arts. Ms Awan heads Communications, Graduate Placement, Alumni Affairs, and Corporate Relations at the Institue of Business Administration (IBA), Karachi . She has also worked for the Asian Development Bank, UNDP, British Council and British Deputy High Commission in various capacities.
Maniza Naqvi is a novelist and short story writer. She has written four novels: Mass Transit, On Air, Stay with Me, and A Matter of Detail. Sarajevo Saturdays is a collection of her short stories and poems. Her short story An Impossible Shade of Home Brew is included in the anthology And Then the World Changed. She writes fiction and essays as a Monday columnist for 3Quarksdaily.com and has contributed essays for the monthly magazine Herald, including an essay on Pakistan’s English fiction . She is currently working on her new book.
Maria Hassan Siddiqui
Maria Hassan Siddiqui is an Assistant Professor at Social Sciences Department, and a patron of the Dramatic Society at IBA. She has over 17 years of training experience in various institutes including Allama Iqbal Open University; National Institute of Banking & Finance, State Bank of Pakistan; and Commecs Institute of Faculty Training. She has been involved in teachers training and development and has taught courses in English Grammar and Composition, English Composition, Managerial Communication, Business Communication, Social Psychology and Self-Development, and Human Behaviour. She is also currently associated with skills development programmes, conducting customized trainings on topics related to business writing skills.
Marvi Mazhar Karachi-based Marvi Mazhar is an architect, a heritage enthusiast, and a civil society activist. She graduated from the Indus Valley School of Architecture (IVSAA) in 2009 and joined architect Yasmeen Lari’s Heritage Foundation. After completing her Masters from the University of Turin, Italy, in 2013, she established her own architecture and design studio.
Ms Mazhar served as Director at PeaceNiche (T2F) from 2015 to 2016. She founded the Pakistan Chowk Community Centre in 2016. and also served as a member of the Lahore Conservation Society, Karachi Biennale 2017, Secretary to South Asia Foundation (SAF-Pakistan) & ICCOMOS. She was the Project Manager of the National History Museum (Lahore, Pakistan), conceptualized by The Citizens Archive of Pakistan. As an independent Heritage Consultant, in 2018 she was appointed as adviser to the Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training, and National History & Literary Heritage Division.
Mazhar Arif is a Journalist, who has worked in the Urdu, English, and Siraiki languages. He is also a media critic, writer, researcher, and cultural rights activist, presently working as executive director, Society for Alternative Media and Research (SAMAR), a non-governmental organization based in Islamabad. He has been member of the Council of Complaints, Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA).
Mehdi Raza Subzwari
Mehdi Raza Subzwari is the present Sajada Nashin by descent, of the seven centuries old prestigious shrine of Hazrat Qalandar Lal Shahbaz (RA), in the historic town of Sehwan Sharif situated on the right bank of the mighty River Indus in central Sindh, Pakistan. He is a medical doctor by profession and has a Master’s in Public Administration as well. He propagates inter-faith and inter-sectoral harmony in his speeches. He is also involved in philanthropic activities like poverty alleviation and gender discrimination and improving quality of village life.
Moeen Faruqi A versatile creative personality, Moeen Faruqi is a well known artist and English language poet living in Karachi. His paintings have been exhibited widely within Pakistan and internationally in Canada, Italy, Singapore, Bangladesh, UK and India. His poems have been published in various literary journals in Pakistan and abroad, including Poetry from Pakistan: An Anthology (Karachi, 1997), Dragonfly in the Sun: An Anthology of Pakistani Literature (Karachi, 1997), and The Poetry of Men’s Lives, (USA, 2004). His poems have also appeared in Verse, Orbis, The Rialto (UK), Rattle (USA), Cyphers (Ire.) and in Vallum (Canada).
Mohammed Ali Hakeem
Mohammed Ali Hakeem has been working in film production since 2013 in various capacities which include direction, cinematography, and editing. With a keen eye for human drama, his true strength lies behind the camera as a director. His short film titled, Kurrachee, was short-listed for Tropfest, Australia in 2013 and it went on to win Cineaste One Film Festival (COFF) 2013 in Karachi. His short documentary Guddu went on to win multiple awards locally and internationally and was selected for the Edinburgh Pitch 2015. Having worked in commercial production for more than 2 years, Ali is returning to his passion of making original narrative movies and shorts. Ali has also collaborated closely with Madiha Aijaz as editor on her films.
Mona Eltahawy is an Egyptian-American feminist author who lives between New York City and Cairo. She is the author of Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution, published in 2015. Her second book, The Seven Necessary Sins for Women and Girls, is due in September 2019. She is a commentator to several media outlets.
Muhammad Zeeshan is a critically acclaimed visual artist who is currently an Adjunct Faculty at Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi. He has been represented at the Dubai Art Fair, India Art Fair, Hong Kong Art Basel, and Pulse Art Fair. Zeeshan’s works are also a part of the permanent collection of the British Museum, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, Pacific Asia Art Museum at Pasadena, and The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. He has several exhibitions to his credit including Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, Herbert F. Johnson Museum at Cornell University, Abbot Hall Art Gallery at Kendal, Pacific Asia Art Museum at Pasadena, Art Gallery of Mississauga, British Museum, Gemak/Gemeente Museum, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, and Metropolitan Museum at Tokyo. Zeeshan’s extensive curatorial practice has also been distinctive for breaking new ground. He has been selected as curator for Pakistan’s largest contemporary art event, the Karachi Biennale 2019
Mujahid Barelvi is a leading journalist, analyst, and commentator. A regular TV personality, he appears on the programme Sawaal say Aage on Dawn News. Before this, he worked for the CNBC channel and for the last two decades he has been appearing on television without a break. Mujahid has written articles for political journals and newspapers, and has authored books on Afghanistan and Baluchistan, as well as a book in memory of Habib Jalib.
Munawar Ali Syed
Munawar Ali Syed is a multidisciplinary artist. Hailing from the city of Hyderabad, Sindh, he now lives and works in Karachi. Assistant Professor at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, he is also a member of the visiting Faculty at the Department of Visual Studies, Karachi University. Syed holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA), major in Sculpture, from National College of Arts, Lahore, and a Master’s in Art Education from Beaconhouse National University, Lahore. Syed has been an active member of Vasl Artist Collective. His new ventures integrate artworks and the ideas of artist into a variety of public settings and sited in spaces accessible to the general public. He initiated a public art group Rung dey Karachi in 2011 and has curated four shows.
Munawar Saeed is Pakistan’s veteran TV artist with a career of over four decades in the industry having done roles in 200 films and more than 1000 television dramas. He is known for Moorat Aka Eunuch’s Wedding (2004), Anmol (1973), and Pehchan (1975). Some of his recent famous drama serials are Bunty I Love You, Mere Humrahi, Main Hari Piya, and Roshan Sitara. He had acted in several popular dramas of 1970s such as Taqreeb-e-Imtehaan, Mirza Ghalib Bander Road Par, Akhara, and Gandasa. He has the honour of having acted in a popular patriotic play, Azadi Ke Mujrim for which he won the Graduates Award. He continues to be associated with the television industry and works in select dramas to maintain the quality of his acting.
Muneeza Shamsie is a literary critic, editor, and author. She has written the definitive work Hybrid Tapestries: The Development of Pakistani Literature in English (OUP, 2017) and has edited three anthologies of Pakistani English literature, including And the World Changed: Contemporary Stories by Pakistani Women (Women Unlimited 2005, Feminist Press 2008). She is bibliographic representative (Pakistan) for The Journal of Commonwealth Literature; serves on the editorial board of The Journal of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Studies, the advisory boards of The Journal of Postcolonial Writing, Bengal Lights and the DSC Prize for South Asian Literature. She was jury member for the 2013 DSC Prize; and Regional Chairperson (Eurasia) of the Commonwealth Writers’ Prize from 2009–2011.
Munir Ahmed Badini
Munir Ahmed Badini is a renowned Balochi novelist and writer, who has written 100 books, including 80 novels and 4 volumes of short stories, letters and diaries. A Master’s in Philosophy from the University of Punjab, he is also a civil servant who, as an officer of the Central Superior Services, has served in a variety of senior government positions, including as Chief Secretary of Gilgit-Baltistan. He is the author of many Balochi books and earned a literary award from the Pakistan Academy of Letters for his first novel, Rekan-e-Taha-Halke (Village in a Desert). He was awarded a pride of performance civilian award by the President of Pakistan for his contribution to literature.
Dr Murad Moosa Khan is Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Aga Khan University. He is a graduate of Dow Medical College, Member of Royal College of Psychiatrists, UK, and a PhD from the University of London. He is President of the International Association for Suicide Prevention. Dr. Khan’s research and clinical interests include suicide and attempted suicide, mental health of women and the elderly, stress, and ethics in medical practice. He is a frequent contributor to the lay press on social and medical issues
Mushba Said is a writer and designer, currently completing her BA (Hons.) in Communication & Design with a double minor in Literature and Policy from Habib University, Karachi. This year, she worked on the second volume of the Arzu Anthology with Dr Sabyn Javeri. The Arzu Anthology is Habib University’s first publication, comprising multilingual creative writing—ranging from poetry, short stories to creative non-fiction. Along with being a contributor, she was also the head of design for the anthology. Mushba has performed at the Creative Karachi Festival 2016 alongside her then creative writing teacher, Mohammed Hanif, and was one of the eight winners of the LUMS Young Writers Workshop & Short Story Competition in 2014, where she studied under Bilal Tanweer. Mushba is currently working on a short story collection.
Nabeel Qureshi is a Pakistani film, television, music video director, screenwriter, and singer. An award-winning director, he is best known for directing films like Na Maloom Afraad, Actor-in-Law, and Na Maloom Afraad 2, all box-office hits. He has directed the Political comedy news show Banana News Network which aired on Geo TV. Qureshi is two times Lux Style Award winner in the Best Director category and tried his luck in singing, with at least one title, Khamosh Dono.
Nadeem Farooq Paracha
Nadeem Farooq Paracha is a cultural critic, satirist, and a well-known columnist. He writes for Dawn and is also a columnist for the official German media group, Deutsche Welle (DW). Paracha has written extensively on a wide range of political and cultural topics, especially those related to South Asia. His first book on Pakistan’s social history was published last year.
Nadya A.R. is a lifelong learner, educationist, and humanitarian. She is a certified psychotherapist and conducts workshops and talks, in Pakistan and Singapore. In 2006, she published her first novel, Kolachi Dreams. Her second novel, Invisible Ties, has been published by Rupa Publications. It has received both critical and popular acclaim. It was launched in multiple cities starting with Singapore and with the National University Singapore, at Islamabad with the Asian Study group, and at the prestigious Lahore Literary Festival. Nadya has spoken at eminent educational institutions apart from appearing on various shows on television to talk about gender and social issues
Naima Rashid is an author, poet, and literary translator. Her forthcoming works include her own poetry and fiction, as well as a series of literary translations from Urdu, Punjabi, and French into English. She has a background in linguistics, education, and writing, and has taught French language at the French Consulate of Jeddah and the Alliance Française de Lahore, and French Literature at Kinnaird College for Women, Lahore. Her writings on visual arts and other subjects have appeared in Newsline magazine and other publications.
Nasim Syed is an Urdu poet, short story writer, columnist and translator, who lives in Canada. She has published five books: Aadhi Gawahi (poetry). Samundar Rasta Dega (poetry), Jis Tan Lage (short stories), Shumali America ke Haqiqi Bashindon ke Shaer (translations of the poetry of aboriginal Americans), and Khush Guzranguzar Gae (a commentary on the poetry and prose of Jaun Elia). Aadhi Gawahi was chosen as the best book of the year and received an award from Los Angeles Urdu Markaz. Samunder Rasta Dega also received the best book of the year award from Washington Adbi Markaz. Two forthcoming books are a new poetry collection, and translations of the poetry of aboriginal American women. Ms Syed holds a Master’s in Urdu from Karachi University and a Degree in Hotel Management from Kingston College of Arts and Science, Ontario. She is the Chairperson of the Canadian Urdu Writers Forum.
Nasir Abbas Nayyar
Nasir Abbas Nayyar is a scholar, author, and short story writer. He is the Director General of the Urdu Science Board, Lahore. Dr Nayyar’s research interests include modern and postmodern literary theory, linguistics, modern Urdu literature, and postcolonialism. Dr Nayyar has published numerous books, including Mabad Nau Abadiat: Urdu Kay Tanazur Mein (OUP, 2013). Its sequel, Urdu Adab ki Tashkeel e Jadid (OUP, 2016), won the best Urdu Book Prize at the KLF 2017 and Baba-e-Urdu Maulvi Abdul Haq Award 2016 for Urdu prose by the Pakistan Academy of Letters. His first collection of short stories, Khaak ki Mehak, also came out in 2016 followed by Farishta Nahi Aya (2017) and Rakh Say Likhi Gai Kitab (2018). He regularly writes on literary issues in The News and occasionally in Dawn
Nasira Zuberi is a Karachi-based poet, senior journalist, and media person with over 20 years of experience in print and electronic journalism. She has worked for the Business Recorder, Aaj News, Geo News, and News One. Three poetry collections of her poems have been published. Her third collection, Teesra Qadam, was launched at the 8th KLF. She is presently working on her fourth book.
Neel Ahmed is a young poet from Karachi, appearing on the Urdu literary scene in 2012. With a Master’s in Philosophy and has an MBA in Marketing, she is also pursuing her PhD in Urdu Literature. By profession, she is a Personal Image Consultant and Corporate Trainer. She has received the Naokhaiz Sukhnwar award, as a Representative of Youth. Ms Ahmed in an active member of the Youth Literature Committee of Anjuman Taraqqī-yi-Urdū Pakistan. She has participated in numerous Mushairas and other literary events around the country.
Niilofur Farrukh is a Karachi-based art historian, critic, curator, author, and activist. She regularly contributes on art and art-related topics to national and international journals and writes a monthly column for the op-ed pages of Dawn. Ms Farrukh co-founded ASNA, a non-profit emerging from a need to address the rupture between craft from art in South Asia, and is also founding Editor of NuktaArt. President of the Pakistan Section of Paris based, International Art Critics Association (AICA) and Vice President AICA International, Paris, she serves on AICA’s Commission for Freedom of Expression. As a curator she has national and international shows to her credit, and represented her country as the Commissioner at The Asian Art Biennale, Dhaka, the Tashkent Biennale, and Kathmandu International Art Festival. She has recently edited with Amin Gulgee and John McCarry, Pakistan’s Radioactive Decade (OUP, 2019). Her book, Pioneering Perspectives was published in 1996.
Noman A. Said
Noman A. Said is Chief Executive Officer, SI Global Solutions—a leading System Integration and Consultancy Company. The company specializes in delivering application software, web-based e-commerce, and cloud services as well as core networking solutions. Noman has over 20 years of venture capital experience in US, Pakistan and GCC countries with unique insight, relationships and expertise in big data, mobile, HRM SaaS and cloud ecosystems.
Noorul Huda Shah
Noorul Huda Shah is a well-known and respected short story writer, playwright, poet, columnist, and broadcaster. She writes both in Urdu and her native language Sindhi. A familiar name in the Pakistani drama industry, she is famous for very popular serials including Jungle, Marvi, Bebak, Meri Adhuri Moahabat, Ajayb Ghar, Adhoora Milan, and Ishq Gumshuda. She was CEO of A-Plus television. Her work reflects the depth of her thoughts on cultural and socioeconomic issues that prevail in the country.
Nusrat Khawaja is an art critic, landscape designer and horticulturalist. She is a regular contributor to Newsline Magazine on literature and contemporary Pakistani art. She is a participant of the Discursive Committee of the Karachi Biennale. Nusrat has a Major in Cultural Anthropology from Mount Holyoke College, USA.
A prominent journalistic and literary personality, Peerzada Salman is a feature writer with the English daily Dawn and a member of staff. He writes on a variety of subjects related to art, culture, and literature. With a Master’s degree in English Literature from Karachi University, he dabbles in short fiction and is also a bilingual (Urdu and English) poet. In December 2017, his first collection of poems in English, titled Bemused, was published, followed by his first collection of Urdu poems, Waqt, in 2018
Pirzada Qasim is a noted Pakistani scholar, Urdu poet, scientist and educationist. He has served as Vice-Chancellor at the Federal Urdu University and University of Karachi. He is currently the Vice Chancellor, Ziauddin University.
Qazi Fasih is a medical doctor by profession, he has worked as a surgeon in Pakistan and the UK. His first short story was published in a magazine of Cadet College, Kohat. In 1969, he participated in a Drama Writing Competition held by Radio Pakistan, Peshawar and won the first prize, inducing him to write plays for the broadcast media. His first series of TV plays were telecast by PTV Peshawar in 1975. Since then a number of his serials have been telecast by PTV Karachi and private channels. His English language novel, The Song in the Night, was published in 2018.
Rafay Mahmood is the Culture Editor of The Express Tribune. He has previously worked for The News International, PTV Quetta, and Aag TV and serves on the jury panel for SongLines Magazine in the UK. In the past 10 years, he has extensively written on Pakistani music, film and theatre, while simultaneously teaching at different media and liberal arts departments in Karachi. In 2017 he went to pursue an MA in Creative Industries: Ethnomusicology and Film Studies from SOAS, University of London. There he also trained as a music researcher and his thesis on the Politics of Folk Music Digitisation in Pakistan has been widely appreciated.
Ramazan Baloch is a writer and a dedicated social activist. He was born in 1944 in a poor neighbourhood of Lyari—Karachi’s oldest settlement. A graduate from the Karachi University, he was instrumental in enhancing girls’ education in the area and was extensively hailed as an impressive advocate of literacy and awareness. His first book, Lyari: The Unfinished Story, was one of the three books nominated for the UBL Literary Award in KLF 2016. His own struggle in life, hard work, and achievements have become a great inspiration for the Lyari youth to follow his message of love, peace, and enlightenment.
Rubeena Kidwai is a consultant clinical psychologist who hails from Karachi. She earned her Master’s in Clinical Community Psychology (California State University, USA), her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (California School of Professional Psychology, USA) and completed the prestigious Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, USA. Presently, she is a member of the newly formed Sindh Mental Health Authority. Dr Kidwai’s professional interests include community mental health and mental health as a public health issue.
Rumana Husain is the author of the coffee-table book Karachiwala—a subcontinent within a city. Trained as a graphic designer, she has had an evolving career: from teaching art to making fabric-toys and quilted artwork, innovative school head, teacher-trainer, book illustrator, writer, and journalist. She is the winner of the 4th UBL-Jang Literary Excellence Award (2014) in the Children’s Books category for her graphic story Dr Akhtar Hameed Khan, published by Oxford University Press. She has written and illustrated over 50 children’s books and developed numerous teachers’ manuals for publishers here and abroad. Rumana has presented over 30 programmes on art and architecture for TV One. She is a Director on the Board of the Children’s Literature Festival (CLF), and General Secretary of the Karachi Conference Foundation.
S.M. Shabbar Zaidi
S. M. Shabbar Zaidi is a Chartered Accountant and is also a senior partner in A.F. Ferguson & Co., a member firm of PwC. He has served as a caretaker provincial minister of Sindh in 2013. Zaidi is best known for his extensive contribution towards development of the taxation and fiscal laws of the country. Among his non-profit work, he is a trustee of Sindh Institute of Urology & Transplantation (SIUT) and member, Board of Governors, Liaquat National Hospital, Karachi. In the past, he has also been the President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Pakistan and Chairman of the South Asian Federation of Accountants (SAFA). Zaidi has authored a number of books, including Panama Leaks–A Blessing in Disguise–Offshore Assets of Pakistani Citizens, A Journey for Clarity and Pakistan: Not a Failed State
Sabyn Javeri is an award-winning short story writer and author of the novels Nobody Killed Her (2017) and Hijabistan (2019). She edited the Arzu Anthology of Student Voices (2018). Her short stories on the topics of gender, class, and the immigrant experience, as well as her texts on creative writing, have been widely published. Her research is currently exploring the works of forgotten literary heroes of the subcontinent and developing a discourse related to cultural identity through creative writing. She holds a Master’s from Oxford University and a PhD from the University of Leicester. She is currently the Programme Director of the Arzu Centre for Literature and Languages at Habib University, Karachi.
Saife Hasan has been in the performing arts for more than 20 years. He started his journey as an actor with the acclaimed theatre group Tehrik-e-Naswan. He has since then directed many television plays, serials and short films as well. He has won the best director award at Lux Style Awards and TV One Global Awards. He is also a founding member of the group Zambeel Dramatic Readings. His memorable directorial works include Victoria ka ticket, Achchay mian, Bari Apa, Sange Mar Mar, Sammi, and Belapur ki Dayan
Sajeer Shaikh is a 23-year-old Media Science student, who is also an Editor at MangoBaaz, where she’s been working for more than three years. Her work has been published in The Express Tribune as well, and she is also a frequent contributor at Thought Catalog. Writing is a strong passion for Sajeer, with poetry being an area of interest. She published a poetry book at the age of 10, and continues to share her poems online.
Dr. Salman Sarwat is an upcoming poet from the younger generation of Urdu poets. Salman has developed his own style in Urdu free verse. Poems, such as Selfie, Middle Class, Traffic reflect his urban sensitivity. Holding a Ph.D. in Finance Management, he teaches Philosophy and also writes criticism, literary essays, and short stories. He has read from his work at various literary festivals, carrying on the legacy of his father, the celebrated poet, Sarwat Hussain. Sarqat is currently associated with Barrett Hodgson University, Karachi
Salman Tarik Kureshi
Salman Tarik Kureshi is a Karachi-based English language poet, writer, and columnist. Born at Lahore and educated at Lahore, Multan, and London, he has lived most of his adult years at Karachi. A former corporate executive and marketing consultant, he is presently engaged as an Editorial Consultant at Oxford University Press. He is married, with two grown children, his wife being an Artist and a teacher of Fine Arts. Kureshi’s poems have been published over the years in magazines in the US, Britain, and of course in Pakistan. They have also appeared in anthologies: Pieces of Eight (Karachi, 1971); Legacy of the Indus (New York, 1974); The Blue Wind (Somerset, England, 1985); Dragonfly in the Sun (Karachi, 1998); An Anthology (Karachi, 1998); Journal of Postcolonial Writing (London, 2011); and a solo volume Landscapes of the Mind (Oxford University Press, 1998). Some of his poems and short stories have been published in the annual Pakistan Journal of Literature. As a columnist, he writes on socio-political topics in the weekly Friday Times and the dailies Dawn and Daily Times.
Sana Munir is the Lahore-based author of Unfettered Wings: Extraordinary Stories of Ordinary Women. A fiction writer with a feminist approach, she believes Feminism is not just an ideology or school of thought but a way of life rooted in the essential moral principles of equality, acceptance, and justice. Sana has taught Feminist Film Theory and International Communication at Lahore College for Women, also her alma mater. Unfettered Wings is her first traditionally published book.
Sanam Maher is a journalist based in Karachi. For more than a decade, she has covered stories on Pakistan’s art and culture, business, politics, religious minorities and women. As a freelance journalist since 2015, her work has appeared in Al Jazeera, BuzzFeed, The Caravan, Roads & Kingdoms, Scroll and The New York Times’ Women in the World, amongst others.
The Sensational Life and Death of Qandeel Baloch is her first book.
Sarmad Faraz is a passionate musician and a marketer by profession. He’s always had a penchant for creative pursuits and has been associated with various musical acts in Islamabad over the last two decades. Sarmad also wrote a musical tribute called Shayar for his late father, Ahmad Faraz, featuring his timeless poetry and convictive voice. The musical dedication is based on Ahmad Faraz’s poem ‘Shayar’ from his maiden book Tanha Tanha (1954). Sarmad hopes to continue amalgamating his fervour for music and his father’s poetry to inspire the youth and challenge the status quo.
Shafqat Ali Shah
Shafqat Ali Shah Jamote is an agriculturalist by profession. As the CEO and MD of Matiari Sugar Mills and Matol Pvt. Ltd., he has been a leader in agriculture-based industrial production in lower Sindh. Dr Jamote has served as Federal Minister for Agriculture (1999–2000); as Sindh’s Provincial Minister for Education, Sports, and Culture (1985–1986) and for Industries and Agriculture (1986–1988). He has been a regular faculty member at the University of Sindh and visiting assistant professor at the Woodrow Wilson Department of Government and Foreign Affairs at the University of Virginia. Currently, he is engaged in building Matiari Hospital, a health service facility that will serve the people of his hometown and the surrounding areas in rural Sindh.
along with the late Kuldeep Nayar and Iqbal Haider.
Shah Muhammad Pirzada
Shah Muhammad Pirzada is a prominent Sindhi language poet. In 1997, he co-translated, with Asif Aslam Farrukhi, Sheikh Ayaz’s poems from Sindhi to English under the title Storm’s Calls for Prayer (Oxford University Press). He has also compiled and translated the works of Sheikh Ayaz in Urdu titled Zikr-e-Ayaz and Fikr-e-Ayaz respectively. Besides being a poet, Pirzada is also a businessman. He is actively involved in social work in his native village.
Shaheen Salahuddin is a well-known TV anchor, journalist, and short story writer, with experience of over 25 years in the media industry. She was formerly the head of Indus News Network. Ms Salahuddin has represented Pakistan on numerous occasions internationally. She is also a fellow of East West Centre (USA), founding member of the think tank, KCFR (Karachi Council of Foreign Relations). She has been presented with number of prestigious awards from various organizations including the Pakistan Federation of Business & Professional Women. She has worked as a peace activist between Pakistan and India along with the late Kuldeep Nayar and Iqbal Haider
Shahzad Ahmed Memon
Dr Shahzad Ahmed Memon is Professor at Institute of Information and Communication Technology and Director Quality Enhancement Cell, University of Sindh, Jamshoro. He has published several research papers in national and international journals and attended and presented his research in national and international conferences organized in USA, UK, and Europe. Dr Memon has been invited as a resource person in several national universities and organizations to conduct trainings and workshops on skills development for researchers and quality assurance in Higher Education. He also designed courses and conducted HEC indigenous training workshops on essential skills development at various levels of students, faculty members, and admin staff of the University
Shameneh Majid is a writer and performer who has performed across the country and was a featured performer at India’s first national poetry slam in Bangalore 2016, as part of a group. She currently works with Spoken Stage to help promote the spoken word as a medium, conducting workshops and hosting events, and helping people to express themselves. Her poetry explores the idea of the body, the self, womanhood, families, and interpersonal relationships.
Shamim Ahmad is a retired civil servant who held various positions in the federal government. He acquired a Master’s degree in Defence and Strategic Studies from Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad. He also studied at Syracuse University in the U.S.
Certain fortuitous events led him to develop an interest in Psychology, culminating in him acquiring a Master’s degree in the subject. After retirement, after contributing periodic articles on Finance to different publications, began writing articles on Psychological themes. Some these articles were published in his book Torment & Creativity- A psychoanalytic Study of Literature and Literati
Dr Shamshad Akhtar is former Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, and has also served as caretaker finance minister. Amongst other positions, she has been an Under-Secretary General of the United Nations and was the tenth Executive Secretary of the Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific. She also served as the coordinator of the five UN regional commissions. Dr Akhtar was the UN Secretary General’s Special Senior Advisor on Economics and Finance, and Assistant Secretary-General for Economic Development at the Department of Economic and Social Affairs. She led the UN-wide coordination of the work on the post-2015 development agenda, and was also the UN Sherpa for the G20, supporting the finance ministers and central bankers track. She has also worked extensively with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank. The Wall Street Journal Asia has recognised her as one of Asia’s top ten professional women
Sharif Awan is a writer, culture revivalist, and curator/producer of classical, folk and world music of Pakistan. He has recorded and preserved indigenous Pakistani music and produced a number of quality audio and video albums. He has also written, produced, edited, and published a number of books on Pakistani culture. Indus Raag, produced by him, was internationally acknowledged as a premier project on Pakistani music. Story of Gulsher (a tribute to the martyred APS school children), produced by him, was used in an international album on world peace supported by UNESCO. Sharif has won several international awards including the Global Music Awards (USA) Gold & Silver Medals and Independent Music Awards (USA). Sharif Awan is the Founder/Director of Tehzeeb Foundation of Pakistan, an organization working for the promotion, preservation and archiving of classical heritage, music, literature, and fine arts.
Karachi-based Shazia Hasan is an award-winning journalist whose various awards for her stories and features also include the Centre for Excellence in Journalism (CEJ) and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) inaugural award for Humanitarian Reporting in 2017 and three Agahi Awards. Her book of short stories has also earned her the National Book Foundation Award in 2005. Ms Hasan is a senior staff reporter with the Dawn newspaper. Concurrently she is also a visiting faculty at the Institute of Business Management (IoBM) where she teaches courses such as Creative Writing, News Writing & Reporting and Human Rights to students of Media Studies. She also serves as a member of the governing body of the Karachi Press Club.
Sheema Kermani is the founder of Tehrik-e-Niswan—a Cultural Action Group which uses the medium of theatre and performing arts to bring awareness on rights issues. She is a classical dancer, choreographer, teacher, theatre practitioner, and peace and women’s rights activist. She is Pakistan’s leading performance artist. Sheema teaches dance and drama and also acts for the stage and television. She combines this with activism, which includes Mobile Theatre in low-income areas. Sheema Kermani teaches at Szabist University, Karachi; National College of Arts, Lahore; and Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi.
Shershah Syed is a Pakistani physician and surgeon, known for his work in obstetrics and maternal health. He was involved in providing emergency medical assistance to victims of the 2010 Pakistan floods. He was the president of the Society of Obstetricians & Gynecologists of Pakistan from 2007–2010, and is the current president of the Pakistan National Forum on Women’s Health (PNFWH).
Shireen Z. Haroun
Shireen Z. Haroun is an English language poet, whose work is imbued with sharp observations of nature and a sensibility tending towards the dark side. Her poems have appeared in the journals of the Pakistan Academy of Letters, the Canadian magazine Vellum, and other international publications in the UK and US. Ms Haroun is the only daughter of the late Maki Kureishi, who was herself one of Pakistan’s finest poets in English. She teaches English Literature to both O and A level students. She holds a law degree from the University of Warwick, England, but is not practicing. She lives in Karachi with her Malaysian origin husband, Jeeva Haroun, who is also a lawyer and occasional poet.
Syed Kashif Raza
Syed Kashif Raza is a broadcast journalist by profession. A young poet, fiction writer, and translator based in Karachi, he has authored five books including two volumes of poetry. His first novel, Char Darvesh aur Aik Katchwa, was published in October 2018 and was well received in the Urdu literary world. He has also published two poetry collections: Muhabbat ka Mahall-e-Wuqu and Mamnu Mausamon ki Kitaab. He writes book reviews, critical essays, and political articles, both in Urdu and English, for different newspapers and websites. He works for Geo News and lives in Karachi.
Syed Murad Ali Shah
Syed Murad Ali Shah is a Pakistani politician and structural engineer who is the 36th and current Chief Minister of Sindh and a member of the Sindh Assembly. He was elected to the Sindh Assembly in 2008 as a member of the Pakistan Peoples Party and was the National Minister for Irrigation in Syed Qaim Ali Shah’s cabinet. In 2013, he was made the national Finance Minister. In July 2016, Shah was elected to the chief minister’s office. He was Minister for Irrigation (Sindh) and Finance Minister of Sindh before elevation to the Chief Minister of Sindh in 2016.
Syed Nomanul Haq
Syed Nomanul Haq is a historian, noted especially for his contributions to the fields of Islamic history, philosophy, and literature in Muslim societies. General Editor of Oxford University Press’ Studies in Islamic Philosophy series, he is Professor of Comparative Liberal Studies at Habib University. A volume of the OUP series he edits has won the coveted Custodians of the Two Holy Mosques Award. Dr Haq has previously taught as a standing faculty member at Brown University, and also at the University of Pennsylvania, where he continues to hold a formal scholarly status. He was educated at University College, London, as well as Harvard University, and was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard’s Center for Middle Eastern Studies. Formerly a senior faculty member of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) and Advisor of the Social Sciences and Liberal Arts Program of the Institute of Business Administration (IBA) Karachi, he has been published widely by some of the world’s most prestigious publishers, his writings also appearing in ISI-indexed research journals. He is a contributor to the New Cambridge History of Islam, a six-volume work that was awarded the prestigious Waldo Leland Prize of the American Historical Association, and serves as Consulting Editor of Brill’s Journal of South Asian Intellectual History, and Senior Editor of the periodical Critical Muslim.
Syed Saif ur Rehman
Syed Saif ur Rehman is the current Commissioner, Karachi Metropolitan Corporation (KMC). He has served in all the provinces of Pakistan, as assistant commissioner, deputy commissioner and commissioner. He has served in federal and provincial secretariats as well. He has done his MBBS, and later an MSc in Health Policy & Management from the Aga Khan University. He was awarded the World Bank Scholarship and did his Master’s in Public Administration in Economic Policy Management from Columbia University. Presently, he is doing his PhD in Public Administration from the University of Karachi. Dr Saif shares a keen interest in public policy, urban development, healthcare management, and urban public health issues.
Syed Sardar Ali Shah
Syed Sardar Ali Shah is a Pakistani politician who is the current Provincial Minister of Sindh for Education, Culture, Tourism, and Antiquities, in office since 19 August 2018. He has been a member of the Provincial Assembly of Sindh since August 2018. Previously he was member of the Provincial Assembly of Sindh from May 2013 to May 2018 and served as Provincial Minister of Sindh for Culture, Tourism and Antiquities, and Archives between August 2016 and May 2018.
Syed Yasir Hussain
Syed Yasir Hussain Pakistani actor, screenwriter, playwright, and host, from Islamabad, best known for his comic roles. He hosted The After Moon Show on Hum TV and is also known for playing the antagonist in the social drama, Baandi. Hussain remains associated with Kopycats Production as they have produced some great plays for theatre, which were written by Anwar Maqsood such as Half Plate, Pawney 14 August, Sawa 14 August, and Siachen and the most popular Aangan Terrha in which Yasir Hussain played the role of Akbar which was originally played by late Saleem Nasir. Hussain made his Lollywood debut as Moti in the film Karachi Se Lahore (2015) written by himself and directed by Wajahat Rauf.
Taha Kehar is a journalist, novelist and editor based in Karachi. He has worked for The Express Tribune and The News and is the author of two novels: Typically Tanya and Of rift and rivalry.
A peace activist, Taimur Rehman, is Director Programmer, Shaoor Foundation for Education & Awareness. He has been very vocal about supporting minority rights and countering religious extremism and violent extremism. Taimur also holds the honour of speaking at the House of Lords in England, where he talked about inter-faith harmony. He is widely known and recognized as a Qasid (Messenger) and has been reviving the lost art-form of Urdu literature/poetry narrations since 2011. As a writer, his forte is narrative poetry and at present he is translating his Urdu poetry into English, as well as into Braille. Rehman performed with Iftikhar Arif in a tribute to Josh Malihabadi. He is working on a video series of tributes to such Urdu poets/writers as Mirza Ghalib, Jaun Elia, Gulzar, and others. Rehman believes in a peaceful Pakistan and is part of a nationwide campaign called AmnQalaab, promoting peace through literature and poetry.
Taimur Suri is presently Head of Department Media Sciences at SZABIST, Karachi. Prior to this he was Asst. Prof. at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture (IVSAA), teaching courses for the last decade on the History of Art and Visual Culture. Taimur has a Bachelor’s degree in History, English Literature and Economics from Karachi University followed by reading towards an M.Phil. in Islamic Art and Architecture (Oxon). Followed a decade in the travel industry during which he intermittently taught History of Art components at National College of Arts (Lahore) as visiting faculty. Since then he has written extensively in various publications about art and visual culture and held a number of workshops and continued education programmes at IVSAA and FOMMA.
Waheed Noor is a lawyer by profession and a former member of the managing committee of Karachi Bar Association. A social and human rights activist from Lyari, Karachi, he writes poetry in Urdu and in Balochi and is the author of Sukoot Bol Para.
Wendy Marijnissen is a documentary photographer, curator and author from Antwerp, Belgium..
In 2009, she traveled to Pakistan, focusing her camera on motherhood and daily life. She has documented women’s lives in Pakistan. She has especially focused on the hardships of pregnancy and childbirth.
In 2015, Ms Marijnissen returned to Pakistan twice to continue working and writing on what now is her first book Always the guest. A part of the proceeds from this book will go to the Koohi Goth Women’s hospital in Karachi.
Ms Marijnissen founded the non-profit organization Bending The Frame and currently is the artist in residence at the Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture in Karachi.
Wusat Ullah Khan
Wusat Ullah Khan is a senior journalist. A graduate of Karachi University in International Relations (1982–83) and a Diploma holder in Theatre Arts from the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA), Wusat has been a working journalist for the last thirty six years. He has been attached with the BBC Urdu Service since 1991 and covered the 2003 Iraq war from Baghdad, Cairo, Amman, and Istanbul. He was in Beirut during the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war in Lebanon. Wusat reported the 2004 and 2009 Lok Sabha elections while touring 13 states of India. He travelled extensively in the aftermath of the 2005 Pakistan earthquake. His work on the 2010 floods has been published as Sailab Diaries by the Pakistan Study Centre, University of Karachi. Wusat writes a weekly column Baat say Baat for the BBC Urdu Service (online/radio). He has produced documentaries for BBC Urdu TV and has also contributed a weekly column to the Daily Express, Pakistan. He is a co-host of the Dawn News daily talk show Zara Hut Kay.
Yasir Qazi is a radio broadcast journalist, poet, prose writer, researcher, and translator. He has been writing since childhood, carrying the legacy of his father—the celebrated Sindhi poet and scholar, Maqood Gul. Yasir is a regular columnist for newspapers and magazines. He has published three poetry books for children, all of which were awarded the Best Children’s Book of the Year by the Sindhi Language Authority, Government of Sindh and Institute of Sindhology. Yasir’s fourth book is a compilation of Sindhi essays, write-ups, and columns, written by various writers on Maqsood Gul and fifth book is the poetic biography of Lal Shahbaz Qalander, published in 2018 by Department of Culture, Government of Sindh, which is warmly received by the literary circles.
Zain Ahmed is the current Artistic Director of the NAPA Repertory Theatre at the National Academy of Performing Arts in Karachi. He is also the founder and director of the NAPA International Performing Arts Festival as well as other festivals like the Karachi Laughter Fest and the Young Directors Festival. He is currently supervising a community Dastangoi training project and a theatre training project at six universities in Karachi. He has been working as a director in the theatre and television for the last 20 years. His recent work on the stage includes Heer Ranjha, Raagni, Shakuntala, and Stumped.
Zarrar Khuhro is a current affairs commentator and analyst. He is the co-host of Zara Hut Kay, along with Mubashir Zaidi and Wusatullah Khan—a current affairs programme on Dawn News. He also writes a regular column for Dawn. Prior to joining the Dawn group, he was magazine editor for The Express Tribune. Khuhro has worked extensively in both print and electronic media.
Zehra Nigah is one of the foremost Urdu poets of Pakistan. She was one of two female poets to gain prominence in the 1950s, when the scene was dominated by men. Coming from a well-known literary and intellectual family, she counts Anwar Maqsood (writer, artist, and TV personality) and Fatima Suraiya Bajia (playwright) among her siblings. Nigah has three collections of poetry to her credit and recently an omnibus of her works has been published in Lahore. Her poetry is remarkable for its lyricism and engagement with social issues. She has received various awards at home and abroad in recognition of her work. She is also a scriptwriter of popular television serials and films.
Zia Mohyeddin is a legend in his lifetime. A man of many talents—his career spans acting, directing, writing, broadcasting, and a wide range of aesthetic disciplines. Born in Faisalabad, he graduated from Government College, Lahore. He later studied at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts in London and on his return to Pakistan, he produced, directed, and acted in numerous plays. Returning to London, he worked at the Guildford Repertory Theatre where he was picked up for the highly successful play A Passage to India. In 1970, he came to Pakistan and presented the now legendary Zia Mohyeddin Show on PTV. Later, he accepted the post of Director at the PIA Arts Academy. Returning to England again, he worked in stage plays and films but used television as his main medium, producing Here and Now, and Britain’s first Asian soap Family Pride in which he also starred. In 2005, Zia Mohyeddin set up the National Academy of Performing Arts (NAPA) in Karachi. He is also the author of three books: A Carrot is a Carrot Theatrics and The God of My Idolatry.
Zofeen T. Ebrahim
Zofeen T. Ebrahim is an independent journalist and currently the Pakistan editor for The Third Pole which is a multilingual platform dedicated to promoting information and discussion about the Himalayan watershed and the rivers that originate there. She has written extensively on development issues including climate change, water, energy, renewables, sanitation, health, women’s health, diseases etc., and how these impact our lives every day. She contributes regularly to national English dailies such as Dawn and The News as well as international media including the Inter Press Service, The Guardian, The Third Pole and Reuters etc.