Faiqa Mansab launches new book

 A book by Faiqa Mansab titled ‘This House of Clay and Water’ was launched at Last Word on Thursday. People from all walks of life attended the launch and appreciated her work.  ‘This House of Clay and Water’ is the debut novel of Faiqa Mansab and Penguin India is its publisher. It explores the theme of love, betrayal and loss in the complex, changing society of today’s Pakistan.  Set in Lahore, This House of Clay and Water explores the lives of two women. Nida, intelligent and lonely, has married into an affluent political family and is desperately searching for some meaning in her existence; and impulsive, lovely Sasha, from the ordinary middle-class, who’s longing for designer labels and up market places, is so frantic that she willingly consorts with rich men who can provide all that. Nida and Sasha meet at the famous Data Sahib dargah and connect -- their need to understand why their worlds feel so alien and empty, bringing them together.  On her frequent visits to dargah, Nida also meets the gentle, flute playing hijra Bhanggi, who sits under a bargadh tree and yearns for acceptance and affection, but is invariably shunned. A friendship -- fragile, tentative and tender -- develops between the two but it flies in the face of all convention and cannot be allowed.  Talking to The Nation, Faiqa Mansab said, “Lahore has so many beautiful assets and I love writing about its culture and traditions. I feel we have a very rich heritage and we can find so many stories to tell that are not pandering to the West but have their own true stories and paces,” she said.–Faizan Javed

 Cultural conference concludes

 The second international conference on culture concludes here Thursday. The delegates from Australia, China, Japan, Nepal, Europe, Indonesia, US and Sri Lanka participated in the conference. The participants discussed at length new orders of cultural diversity, multicultural cities for sustainable development, according to a press release.  Inaugurating the conference, Education Minister Rana Mashhood said that the conference will provide opportunities to learn from each other and to cherish and preserve incredible heritage. He praised the the organizers for arranging the event in Lahore.  Peter Mousaferiadis, the conference chair, said that Pakistan has a lot to offer, specially its great historical cultural sites and hospitality. Similarly Activities will increase Tourism in Pakistan.  Rizwan Anwar, the organizing committee chief, said the purpose of such events is to engage and motivate young people in accepting cultural diversity and social cohesion to learn the art of living together and grow.  Maha Jamil, the chief organiser, stressed the need for promoting the inter-cultural dialogues among youth to resolve conflicts and build peace. The speakers included Aslam Dogar, Dr Rukhsana David from Kinnaird College, Mr Sohail Riaz Raja, Ayub Ghuri, Kamran Lashari, Abrarul Haq, Imran Saeed from Australian High Commission, Bilal MD of LWMC, Asjad Ghani, and Kanwal  Khalid, Dr Sughra Sadaf, Miss Paulina, Miss Sara Wilson, Bianca Goebel, Asfandyar Naseer, Muhammad Awais, Mehak Mushtaq, Maha Javed and Ayha Tauseef. The conference concluded with the remarks by Tamara Richardson from  Australia and Dr Rukhsana David declaring the resolutions to develop and empower the creative and cultural industries of Pakistan.  Along with the conference, the food festival is built around the idea of creating a common platform for all those who love food. From renowned and well-established eateries to local street vendors and exciting new ventures to celebrate the incredible diversity of food that Lahore has to offer.