LAHORE - Admirers of revolutionary poet Faiz Ahmad Faiz thronged the Lahore Arts Council Friday to see the exhibitions organised to reflect on the life and work of the great poet of sub-continent.

The first-day concluded with a play titled ‘Lo Phir Basant Aee’ by Ajoka Theatre. Based on traditional spring festival Basant, the drama was written by Ajoka Executive Director Shahid Nadeem.

Directed by Madeeha Gohar, the play portrayed the aftermaths of extremism and terrorism and took up the issues of censorship on textbooks and moral policing at campuses by religious extremists. The satirical show starred Arshad Durrani, Samina Butt, Usman Raaj, Nayab Faiza and Sohail Tariq and others. Shahid Nadeem was of the view that his organization believes in upholding cultural traditions and norms.

IA Rehman and Salima Hashmi jointly opened the 3rd Faiz International Festival. The Faiz Ghar Archives showcased photos on the life of Faiz titled ‘Kuch Ishq Kiya Kuch Kaam Kiya’. Artists representing Murree Museum also showed their skills. Faiz followers from other parts of the world also participated.

In the opening speech, Salima spoke about the revolutionary struggle of Faiz Ahmad Faiz. She also praised the organizers for holding such a festival, saying:“The festival is a perfect forum to spread the message of the legendary poet. 

Upholding the tradition, the festival comprises six exhibitions shedding light on various aspects of Faiz’s personality. Palestine architect Shatha Safi’s work titled ‘New Geography: Cultural Heritage in Rural Palestine’ was special feature of the festival on the first day.  Speaking to The Nation, she stressed the need for preserving the heritage.

Syed Shahabdullah Alamee, a young calligrapher from Balochistan, showed his skills of ‘Siyah Mashq’ technique. Shahabdullah said that he always had interest in the work of great poets of the East and often sought to use their poetry together with his work as an artist.

Literary legends like Zehra Nigah, Pran Nevile, Harris Khalique, Mustansar Hussain Tarar, Asghar Nadeem Syed, Musharraf Zaidi and Salman Rashid will be attending the event on Saturday and Sunday.

Filmmakers including Javed Sheikh, Sarmad Khoosat, Nabeel Qureshi, Jami and Bilal Sami would also show up while stars like Mahira Khan, Bushra Ansari, Samina Peerzada, Samiya Mumtaz and Irfan Khoosat would add colours to three-day ceremony. Musicians like Arif Lohar, Suraiya Multanikar, Jawad Ahmad, and Arshad Mahmud will also join the festival. Special events include the performance of a British singer. The detailed schedule can be downloaded from www.FaizFoundationTrust.org