LAHORE - The sixth edition Lahore Literary Festival (LLF) will start today at the Alhamra on The Mall. The two-day event is free for all. The surprise package of the literary festival is Emmy award winner Riz Ahmed, who will be joining a panel with famous author Mohsin Hamid. According to the LLF schedule, , the panel will be moderated by Shahid Zahid.

Talking to this scribe, Alhamra Executive Director Atta Muhammad Khan said: “LLF is all about celebrating the intellectual and creative vitality of this city. It has always been a treat for the people of Lahore to come and attend such a festival and get awareness about the rich culture of Pakistan,” he said.

Some of this year’s speakers include journalist and novelist David Ignatius, historian Audrey Truschke, Booker-winner Ben Okri, activist and urban theorist Arif Hasan; British-Pakistani food writer Sumayya Usmani, Iranian artist and curator Vali Malhouji, Urdu poet and scholar Iftikhar Husain, feminist poet Kishwar Naheed, Somali-British novelist Nadifa Mohamed, short-story writer and critic Aamer Hussein, award-winning Iraqi poet and novelist Sinan Antoon.

LLF 2018 will feature a keynote address from Dr. Azra Raza, Chan Soon-Shiong Professor of Medicine and Director of Myelodysplastic Syndrome Center at Columbia University. Raza coauthored Ghalib: Epistemologies of Elegance with author and Yale professor Sara Suleri.

Other LLF speakers in Lahore have included Tariq Ali, Vikram Seth, Tehmina Durrani, Joe Sacco, Abdullah Hussein, Kamila Shamsie, Hari Kunzru, Intizar Hussain, Sana Mir, Romila Thapar, Asma Jahangir, Michael Palin, Mira Nair, Teju Cole, Steve Coll, Ayesha Jalal, Margaret MacMillan, Rasheed Araeen, William Dalrymple, Peter Frankopan.