Saturday, June 30, 2012

Karachi International Book Fair 2012 to be held in early December

Jumbo Editorial Team 

The management of the Karachi International Book Fair (KIBF) has started its preparations for holding the eighth edition of the fair from December 6 to 10. This year as well the event will be organized by the Pakistan Publishers and Booksellers Association (PPBA) with the collaboration of the National Book Foundation (NBF), an organ of the Ministry of Education, Government of Pakistan.

It’s being envisaged that, like the previous years, the number of visitors at the KIBF will continue to register an upward trend and there would be longer queues of bookworms at the Karachi Expo Centre, housed in the centrally located and easily accessible Gulshan-e-Iqbal. 

From one hall in the inaugural year of 2005, the total covered area of the exhibition has increased manifolds and it has been spread over Halls 1, 2 & 3 of the spacious Karachi Expo Centre having ample space for parking inside its premises. 

The booking of stalls for the KIBF 2012 has already started with the early bird discount still on offer. The national exhibitors can save Rs 5,000 by paying for the stall by the deadline of September 15 while the international exhibitors can avail a discount of US $ 100 by making full payment before the same date.

The participation charges for standard size stall of three by three meters in the KIBF 2012 for the national exhibitors are Rs 43,000 while the foreign participants have to acquire it at a price of US $ 800. 

In order to facilitate and encourage the foreign as well as the outstation visitors, the KIBF has made arrangements for hotel accommodation at special rates. 

The KIBF, having become the premier book trade event, continues to grow and the organizers remain committed to incorporate changes to make it more inter-active and draw larger pool of bookworms residing in different parts of the metropolis.

Book launch highlights 10th PHL-Hispano Friendship Day celebration

Jumbo Editorial Team 

 ‘Komedya de Baler’, a theater troupe considered one of only six still active in the country, has been immortalized in a book tracing the rich history of theater in the Philippines.

Entitled “Komedya de Baler: A Celebration of Filipino-Hispano Culture,” was launched in Bailer, Aurora, as one of the highlights of the 10th Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day, marking the 113th anniversary of the Siege of Baler.’ National Artist for Literature Dr. Virgilio Almario led the ceremony, witnessed by the Angaras and nine ambassadors, led by Spanish Ambassador Jorge Domecq. 

The book featured interviews with surviving members of the original theater group from this capital town and its gradual evolution into a local community theater. Komedya de Baler portrays fight scenes, dialogues, colorful costumes and intimations. It is one of only six active komedia troupes in the country. The others include two in Parañaque, one each in Antique and Peñaranda in Nueva Ecija.

Sen. Edgardo Angara, who was hermano mayor for the cultural fiesta in 2008 that featured Komedya de Baler, said the next generation of Baler performing artists would get enough support and encouragement to continue performing the comedia. 

He said the Baler-based troupe had been recruiting and training young performers to make sure the tradition was kept alive and underwent a transition to the succeeding generations. 

The Philippine-Spanish Friendship Day has been celebrated annually since 2003. It gives due recognition of the day when then-President Emilio Aguinaldo acclaimed the gallantry and fidelity of the Spanish soldiers who besieged in the Baler Church in 1898. This town was the site of the historic siege, the last and one of the most significant episodes of the Philippine war of independence against Spain. 

Friday, June 29, 2012

The Great Game and Indus Valley launched in Islamabad

Jumbo Editorial Team 

'The Great Game and Indus Valley’ authored by Khadim Hussain Soomro was launched in a ceremony in the federal capital on June 27 which was organized by the Islamabad Cultural Forum.

“My endeavour has been to present the concept of a glorious motherland in the book. We are slaves because we have forgotten our moral values and disowned the motherland,” the author observed in his speech on the occasion. 

In his book ‘The Great Game and Indus Valley’ Khadim Soomro has showed the diversity of people in the Indus Valley. Noted writer and intellectual Ashfaq Saleem Mirza, in his remarks, described Khadim Hussain as a keen researcher.

He was lauded for carrying out research work with a missionary zeal, having proved himself an outstanding historian with a dozen books to his credit.

He was praised for doing a book on the Indus Valley, which has been one of the most talked about subjects with its ancient civilization catching the imagination.

“Most of Khadim’s books are confined to Sindh, but ‘The Great Game and Indus Valley’ is different having discussed the role of the people of the Indus and the Indus valley at the international level. He put the facts in front of his readers and leaves them to judge for themselves,” Ashfaq Mirza observed. 

Khadim Soomro is a political activist, social reformer, political historian and writer. He has authored 12 books, of which eight are in English, three in Urdu and one in Sindhi.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Katie Price’s In the Name of Love launched in London sensationally

Jumbo Editorial Team 

Katie Price’s eighth novel ‘In the Name of Love’ was launched rather sensationally in London on June 21 as she sat astride a rearing black horse to celebrate the moment. She wore a red and gold halterneck costume featuring a long layered train, which fell over the back of her horse, three-year-old Dante. 

With safety also at the back of her mind, she also wore some sturdy-looking shiny gold booths, and glittery red gloves. 

“Nearly ready for my press call which I'm really nervous about today as it is a stunt today and hope it goes well as its dangerous,” she had tweeted earlier in the day. 

The book follows a sports presenter, Charlie, who falls for Felipe, a Spanish horse rider tipped for a medal at the 2012 Olympics. 

Katie completed her look with a red headdress, and scarlet lipstick teamed with smoked-out eyes. 

She showed off her equestrian skills as she let the horse rear, creating a dramatic effect in front of the giant book poster. 

She has confessed that she would love to write steamier novels but feels restricted by her readership. 

'I'd like to do the sex scenes a bit more raunchier but I can't because of my fanbase. I'm quite happy how I do this but I'd like to do crime (fiction),” she remarked. 

'This book seems a coincidence but I had a really bad horse accident last year involving a vehicle and two horses died in my arms. At the beginning of the book there's a horse accident so that's really weird that I'd already done the book and it really did happen,” Katie revealed. 

The reality star said that the Spanish male lead was inspired by her Argentinian fiance Leandro Penna. 

'Charlie meets a Spanish guy and I've met a Spanish guy. But Felipe in the book could speak English but my one couldn't so it's not exactly right,' she added. 

When enquired about rumours about her appearance in a raunchy Argentine TV dance programme, the mother-of-three said: 'They have asked me to do it, I would like to do it but it's just trying to fit it in. You've got the kids' summer holidays coming up; I like to take them away. It's not up the road, it's like a 13-hour flight. I'd be doing it for fun, I wouldn't be taking it seriously. I'm not a dancer.'

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Legendary scholar Obaidullah Baig is no more

Jumbo Editorial Team 

Obaidullah Baig having become a household name in the 1970s with his regular appearance with Iftikhar Arif in the Pakistan Television’s famous quiz show Kasauti died of cancer in Karachi on June 22. He was 75.

Although he attained greater status later in his career as a writer and a documentary film maker, he was greatly admired and remembered for Kasauti, in which he teamed up with Ghazi Salahuddin and Quraish Pur in 1990s. 

He remained associated with the broadcast media for nearly half a century having worked for Pakistan Television and Radio Pakistan. He earned recognition for his documentaries too. He authored two books, Rajput and Insan Zinda Hai, and won the Pride of Performance award in 2008 for his achievements in the media. 

He is survived by his wife, Salma Baig, a television host, and three daughters, Maryam Baig, Fatima Baig and Amina Baig. 

Glowing tributes were paid to Obaidullah Baig in his lifetime and he has been showered with praise after his death which has been described as a colossal loss to the world of literature. 

“Obaidullah Baig was an institution. He had so many aspects that I can’t decide which one to speak about. I had a long association with him. He is renowned for Pakistan Television’s popular programme Kasauti but he has done a lot aside from this, which includes his two novels and documentary films and other literary work,” Ghazi Salahuddin, a veteran journalist and his long time friend, observed. 

“He had a scholarly tone in his speech which differentiated him from others. He used to work with zeal and solemnity and the good thing was that he transferred that spirit to others. He had multiple qualities which are difficult to find in a single person and “he will be remembered for a long time because of his work,” Prof Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, Vice Chancellor, Ziauddin University, noted. 

Karachi University's Vice Chancellor, Prof Dr Muhammad Qaiser, reckoned that the death of Obaidullah Baig has left a void in the literary and scholarly field which will be difficult to be filled.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Dr Farzana Shafique conducts workshop at Islamia University of Bahawalpur

Jumbo Editorial Team 

Dr Farzana Shafique, one of the shining stars in the field of Library and Information Science, who had successfully completed her Phd last year, was the resource person in the one-day training workshop organized by the Islamia University of Bahawalpur (IUB). 

The event was held on the special directives of the University’s Vice Chancellor, Prof Dr. Mohammad Mukhtar. 

The Quality Enhancement Cell of the IUB was entrusted with the responsibility of hold the one-day training workshop in the video conference room of main auditorium. 

The main objective of this workshop was to impart training about the application and methodology for improvement in the academic standards. 

Dr Farzana Shafique, Lecturer, Department of Library & Information Science at IUB and a HEC Approved PhD Supervisor besides being the Deputy Editor Journal of Social Sciences and Humanities, IUB, highlighted the roadmap for addition in academic standards, preparation of curriculum, provision of laboratories and computer and guidance of the students.

Similarly, lectures about the faculty and inter institutional collaboration and relevant matters were also delivered. 

The participating teachers from all campuses discussed various proposals about the enhancement in academic and research standards and also submitted relevant recommendation. 

The workshop participants expressed their gratitude to the IUB Vice Chancellor, Prof Dr Mohammad Mukhtar, for his patronage and support regarding the conduct of training programme and termed it a significant activity for the enhancement of educational standards. 

The enthusiastic response from the participants and their passion for such activities aimed at enhancing their skills would have certainly gladdened the hearts of the IUB Vice Chancellor and other members of the management board.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Versatile poet Afaq Siddiqui passes away

Jumbo Editorial Team 

 Prominent poet, writer, educationist and researcher, Professor Afaq Siddiqui, died in Karachi on June 17 after protracted illness. He was 84. His most famous literary work was the translation of ‘Shah Jo Rasalao’ from Sindhi to Urdu. He wrote more than 40 books, out of which 18 are in Sindhi. 

His literary work was highly appreciated throughout the country. In recognition of his literary works, he received various national and international awards, including Pride of Performance and Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai Excellence Award. 

He was also an eminent translator and critic. Being an Urdu writer he was equally conversant with Sindhi, Hindi and Persian and translated a number of books. 

He was hailed for having spread the philosophy and message of the great Sufi poet Hazrat Shah Abdul Latif Bhittai by translating his works in Urdu. He was known for his encyclopedic knowledge of Urdu and Sindhi literatures and for his heartfelt efforts in bringing the Sindhi and Urdu languages closer to each other. 

His services to Pakistan, particularly in education sector, were exemplary and were recognised at national and international level. His literary work is not only an asset for literary circles but next generations will get benefit from his untiring work. 

Professor Afaq Siddiqui, was born in Farrukhabad (UP), India, in 1928. He graduated from Aligarh. After partition he migrated to Pakistan and settled in Sukkur. 

He had a passion for teaching from childhood and he joined the education department of the Sindh government where he served in various academic positions of teaching. 

He learnt the language, customs and traditions of Sindh and became a bilingual writer. With his vast knowledge of Hindi and Persian, he translated many works of classical and contemporary writers into Urdu and Sindhi. 

In Sukkur, he noticed the dearth of educational facilities and thought of making some solid contribution to this field as well. He initiated an organisation called Muslim Educational Society which established 14 schools in the city and its suburbs from where people of average income benefited. 

After retirement, he settled in Karachi where he founded a literary organisation known as Urdu-Sindhi Adabi Foundation in order to publish works of writers who had no means of getting their works published.

HSRC Press books on Africa launched at Cape Town Book Fair

Jumbo Editorial Team 

A couple of books published by HSRC Press titled ‘Crisis! What Crisis?’ and ‘Capital Cities in Africa’ were launched during the recently concluded 6th Cape Town Book Fair 2012 in the beautiful South African city. 

‘Crisis! What Crisis?’ is edited by Sarah Chiumbu and Muchaparara Musemwa while ‘Capital Cities in Africa’ has been compiled by Simon Bekker and Göran Therborn. 

The launch comprised a panel discussion that addressed the essential issue of how one deals with scholarship of the continent: how to think and write about Africa. 

This central question was succinctly captured by HSRC Press’ Jeremy Wightman when he asked, “What modes of description and analytical frameworks are there to discuss the rapidly changing and uneven process of modernity?” 

The search for right language in which to communicate and talk about an emerging Africa in the post-colonial context was at the core of the discussion as it was deliberated to use the various languages to engage with the complexity of the continent in new ways. 

Wightman concluded his introduction, describing the two books as contributing to an “incisive collection of contemporary scholarship on the complexities of African cities post independence”, and welcomed the speakers for the evening, Brian Raftopoulos, contributor to Crisis! What Crisis?, and Simon Bekker, co-editor of Capital Cities in Africa and Professor of Sociology at Stellenbosch University.

The discussion between Raftopoulos and Bekker was chaired by Crain Soudien, Deputy Vice Chancellor of the University of Cape Town, who opened the debate by recognising that both collections “mark a shift from macro analysis to a micro, “bottom-up”, focus exploring forms of power emerging in daily interactions.” 

According to Soudien, both books engage with issues around cities, modernity and governance, exploring how one can identify the traces of our colonial past and examining how ordinary citizens are negotiating and navigating the circumstances of uneven modernity in which housing, formal employment and other benefits are not realisable by the majority of people. 

‘Capital Cities in Africa ‘is a collection of academic essays on the scholarship of Africa, an African publication by mostly African contributors while ‘Crisis! What Crisis?’ explores the multiple dimensions of the Zimbabwean issues.

Literature Laureate Rabindranath Tagore remembered on 151st birth anniversary

Jumbo Editorial Team 

A commercial Indian company set an example of sorts by launching a book titled 'Vandana' in order to pay tribute to Literature Laureate, Rabindranath Tagore, on his 151st birth anniversary in Kolkata. 

India Green Reality, a realty company which is into constructions and furnishing luxurious living spaces and providing amenities, organized the ceremony to give another dimension to the vastness of Tagore. 

The initiative of India Green Reality brought to light an archive of unrevealed possessions that are not only rare but also priceless. 

The collection also has a section which contains numerous diary pages replete with tributes to Tagore by eminent personalities of India from different fields of art and culture. 

Unveiled by veteran actor Soumitra Chatterjee, the book enumerates a rare collection of stamps, photographs and an unpublished letter written by Tagore to Late Amiyo Bagchi. It clearly revealed that the art of the Renaissance man still has certain unexplored territories, the unraveling of which would be a sheer delight to all art lovers.

The gathering included sisters Riya and Raima Sen, singer Kunal Ganjawala, June Banerjee and others. The audience was mesmerized by a splendid recital by Bratati Bandhopadhyay and a soulful rendition of Rabindrasangeet by Sraboni Sen. The event also witnessed a grand dance performance by actor Soumili Biswas. 

 Rabindranath Tagore, who was born in 1861, is credited to have reshaped his region's literature and music. He held the distinction of being the first non-European to win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1913. 

He wrote poetry as an eight-year-old and he was only 16 at the time of the release of his first substantial poems In translation his poetry was viewed as spiritual and mercurial, his seemingly mesmeric personality, flowing hair, and other-worldly dress earned him a huge reputation in the West. 

The legendary Tagore introduced new prose and verse forms and the use of colloquial language into Bengali literature, thereby freeing it from traditional models based on classical Sanskrit. He Tagore modernised Bengali art by spurning rigid classical forms and resisting linguistic strictures.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Fawzia Memon’s Bounties of Health throws light on gifts of Nature

Jumbo Editorial Team

Fawzia Memon has become a published author by writing a book on natural foods, their benefits and healthy cooking, appropriately titled ‘Bounties of Health’ which was launched in Islamabad recently. 

The 184-page book is divided into three sections. There is a wealth of information about vegetables, fruits, herbs and their benefits in the first section while the following one throws light on ailments and how to deal with them through a proper diet with the third section being cooking recipes. 

The book brings to light the fact that missing vegetables, fruit and herbs from daily food chart can be risky as key to good health lies in taking moderate diet that includes these precious gifts of nature besides white or red meat. 

Fawzia Memon, who is the wife of Nisar Memon, former Federal Information Minister, and the mother of Marvi Memon, a politician, has had a passion for cooking all along and she has kept herself busy by experimenting with various recipes.

“Fawzia is an excellent cook and if someone of you has missed tasting a recipe by her, he or she has missed a great experience in life,” Dr Sania Nishtar, a cardiologist and Founder of the Heartfield, remarked in the book launch ceremony. 

“Nutrition is the foundation on which health rests, and culinary skills the instrument through which that bedrock is founded. Exploiting a synergy between the two is an art, and by that measure, this book, a masterpiece,” she added. 

“The book is full of information about herbs, vegetables, fruit and other gifts of nature like honey. I have always found her serving guests with delicious food. It is amazing to see her energy and how she cooks a number of continental, Pakistani and Chinese recipes in a short time shuttling between the kitchen and the drawing room serving guests, talking to children, etc. Now she has brought out a book that is equally a surprise for me since I have never read such a useful book on the subject of healthy lifestyle and food therapy,” Dr Sania Nishtar declared.

Rotary Club of Islamabad Metropolitan launch Sadaf Raza’s Write Me in Red

Jumbo Editorial Team

Sadaf Raza’s latest poetry collection ‘Write Me in Red’ was launched by the Rotary Club of Islamabad Metropolitan in the federal capital on June 16. It turned out to be a lively interactive session attended largely by the fellow Rotarians. Quite a few dignitaries, former ambassadors and senior civil servants were also present on the occasion. 

The President of Rotary Club of Islamabad Metropolitan, Ambassador Sultan Hayat introduced the poet who is also a human rights activist besides being a Rotarian. ‘Write Me in Red’ is her second book after her maiden venture ‘Like a Sleepwalker’ which was published in 2003. 

She was credited for talking boldly about the issues that people in general were reluctant to talk about openly. 

Harris Khalique, an eminent writer and poet, praised the book observing that it literally flows and keeps the reader interested. 

“The haunting imagery and astounding similes capture the changing season of anguish in a woman’s life but then the tone of personal suffering blends with hues of universal pain on an ever-expanding canvas. The colours of her voice splash across the canvas of our being,” he observed. 

Sadaf Raza reckoned that her book was not only a literary piece but also an effort to reach out to the public on violence against women. 

She also said that its every woman’s right to live a life free of violence, and that womanhood needs to be celebrated. Later, she read and explained a few poems. 

Earlier, Ideas for Life Trust had organised a book signing ceremony with Sadaf Raza, author of ‘Write Me in Red,’ at the London Book Company in which a large number of people turned up to get their books signed by the author. 

Sadaf Raza recited some of her poems from the collection: “I was destined to be written in Red. It is the colour of my rage. It is the colour of my rebellion. It is the colour of my innocence. Red becomes me. It is their denial and my confession.” Also present on the occasion were the emerging music group, ‘Grey Mist’ who composed selected poems from the collection, and performed live.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

NED Alumni appreciate Aquila Ismail’s Of Martyrs and Marigolds

Jumbo Editorial Team

It was in the fitness of things that the Alumni Association of the NED University of Engineering & Technology, Karachi, played its role in the promotion of Engr Aquila Ismail’s latest book ‘Of Martyrs and Marigolds’ by dedicating its June Seminar programme to one of the former Associate Professors of the Electrical Engineering department.  
Engr Aquila, who graduated as an electrical engineer in 1975 before taking up the profession of teaching at her own Alma Mater, has also been a prolific writer and a published author.

She has written extensively in Pakistani newspapers and magazines on women's issues and about the development concerns of Karachi. Her published non-fiction works include articles on Orangi Pilot Project (OPP), Urban Resource Center (URC) and the Micro Credit Program of the Orangi Charitable Trust.

June’s NEDAA Seminar was entirely devoted to promoting her book ‘Of Martyrs and Marigolds’ which is a fictional tale that vividly narrates the travails and travesties experienced by the Urdu Speaking population of East Pakistan during the 1971 Civil War and after the subsequent creation of Bangladesh. During her talk Aquila deplored the plight of the many Urdu speaking former East Pakistanis who are still living the life of homeless and country-less people in the many refugee camps of Bangladesh and their status remains unchanged from 1971 with very little being done to either compensate their losses or improve their welfare.  

Many of the attendees who had also formerly lived in East Pakistan were readily able to relate with the story of the book and enriched the discussion with their lively input about their own experiences during this sad and dark time in the history of Pakistan.

They were deeply impressed by Aquila's sincere commitment to disseminate the story of the plight of the disenfranchised Urdu speaking refugees of Bangladesh. In spite of the sinister and sanguine nature of the subject matter the story does have a thinly veiled romance that wafts thru the book like the sweet aroma of raat ki rani flower, ever so gently touching our senses, as it drifts in the darkness of the surreal night. Rumi, a fellow student at Dacca University becomes friends with Suri, who is the narrator of the events in the book. Suri is soon charmed by his gentleness and dreamy eyes and before their love could fully blossom the Civil War erupts.  

Rumi plays a key role in protecting her family from harm during the War and helps them succeed in getting out of the country to safety.

Though the book does not have a romantic ending Aquila's own story does. After the dust of war settled, Rumi returned as Masood, to Karachi to marry his college love. A marriage of an Urdu speaking East Pakistani and a Bengali from the country that drove her family out.  

The Philadelphia-based Dr Shahid Ahmed, who was one year junior to Aquila Ismail at the NED besides being her neighbour in East Pakistan, has been passionately promoting the book, having taken upon the responsibility to sell its 3000 copies.

‘Of Martyrs and Marigolds’ is available from for $10.99 but those living in the NY,NJ and PA areas could to get it directly from Dr Shahid Ahmed.