Sunday, June 30, 2013

Brazil to be in limelight at Frankfurt Book Fair 2013

Pakistan News & Features Services

The Brazilian literature and arts will come under the spotlight at the world’s biggest book fair, which annually attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors in the western German city of Frankfurt.

The organisers have confirmed that Brazil will be taking centre stage at the Frankfurt Book Fair during this year’s edition, with 70 of its authors as well as artists and others expected to showcase the country’s literary and cultural traditions. It may be recalled that New Zealand was the guest of honour last year. 

“We want to show how culture feeds Brazilian life, especially when one sees what’s happening currently in Brazil,” Juergen Boos, Director, Frankfurt Book Fair, announced during a recent news conference, referring to a two-week wave of street protests in Brazil. 

Brazil’s organising committee head Renato Lessa said that there was a lot of expectation in the fair and that it was important for the country to trumpet its own language internationally.

“The authors selected to take part represent an excellent and vivid assortment. The current selection, although committed to giving a broad sense of the literary variety of the country, aims to show the link between Brazilian contemporary literary trends and the international ones,” he stated. 

The book fair, to be held from October 9 to 13, will also stage Brazilian concerts, exhibitions and demonstrations of street art, theatre and films. More than 7,300 exhibitors from 97 countries took part in last year’s five-day fair, which drew about 280,000 visitors. 

Brazil looks set to avail the opportunity by presenting the wealth, diversity and vibrancy of its cultural creativity. The country’s literature will now be accessible to more and more readers around the world.

Hong Kong Book Fair aims to attract one million visitors

Pakistan News & Features Services

The organisers of next month's annual Hong Kong Book Fair expect it to be the biggest yet, with a record number of exhibitors and varied line-up of authors from around the world scheduled to deliver talks. More than 560 exhibitors from 25 countries will take part in the event, which runs from July 17 to 23.

"We are hoping to have over a million people attend the fair this year," Benjamin Chau Kai-leung, Deputy Executive Director, Hong Kong Trade Development Council (HKTC), was quoted as saying. 

The HKTC has organised more than 400 events including seven seminars with such authors as Jung Chang, whose books Wild Swans: Three Daughters of China and biography Mao: The Unknown Story are banned on the mainland. Also due to talk is political scholar Wu Jiaxiang, a former official who was jailed for three years for his role in supporting Tiananmen Square students. 

Other writers include William Shawcross, the official biographer of the late Queen Mother; Erica Jong, the author of the novel Fear of Flying, which has sold 20 million copies; and Nury Vittachi, a Hong Kong-based journalist and author known for his comedic take on life in Asia.

"Hong Kong is a special platform. There is high tolerance and freedom of expression," Yau Lop-poon, editor-in-chief of the newsweekly Yazhou Zhoukan and a member of the advisory panel for the fair's activities, felt. 

Chau observed that the fair's patrons had been more receptive to a diversity of genres and writing styles than other fairs elsewhere in China, making it an irreplaceable platform for authors. 

There will be 16 pavilions at the fair, including ‘English Avenue’, ‘Children's Paradise’, ‘e-Books’ and ‘International Cultural Village’ among others. An art gallery will display photographs, novels, videos and other items of The Fat Years author Chan Koonchung and book covers of famous sci-fi writer Ni Kuang's Wisely series, in celebration of its 50th anniversary. 

Another attraction at the art gallery will be a 360-degree panoramic projection theatre that will display the Mogao Grottoes of Dunhuang in Gansu province. Tickets for the fair have gone on sale and can be purchased at HK Ticketing stations and designated 7-eleven and Circle K convenience stores.

Tehmina Durrani’s Happy Things in Sorrow Times launched in Islamabad

Pakistan News & Features Services

Tehmina Durrani, leading author and activist, launched her book titled ‘Happy Things in Sorrow Times’ in Islamabad on June 29. The book deliberates on the issues faced by Afghan children having suffered during the 35 years of conflicts.

The latest book of Tehmina Durrani, her fourth, has been published by Ferozsons. It’s her first book in 15 years, however. 

She has illustrated the book with 30 watercolour paintings based on her personal visits to refugee camps in both Afghanistan and Pakistan. 

“When the Soviet Union attacked Afghanistan in 1979, I had decided to write a book on it,” she revealed, hoping that the book would make an impact on the decision makers around the world. 

“Every one has to play his/her due role in the restoration of peace and be the voice for the voiceless women and children in Afghanistan. The world should not be more passive,” she felt. 

‘Happy Things in Sorrow Times’ was hailed by award-winning author Khaled Ahmed, who compared it to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, the Lewis Carroll classic. 

Analyst and Daily Times Editor, Rashed Rahman, observed that the journey of Tehmina was very tough, as she had highlighted brutalities, bloodshed and injustices with women and children. 

Ahmed Rashid, an authority on Afghanistan, and publisher Zaheer Salamat of Ferozsons also spoke on the occasion. 

Tehmina Durrani’s previous works include My Feudal Lord (1991); A Mirror to the Blind, an authorised biography of iconic social reformer Abdul Sattar Edhi published in 1995; and a novel Blasphemy, which was released in 1998. Her first book has been translated into 39 languages and sold in 72 countries. 

Tehmina Durrani is an acclaimed writer, advocate of women’s rights, and a role model of courage and resilience for women across the globe.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Dr Mubarak Ali showered with praise in Tareekh Ka Safar's launch

Pakistan News & Features Services

Noted historian Dr Mubarak Ali was showered with praise during the launching ceremony of his latest book ‘Tareekh Ka Safar’ held at the Pakistan Academy of Letters in Islamabad on June 28.

The internationally-acclaimed historian and intellectual was complimented for having narrated the various events shaping the history in Urdu language to reach out to the common man. 

Famous intellectual and writer Ashfaq Saleem Mirza, who presided over the session, acknowledged the efforts of the historian to speak up and write boldly against the status quo, tyranny and establishment. 

He commended the numerous books, publications and essays by Dr Mubarak Ali, emphasizing that the only way any writer left a mark in history was by writing extensively. 

The Director of the National College of the Arts, Rawalpindi campus, Nadeem Omar, shared his first meeting with the historian. He confessed having been was as much intrigued by the historian’s personality as his commitment to his work.

“Dr Mubarak took great interest in everything I had to say and it was really an experience I’ve never had since. The depth of his speech and his personality really inspired me,” he said. 

Nazir Mahmood considered Dr Mubarak as one of his kind in a country where people preferred take up more lucrative professions such as business administration, IT or medicine. He highlighted the historian’s commitment towards writing under military regimes without compromising on his principles. 

In his address, the historian urged the retired civil servants and army generals to publish their autobiographies to stifle the actual accounts of history. He encouraged the audience to read and analyse facts on their own. “History must be studied to acquire wisdom. Nations who have progressed read history and learn their lessons,” he pointed out.

ATP launches commemorative book No 1 at Wimbledon

Pakistan News & Features Services

The ATP has published a special commemorative coffee table book celebrating all year-end ATP World Tour No. 1s over the past 40 years, which was launched at Wimbledon on June 29.

The unique celebratory book, entitled ‘No. 1’, features exclusive interviews with No. 1s past and present, as well as never-seen-before photography over the past 40 years. 

Neil Harman, tennis correspondent of The Times, and Peter Bodo, senior writer for and Tennis magazine, are the main contributors to the book. 

From Ilie Nastase in 1973 to Novak Djokovic in 2012 the book features the inspirational stories of the accomplishments of the champions like Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, John McEnroe, Ivan Lendl, Mats Wilander, Stefan Edberg, Jim Courier, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi, Gustavo Kuerten,Lleyton Hewitt, Andy Roddick, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. The book provides a unique insight into the emotions and mind-set of the world’s greatest players as they battle to reach the summit of world tennis.

“It is incredible to be a part of this elite group, looking at the names who have ended the year as No. 1, the 16 since 1973, who have done so much for tennis on and off the court. I know how much effort it takes and how many people around the world compete for that place. Being the No. 1 is the pinnacle of all the ambitions of every player. This is the dream,” Novak Djokovic, the current World No. 1, remarked. 

“It is a huge deal to have achieved the things that my heroes, people like Stefan Edberg and Pete Sampras, did. To be a member of the list is truly humbling. World No. 1 doesn't just come to you, you have to go and get it and that's what I did! It took me a lot of great performances to get there,” Roger Federer, who spent a record 302 weeks as World No. 1, observed. 

“Being No. 1 is iconic; there are not a lot of us around. I was able to stay at the top for a long time and I am very proud of that. Every now and again I'll remind myself that I was the best and stayed the best. That is a pretty cool sensation,” Pete Sampras, who finished year-end No. 1 a record six consecutive seasons, noted.

UAE publishers promoted in Chicago

Pakistan News & Features Services

The Sharjah International Book Fair (SIBF) is participating at the 137th American Library Association (ALA) Annual Conference, which got underway in Chicago, USA, on June 27. The event will continue until July 2.

Acclaimed as the premier annual event bringing together professionals as well as individuals and organisations interested in the field of library and information sciences, the 2013 edition is being held under the theme, ‘Transforming Our Libraries, Ourselves’. 

The SIBF delegation, headed by its Director, Ahmed Al Ameri, is availing the opportunity to promote the upcoming 32nd edition of the Sharjah International Book Fair, due to take place from November 6 to 16 at the Expo Centre Sharjah. 

The delegation is conducting a series of meetings with library directors from across the US with the aim of inviting them to participate in SIBF 2013 and encouraging them to purchase publications participating in SIBF.

“Libraries perform a vital function in the cultural and intellectual development of any community. Not only are they depositories of knowledge, but even more importantly, they act as cultural resource centres where people can access information from across the world and thus expand their horizons. For this reason we are very excited to be taking part in this highly valuable conference and look forward to forging strong relationships with the library and information science sector, in line with the directives of His Highness Shaikh Dr Sultan bin Mohammed Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council and Ruler of Sharjah,” Ahmed Al Ameri was quoted as saying. 

He added that SIBF’s exhibition was displaying a number of books from Sharjah based publishers, including titles from Al Qasimi Publications, which specialises in publishing books, research articles, and studies by the Ruler of Sharjah in the fields of history, political geography and literature of the Gulf region, titles from the Department of Culture and Information, various titles from the award winning Sharjah-based Arabic children’s publisher, Kalimat, and publications from Emirates Publishers Association.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Bahrain’s Deputy Premier graces book launch ceremony

Pakistan News & Features Services 

Bahrain’s Deputy Premier, Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al-Khalifa, presided over the launch of the biography of late Ibrahim Humaidan in Manama on June 27.

The ceremony was held at the Arts Centre in the presence of Shura Council President, Deputy Premiers, ministers, the family of late Ibrahim Humaidan, social and cultural personalities. 

Deputy Premier Shaikh Mohammed bin Mubarak Al-Khalifa paid a heartfelt posthumous tribute to late Ibrahim Humaidan, commending his dedication in serving his country, sense of patriotic belonging and prolific achievements. 

He commended the book which documents the prolific life of late Ibrahim Humaidan who held key positions in ministries, government departments, public and private institutions.

Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari returns to USA

Pakistan News & Features Services

Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari, a legendary scholar and one of the pioneers of the profession of Library & Information Science in Pakistan, has returned to the United States of America (USA) after a three-month long stay in his home country.

Apart from presding over various seminars and LIS-related events in Karachi, where he spent most of his time, he also undertook a whirlwind tour of the upcountry region. 

He was warmly greeted at all the institutions he visited. Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari has had a meritorious record of academic and professional career and qualifications. 

He earned the scholastic degrees of MLIS from the University of Michigan, USA, MA in Economics from the University of Karachi and PhD from Century University, USA. 

He served as Reference and Readers Advisor at the US Information Centre, Karachi, before joining the University of Karachi as an Assistant Professor where he went on to become the Chairman of the LIS department. He also worked at the Umm Al-Qura University, Makkah, Saudi Arabia. 

Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari founded the Library Promotion Bureau (LPB) in 1966 to produce professional literature in LIS. He launched the Pakistan Library Bulltein in 1968 which was later renamed as the Pakistan Library & Information Science Journal which remains a premier quarterly journal of the country. Besides authoring a large number of books he is credited to have compiled the Pakistan Book Trade Directory in 1966. 

He relocated in the USA a few years ago but he has made a point to continue all the projects he had initiated which brings him to Pakistan regularly. He has lost none of his passion for scholastic activities and remains a perfect role model for the LIS professionals.

First Famous Facts of Muslim World provides wealth of information

Pakistan News & Features Services

First Famous Facts of Muslim World, published by the Library Promotion Bureau (LPB), and compiled by eminent library scientists, Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari and Prof Dr Rais Ahmed Samdani, offers wealth of information between the covers.

The book also contains contributions from Prof Dr Nasim Fatima, Afzaluddin, Ahtesham Qasim, Abdul Rab Siddiqui Jigar, Ghani-ul-Fareed Sabzwari, Javed Shaikh, Khalid Faheem Sabzwari, Dr Khadim Hussain Khamas, Mughees Samdani, Mohammad Owais Jaffery, Nadeem Sabzwari, Rafiuddin Siddiqui, Saima Aman, Suhail Jalil and Zubair Bin Umar. 

“The Muslims not only spread Islam in Asian, African, European and other countries of the world but they also introduced new techniques and methods in the various fields of human activities,” the compilers noted in the introduction to the 132-page book. 

“Great discoveries and inventions were made by the Muslims in Agriculture, Architecture, Arts, Aviation, Chemistry, Commerce, Engineering, Medicine, Milling, Military, Philosophy, Pottery and Sciences during their magnificent history,” they observed. 

“We searched in all possible reference sources to find out First Famous Facts of Muslim World in past and near present. We entertained our friends scholars’ suggestions with authentic sources,” they wrote. 

“We do not claim the publication to be complete or perfect as many information could still be missing. We invite friends and scholars to provide us their findings to be included in the next edition of the book,” they added. 

First Famous Facts of Muslim World is truly an international book with detailed information about the great personalities from all over the globe. A copy of the hardbound book is available for Rs 495 in Pakistan while it’s priced US$20 overseas.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Yale Publishing Course’s deadline fast approaching

Pakistan News & Features Services

It’s time for action as the deadline for submitting applications in the Yale Publishing Course 2013 is just round the corner. Those having not done it already now have the final 72 hours left to do the needful by June 7. As notified earlier, the enrollment is limited to 70 participants per programme.


The course of Leadership Strategies in Magazine & Digital Publishing is scheduled to held from July 14 to 19 and it will be followed by the course of Leadership Strategies in Book Publishing due to take place from July 21 to 26. 

The 2013 programme sessions will have discussion on hot topics such like ‘How to Edit a Brand: What the Job of a Magazine Editor Means Today’ to be presented by Cynthia Leive, Editor-in-Chief, Glamour. 

The Yale Publishing Course has been designed for mid and upper-level publishing professionals having the desire to advance in their careers and take on broader responsibilities.


The course is geared towards those working in book, magazine, and new media companies of all sizes, including organizations such as associations, non-profit and government agencies, museums, and corporations that publish print or online material. 

The professionals in all areas of publishing, editors, publishing directors, marketing managers, digital media specialists, and new business and content development managers, stand a chance of benefiting from the experience. 

Although a minimum of four years experience in the field is sought generally the participants have had more exposure than that. Under certain circumstances, an applicant with less experience could be granted admission at the discretion of the Director. 

The Yale Publishing Course has been acclaimed internationally as the publishing professionals from different regions of the world have been participating in it over the years.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Bazm-e-Akram lauds Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari

Pakistan News & Features Services

Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari, Founder President, Library Promotion Bureau (LPB), Karachi, and Founder Chief Editor, Pakistan Library and Information Science Journal (PLISJ), was showered with praise in the annual get-together of the Bazm-e-Akram at Liaquat National Library, Karachi, on June 1.

Having relocated in North America a few years ago, Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari has made a point of visiting Pakistan everywhere and he has been editing the PLISJ besides publishing the LPB books even from there. 

He has a massive fan following in the community of Library and Informative Science throughout Pakistan and he is considered a living legend of the field, having a lot of admirers abroad as well. The Bazm-e-Akram was founded in 1976 by a group of his former students whom he taught at the University of Karachi.

Prof Dr Nasim Fatima, a former Chairperson of the Department of Library and Information Science at the University of Karachi, has been the livewire of the forum. She was in the forefront once more in organizing the annual get-together with the proactive support of Dr Amna Khatoon and Dr Nasreen Shagufta, both of them being her former students who went on to become successful library scientists. 

Their organizational capability was reflected in the grand success of the get-together in which the hall was packed to capacity with the pupils of Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari. The programme was conducted by Abdul Samad Ansari in a lively manner. 

All the speakers lavishly praised their beloved teacher and they proudly recalled their cherished memories with him over the years. They vowed to keep his mission alive by following in his footsteps. 

Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari remained as modest as ever in his speech on the occasion. He advised his students to remember the services of the founders of the LIS movement in Pakistan like Prof Dr Abdul Moid instead of continuing to hold programmes in his honour. 

“Prof Dr Abdul Moid had founded the LIS department at the University of Karachi. His contributions to the field of library science need to be recalled again and again to inspire the modern generation. His accomplishments were far too many and we should not forget him,” he suggested. 

Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari expressed the hope that the new generation of LIS professionals will work with greater enthusiasm to keep pace with the advancements in the technology. 

“I strongly believe that we don’t lack talent. But we need guidance and leadership. Our library scientists are energetic and willing. Let’s strive to provide them the resources and the environment to let their talents unfold,” he concluded.

Bazm-e-Akram to be expanded beyond library scientists: Prof Dr Nasim Fatima

Pakistan News & Features Services

Prof Dr Nasim Fatima, a former Chairperson of the Department of Library and Information Science at the University of Karachi, has announced that the Bazm-e-Akram, founded initially by a group of dedicated library scientists, will now be expanded to include eminent persons from the various fields having an inclination towards the book culture.

Credited for having kept the group of like-minded library scientists intact for decades, she felt that it’s about time that the Bazm-e-Akram was transformed into worthwhile institution. 

“Whatever we could do with the meager resources at our disposal we have done it for the Bazm-e-Akram which is currently just a group of students taught by the legendary Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari. The feeling has now grown that we need to spread his mission,” Prof Dr Nasim Fatima observed during his speech in the annual get-together of the Bazm-e-Akram held at the Liaquat Memorial Library, Karachi, on June 1.

“We have managed to keep the mission of our beloved teacher alive by hosting get-togethers and bringing out a magazine yearly by the name of Adab-o-Kutub Khana which is a collection of poetic and prose contributions from the members of the Bazm-e-Akram,” she remarked, adding that the 2013 edition of Adab-o-Kutub Khana would be published in a few months time. 

She paid glowing tribute to Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari, Founder President, Library Promotion Bureau (LPB), Karachi, and Founder Chief Editor, Pakistan Library and Information Science Journal (PLISJ), for continued guidance and support to his large number of students in every possible manner. 

The Bazm-e-Akram, a forum named after Prof Dr Ghani-ul-Akram Sabzwari, was founded in 1976 with Adil Usmani being its Founder President. 

The Bazm-e-Akram has nearly 60 members which include Mohammad Wasil Usmani, Abdul Wahab Khan Saleem, Dr Rafia Ahmed Shaikh, Abdul Samad Ansari, Dr Rais Ahmed Samdani, Dr Mohammad Fazil Khan, Prof Dr Nasim Fatima, Dr Amna Khatoon, Dr Nasreen Shagufta, Zainuddin Siddiqui, Syed Abad Ali, Dr Khadim Khams, Dr Shafqat Mokhari, Rafia Hasan Abidi, Sibte Haider Naseeri, Noor Amrohvi, Huma Mannan Butt, Nazia Mukhtar, Hina Naz, Syed Ahmed Naqvi, Azra Qureshi, Ikram-ul-Haq, Fatima Hasni Khayal, Dr Nigar Sajjad Zaheer, Dr Moinuddin Aqeel, Dr Mughees Ahmed, Dr Shama Aziz, Jamaluddin Akhtar, Syed Ateeb Ahmed, Aamir Subhani, Saima Qadeer, Farzana Abbas, Syeda Najma Sultana, Naheed Jahan, Nuzhat Bano Siddiqui, Abida Sultana, Dr Shamshad Ahmed and Noor Mustafa Khan.