Adeel Hashmi is one of the most popular and well known young director, Actor and model in the world of media in Pakistan. He has been writing, acting, anchoring and directing for and on Television for the past 10 years. His dramas are not only trend setters in every way but are hugely popular both with Pakistani audiences and abroad. His style of writing is both funny and most thought provoking. His comments on social issues are focused without being offensive. Adeel Hashmi is one of the most popular and well known young directors in the world of media in Pakistan. Adeel's sense of humor, his inclination towards literature & reading and family background, all insisted him to be an ambassador of Children's Literature Festival
Amra Alam has authored over eighty story books in Urdu for children of all ages. She has also written and translated numerous stories for publication in India, many of which have been further translated into various regional languages.
Amra was the founder and Chief Editor of Suntra; a magazine for children in Urdu, published from 2006 to 2012.
Presently she is working as Editor of Uran Tashtaree, The Flying Saucer. This Magazine is published from the platform of Children’s Literature Festival, which is a joint venture of Idara-e –Taleem-o-Agahi and Oxford University Press.
Arfa Sayeda Zehra
Arfa Sayeda Zehra has been a Professor for over forty years and has been intimately associated with issues dealing with women‟s education and empowerment. She continues to teach as visiting faculty. Presently, Dr. Arfa serves as Chair of the National Commission on the Status of Women, Government of Pakistan. This puts her at the center of discussions about socio-cultural issues in national and international policies that focus on the empowerment of women. Dr. Zehra got her doctorate in History from the University of Hawaii in 1983 and was a fellow at the East-West Center between 1978 and 1983. She is a member of the Law and Justice Commission of Pakistan, a Federal Government institution, established under an Ordinance (XIV) of 1979. The Commission is headed by the Chief Justice of Pakistan and comprises 12 other members.
Asif Farrukhi is a literary critic, translator, and fiction writer. He has translated widely from English into Urdu and vice versa and has edited and compiled many anthologies of the writings of Pakistani authors. He also writes on literature for Dawn and other newspapers and periodicals. Asif has published six collections of short stories and two collections of literary criticisms. He is currently editing and publishing a literary miscellany in Urdu called Duniyazad. He has been awarded the Tamgha-e-Imtiaz for his literary contributions.
Asma Mundrawala is a visual artist and theatre practitioner with a PhD from the University of Sussex UK. She is Associate Professor in the Department of Fine Art at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture in Karachi. Asma is the director and sound designer for Zambeel Dramatic Readings.
Atif Badar is primarily an actor with a wide experience. From stage, voice-overs, mini screen to a film, he has worked extensively. He started his career in 1993 as a theatre actor and worked in numerous plays with notable directors. Currently he is working in three reputed schools of Karachi as a theatre and creative movement teacher. He has written, directed, and developed concepts of over 50 short plays, etc. and has also conducted theatre workshops at the Aga Khan Medical University enhancing communications skills of medical students with their patients.
Ayesha Omer is an artist and scholar based in Karachi. At the CLF, she will be telling stories in English. She trained in Arts Politics at the Tisch School of Art, New York University, after receiving a degree in Political Science from Davidson College, U.S.A. She teaches Cultural Studies and Arts Politics at the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture. Her art practice is collaborative and cross-cultural. Currently, she is working with artist Fahad Naveed Zahidi on "Love Letters to Karachi" (2012 - present): a community-based letter-writing and performance project. "Where's My Revolution?" (2011 - present) is a response to social movements in Pakistan and around the world that aims to facilitate collaborative, cross-cultural art projects that build solidarity among activists and artists.
Baela Raza Jamil
Baela Raza Jamil is the Director Programs for the Idara-e-Taleem-o-Aagahi (ITA), Center for Education and Consciousness (CEC). Baela, a former technical advisor to the Federal Ministry of Education is an activist at heart, leading and associated with many social movements in Pakistan; these include the largest citizen led learning accountability initiative ASER Pakistan, Right to Education and the Children’s/Teachers’ Literature Festival . She is on the boards of many government, academic and civil society organizations in Pakistan and on the Advisory Boards of the Global Monitoring Report (GMR), Learning Assessment at the UNESCO Institute of Statistics (UIS) and Global Business Coalition for Education. Baela is a member of regional and international professional associations such as BAICE, CIES, SAFED, ARNEC & ASBAE
Batool Nasir is currently the Manager Museum and Archives at Oxford University Press. Over 15 years of hands on practical experience in graphic/publishing design. Fully conversant with all major design development software including Adobe Creative Suite. Highly skilled professional photographer. Considerably well read in Design for publishing, both in print and on web, and the use of art as a marketing tool. Excellent communication skills, oral and written in English and Urdu.
History of attending events ranging from workshops, conferences, seminars, lectures to courses on Design in Publishing, Marketing, Sales, Communication Arts, Photography, and Audio-Visual Materials Production.
Fauzia Aziz Minallah is an Islamabad based writer/ illustrator of Children's books. She is the creator of cartoon character Amai, the bird of light. She is the author of followings:
-> Amai's Wish
-> Sadako's Prayer
-> Children of Light.
Her book Sadako's Prayer is published in Japanese, Dari, Urdu and English and is the winner of Hiroshima citizen's Award as well as the Ron Kovic Peace Prize. She is founder of Funkor Child art Centre that promotes Children's art and book reading and distributes picture books free of charge among children in crisis.
Dr Hamida Khuhro is a renowned historian and public figure. She was educated at the Universities of Karachi, Cambridge, London, and Oxford. She taught at the Universities of Karachi, Oxford and, lastly, Sindh, where she was Professor of History. She left to concentrate on writing and politics, and has twice served as Minister for Education and Literacy, Government of Sindh. She has led a number of delegations abroad, and served on political, academic, and government committees. She has published various books including The Making of Modern Sindh, Mohammad Ayub Khuhro: Life of Courage in Politics, and was an editor of Sindh through the Centuries and Papers of the Separation of Sind from Bombay Presidency.
Haseena Moin is a Pakistani dramatist, playwright and scriptwriter. She has written several plays for stage, radio and television, some of which have even gained international repute. She is the recipient of the Pride of Performance award for her services to the performing arts in Pakistan. She wrote Pakistan's first original script 'Kiran Kahani' aired in early 70's. Before this, PTV relied on novel-based scripts for dramas. She is considered to be the best playwright and dramatist Pakistan has ever witnessed.
Some of the most popular dramas she wrote that gained international repute include Ankahi, Tanhaiyaan, Kiran Kahani, Dhoop Kinaray, Aahat, Uncle Urfi, Shehzori, Kohar, Des Pardes, Pal Do Pal, Aansoo, Kasak, Parchaiyan and Parosi. Other notable works include Mere Dard ko Jo Zuban Milay, Kaisa Yeh Junoon, Dhundle Raaste, Shayad ke Bahar Aaye, Mohim Joo, Tum Se Mil Kar,Bandish and Zer Zabar Paish. It appears strange that with such a success following even greater success on the TV screen, Moin didn't branch out into other literary forms like novels or short stories which are such a popular genre among Urdu fiction writers.
Imrana Maqsood is a writer and a teacher. She has taught primary children for 8 years in PAF School and Foundation Public. She has taught Urdu to A Level students for two years and has written almost 24 books of supplementry reading at OUP and Six supplementry readind books at Ferozsons. Out of these three books have won Presidet best book award.and she has also written many TV serials and long plays. One book of Maqsood, Karachi Halwa aur Badaun ke Payre for adults made a record sale.
Khaled Anam is a popular Pakistani TV artist as well as a musician and singer. He has an opinion on everything and he doesn’t shy away from speaking his mind. He is passionate about children. In fact, he is passionate about quite a few things: politics, music, parenting, environment, education.
His music album ‘Ray’ Say Rail Chali is geared towards children between the ages of five through 10. Abroad, children’s educational music and programming has been popular since the ’80s, just the way it was in Pakistan back in the day. However, after the likes of Sohail Rana, not much work has been carried out in this genre for a decade or so. Khaled, who has been at the forefront of children’s music and was even involved in the Urdu version of Sesame Street, called Open Sesame, has introduced his album hoping to bridge the gap between then and now. He has been in the Pakistani media industry for over two decades, so it can easily be said that he is one of the experienced heads
Khursheed Hyder is a feature Writer at Dawn Group of Newspapers since the past 6 years.
Mahvash Faruqi is an educator with a background in theatre for the past eighteen years. She has performed in numerous theatre productions, attended workshops conducted by eminent theatre directors and has toured internationally and within Pakistan. Mahvash is a lead performer and co founder of Zambeel Dramatic readings.
Peter Jacob studied Law, Rural Development and Political Science. He has been part of several studies and researches including; 'Working Conditions of Agricultural Labour in Punjab' Published 2001, 'Life on the Margins' a qualitative and quantitative study on the minority women in Punjab and Sindh, published 2012 and 'Taleem Ya Nafrat Ki Abyari' a study that identified hate material in Text Books used in Punjab and Sindh (2012).
He has been active in many social movements including; the campiagn for abolition of Separate Electorate system and Labour Rights. He has been associated with the Natrional Commission for Justice and Peace for past 25 years and currently the Executive Director of the organization.
The idea of Toffee TV stems from arduous hours of searching Urdu stories and songs for children similar to that of Cassette Kahani. As the search continues, a sad realization has set in, that our heritage has simply not been captured in the realm of providing our children with the opportunity of learning the Urdu language through imagination. We are uploading these treasures through YouTube, a public resource, to promote the Urdu language. Content on this site is free as our way of sharing our heritage as widely as possible. The stories and songs you will at Toffee TV are an attempt to help, inspire and change in learning language. We love listening to stories and even more, sharing them. Most of these stories have been located in ragged books found in old book bazaars of Karachi, interpreted and transformed in digitized mode to share them with the online world. ToffeeTV.com is run by Talea Zafar (Chief Illustrator) and Rabia Garib (Chief Wrapper)
Rumana Husain co-founder of the Book group in 1988, focusing on children‟s Urdu language books. She has written and illustrated over 40 children‟s books and numerous teacher‟s manuals for the Book group, Oxford University Press, the Education Research and Development Centre (ERDC) and for Peak Publications. She has conducted a number of teacher-training workshops in Pakistan. In October 2010 she was invited to attend a children‟s book festival in South Korea as an illustrator for a Peace Story book, an anthology with 22 stories from around the world. She is the author of the book „Karachi wala: a subcontinent within a city’ -a coffee-table book about Karachi‟s communities, and is a co-founder and Senior Editor of Nukta Art, a biannual (international) magazine for contemporary arts published since 2005. From 2001 to 2008 she worked as Head, Activist and Outreach of an NGO, the Children’s Museum for Peace and Human Rights (CMPHR). From 1986 to 1996 she was Headmistress of the junior section of The C.A.S School, and later as the senior school‟s Vice Principal. She has taught art, environmental studies and illustrations at the Karachi Grammar School, The C.A.S School, and the Indus Valley School of Art & Architecture respectively. She is the founding editor of AYE Karachi! - A bilingual quarterly city guide and features magazine.
Educationist Shaha Jamshed has been a Teacher for almost 25 years. She is a Director of the Heritage Foundation and Principal of Hampton School, Karachi. Enthusiastic about writing for children, she has recently written a reading series for the under-privileged schools in Sindh as part of the Heritage Foundation’s Parho Pakistan project. With a diversified experience in training, coordination and communications, she believes in encouraging people to build libraries at home.
After completing her Masters in English Literature she joined NAPA for Direction. She has worked as a lighting designer for some esteemed directors. She has directed plays for the Academy and commercially as well. She has received Pakistan Media Award 2013 for Best Theatre Category.She has done certification in Lighting Design and Pre-visualization from SILV, USA and earned a ‘Seal of Qualification’ from the same institute. Currently she is actively involved with NAPA in teaching and management capacities.
Zeerak Ahmed is a mixed media artist and singer. She started training with Ustaad Rauf Sami eight years ago. After graduating in Studio Art from Hiram College, OH, she moved back to Karachi where she currently works on art and music.
Zehra Nigah is one of the foremost Urdu poets of Pakistan. She was one of two female poets to gain prominence in the 1950s, when the scene was dominated by men. Coming from a well-known literary and intellectual family, she counts the writer, artist, and TV personality Anwar Maqsood and play writer Fatima Suraiya Bajia among her siblings. Nigah has three collections of poetry to her credit and recently a collected edition of her poems is published in Lahore. Her poetry is remarkable for its lyricism and engagement with social issues. She has received various awards at home and abroad in recognition of her work. She is also a scriptwriter of several popular television serials and films
Zubaida Jalal Khan
Zubaida Jalal Khan pursued her early education in Quetta, and then completed her Masters degree in English Literature from the University of Balochistan. After completing her education, she became an active social worker, and participated in a number of ‘family planning’ programmes, creating awareness among illiterate people. In 1982, she established a Girls Primary School in her native town of Mand, in the Kech District of Balochistan. Based on her work, she was appointed ‘Federal Minister for Education’ by President General Pervez Musharraf. Her work has been highly commended, and she has won a number of awards over the years which include the ‘Pride of Performance’ presidential award for education in 1993, and a gold medal from Balochistan National Foundation for Education in 1998.