It was a most rewarding experience for me to participate in this unique experience....it was almost like picking choice jewels out of the treasure trove that was CLF, the speakers, organizers and the children...all. My sessions were workshops with children 13 years plus, motivating them to speak publicly without fear and self consciousness with wit, humour and poetry... It was incredible what they gave me back. Our young people are hungry to be engaged,for truths to be spoken and for their dreams to be acknowledged and guided towards realization. I am proud to be a part of the process of their self actualization and always available to CLF for this purpose.
Dear Baela and Ameena, Kudos to you and your teams, and for all those who were associated in the not-so-easy task of putting together this recent CLF! Simply amazing achievement!
The pleasure, interest, energy and engagement of all the children, from ages 1 year to 80+, was a testimony of what this 'good virus' is capable of doing. It is moving forward with electric speed and it is making people realise that books - those humble paper 'things' printed with ink and colour - can turn around their world if they let themselves get infected with it.
I admit that i was very tired, but I absolutely love being a part of the CLF, and want to continue to travel with this caravan, going from one city to another, gaining more and more momentum and recognition, as it is one of the best things that has happened to me in my personal journey of working for/with children.
Well, all of you at ITA and OUP and OSF must be congratulated for an excellent work. The new concept intiated by ITA is catching on rapidly. Children find resonance in it. Where else would they get such moments of joy in learning? Baela, hats off to you.
Dr. Taimur Rehman
I also want to express my feelings about the wonderful work for children that is being carried out by the CLF. Its like a breadth of fresh air in a desert. Hats off to the entire team and especially to Baela Raza Jamil and Ameena Saiyid for organizing a remarkable remarkable series of events for children. It is an honour to be a part of CLF.
Dr. Aarfa Syeda Zehra
What a thrilling experience it was. This is a great step in building bridges and bringing the walls down.It was such a pleasure and honour to be a part of it. Congratulations for the great success.
Im proud and honored to be an ambassador for the Childrens Lit Fest ... its truly a phenomenal event and each year reaches further and wider to indiscriminately bring learning creatively, art, literature and the power of the written word to kids, parents and educationists all over Pakistan. Ye Cheez! Ameena Saiyid Baela Raza Jamil and your team of super heroes you guys pulled off MAGIC :) Salutes!
My trip to Islamabad in the past have been frequent;be there for meeting up with the family and friends or for standing for hours at the window of a visa issuing officer. The experiences of this trip, though,were extra-ordinarily unique. Set against the backdrop of Margallah hills was a festival that took ones breath away because of its colors and energy.... Yes I am talking about the 6th Children's literature Festival which was celebrated on 24th and 25 of may. Set in Pak China Friendship house, this festival came to life through the untiring efforts of ITA and OUP.. One got to see the varied authors and children's authors as well as the artists, singers puppet shows music concerts under one roof. A different activity whichever may one, would add up to the energy of the festival.. Story telling sessions in one area, pop groups in another. A book launch in one hall, visiting school children experimenting with arts and crafts in another. Eager minds, inquisitive eyes, love for learning was all around us. It is a source of pride for me to be a part of a festival like this, one which was specifically for the children, who are the future of Pakistan. Thousands of children brought their families and each and every one of them has a hand in making this festival such a success.
Many thanks Maham Ali. Will love to design similar festivals at village and tehsil level.The series of these festivals and the ones for adults reinforced my trust in Pakistan. Last night I reflected on these significant events and my observations on these festivals and the role they play in mending the distorted image of Pakistan. My reflections were published by US based think tank for international readers. Here I could only share the link for the concerned people in this email list. Please do read and share. The organisers ITA, OUP, Open Society Foundation Institute duly recognised. www.sharnoffsglobalviews.com/pakistan-people-081/
Thankyou. shukria ,,for making me feel ten feet tall! I came away on a great high, in fact overflowing . You truly represent the emerging change ,the hope for the present and future.It is an established fact now and undeniable that the power of literature is being unlocked. The venue spaces were resonating with energy and the desire for students to participate in every activity. Even our 7 year old student, were bursting to be given an opportunity to speak in Bol key Lab azad hain terey In the sessions which I attended and conducted, I heard children ask authentic questions as, why do our teachers make us do rote learning? Why can,t we have more opportunities to participate in such events? why are our leaders so corrupt? However for me ,what was truly great is , AIK HE SAF MAIN KLHARA KIYA HAR BACHA PAKISTAN KA. While the debate continues , about how one system of education should be developed for all Pakistani children, ITA and its partners OUP and OSF have credibly demonstrated,how its doable through a literature festival. Its been a pleasure to work with all of you and your teams and the volunteers did a fantastic job. Welldone Maham!,and the whole team led by the standard bearer Baela. Heartfully(meaning from the heart and with an overflowing heart
Thanks. It was great to be a part of this exciting initiative. Thoroughly enjoyed the sessions. All sessions were very well planned. I was involved with five sessions but my most exciting session was with kids of a schools where we composed little poems. I plan to write about this memorable experience:) Thanks OUP, ITA and other organizers. A special vote of thanks to Baela Jamil and Amina Syed for leading the movement.
Thank you OUP thank you ITA..Thank you for making me a part of this wonderful experience
Thank you Maham, Baela and the entire team at CLF for arranging a spectacular event. We loved attending other sessions and teaching young kids digital security was a great experience, thank you for the opportunity. Was overwhelming to witness kids all excited about an event that was specially set up for them, some of them taking to different parts of the building and doing their own un-conferences, we really need more of this. It was truly heartening to see all the hard work being put in to give children a day off to read,speak, listen and share!Special thanks to Maham for managing everything so well and for taking care of all the last minute requests. Can't wait to attend another CLF.
Thank you very much for inviting SEF at the CLF in Islamabad. It was a wonderful experience to meet so many participants especially the children. ITA, OUP and OSI deserve special acknowledgement for this wonderful initiative. I do not want to miss this opportunity to mention that the enthusiasm and commitment shown by the young team of volunteers was the real impetus behind the success of this memorable event. Hats of to you guys. You can make anything possible.
Thank you Maham, Baela Khala, Ameena Apa, Mahru and all the brilliant volunteers and the entire team that put the CLF together this year. Through sheer hard work, perseverance and grti you guys ahve made this a festival a major event which forces the state and sponsors alke to take Childrens literacy more seriously. Each festival grows stronger and is a wonderful step forward. What was amazing was the energy of the kids, their willingness to participate in all the excitement, to listen, and that their was no discrimination, class & ethnic, boundaries all blurred as ALL kids from all over Pakistan came together under one roof to read, color, play, jump, dance, paint, sing LEARN, grow. Its radical and amazing! Im proud & so deeply honored to be a part of it. Also have to biasly and proudly admit Sanjan Nagar ROCKED :) Group HUG NJ
Thanks Baela, all organizers, speakers and participants,It was exciting and productive being at CLF, though for short time. Please keep up the good work.
Dear Ameena, Baela, Nargis,How wonderful it is to be smiling still! It was a joy to be at the CLF, to share the excitement in the air and to come back with beautiful memories and the Conference memorabilia. Will continue to enjoy both. Thank you for a special event.
Shayan Poppy Afzal Khan
Dear Maham, and all the organisers of the CLF,Congratulations on having held a fantastic event, a really very welcome addition to the Islamabad calendar. I know first hand just how much organising goes into doing something of this scale, and given the circumstances, Maham, you and your team deserve all the accolades you are receiving from all the participants. What was especially commendable was the number of children that you managed to pull in, and it was an absolute delight to see so many young people benefit from the sessions and all the entertainment your team had laid out for them. As we all know, our kids are starved of opportunities for engaged learning, and good old fashioned fun. Thank you ITA and OUP and everyone else for having given us all this opportunity.
This is the first time that Kuch Khaas took part in the CLF, and we were honoured to have been part of it. Kuch Khaas looks forward to working together in the future, and would be delighted to help further your cause in any way that we can.
Saima Asghar Riaz
Dear Baela Ji, Maham and the whole team of CLF Thank you for a brilliant event! It was a pleasure to witness the boundless energy and enthusiasm of so many children and parents towards books and creativity. I thoroughly enjoyed conducting the reading session for kids and never cease to be impressed by the creative potential our children have. They constructed amazing endings to a partially read out story...what did alarm me though was the propensity of most of them, particularly boys, to chose a solution to a conflict though violence! I guess a reflection of the sad state of affairs around them. I hope more exposure to events like the CLF will serve to instill more hope and positivity in our future generation. Thank you also for giving Anusha, barely 11 years old, the opportunity to talk about her manuscript which she is hoping to publish soon. It was a great confidence booster for her and the chance to meet other budding authors was extremely encouraging. Kudos to the whole team for the concept and your amazing efforts. Perhaps given the amount of participants and activities you should extend the event to three days in lahore? I look forward to being part of future events also!
Thank you Maham, Baela, Ameena and all the organizing team of CLF and of course the very energetic volunteers, for providing the children of Islamabad this wonderful opportunity. It was heartening to see thousands of children all charged up and excited --- keen to participate in almost everything. It was also a great experience for me to see so many children from various schools (between the ages 5-11) gel so beautifully together in my session ' The Art of Literary Creativity '. It was amazing how enthusiastically they interacted in creating a story, where ideas floated freely and language was no barrier........ It was a pleasure for me to be part of the CLF. Congratulations ITA and OUP on this tremendous success ! Best wishes, Sarwat Mohiuddin
Thank you for inviting me to the CLF! I had a great time and everything was just simply amazing! I really hope it happens again. I loved sharing my experience about writing and was really happy to meet other children like me who write also. It's really great that so many people came to this event and that people can express what they feel about reading and writing. Thanks again!
Wajiha - (Student / Participant at CLF ISB 2013)
I am wajiha a student of O' levels. I am from Peshawar and I attended this today with my teachers and it was sooooooooo much fun especially the performance of the band “Laal” I mean they ROCK and I really wish to meet them again :) I love them and I am already missing the trip ;c it was fun fun fun and everything about it was so gOod there was not a single bad thing and I really wanna say it that "ISLAMAABAD ROoCKS"
Iram Moazzam (Participant - CLF ISB 2013)
Being critical is easy but we must learn to appreciate the good things happening in our country too. I happened to attend the Children’s literature festival today at Pak China friendship Center with my two toddlers and I am so glad that we didn’t miss this amazing funpacked happening in our city. Not only did it offer cool books for kids but the various activities taking place in each room were quite learning and entertaining. My sons enjoyed “Ludoo’s house ” the most because instead of charts, they offered monkey masks and balloons which kids could take back home.Puppet making, face making, card making and story Time with Nadia was fun too and my kids saw for the first time how a potter makes pots. The smiles on kids’ faces as they freely painted, drew, colored, danced and sang made me so happy. Pakistani kids deserve such programs based on edutainment. They give us all a break from the tensions of loadshedding, extreme heat and lack of entertainment opportunities. The event today helped many kids realize how much fun books can be. A big THANKYOU to all those behind this amazing effort. Thumbs Up!