This year, Habib University partnered with the fourth Adab Festival, which took place on the 26th and 27th of November at Frere Hall, Karachi. Habib university, a liberal arts and sciences university, not only believes in providing world-class education across the socio-economic classes but also in preserving art, music, culture, and language and challenging mainstream rhetoric: from the climate crisis to capitalism and from gender disparity to cultural imperialism, it has been resisting against them. Taking these challenges, Habib University continuous its mission.
In the opening ceremony of the fourth Adab Festival, Ameena Saiyid, co-founder of the festival, Climate Minister, Sherry Rahman, Professor Dr. Nauman Naqvi, Murtaza Wahab, and renowned literary figures participated.
In the opening speech, Dr. Nauman Naqvi, who is an Associate Professor, Comparative Humanities at Habib University, greeted the audience with “Adaab”. He said that we use the word “Adaab” often at Habib University due to its relationship with literature, ethics, and ethos. He congratulated Ameena Saiyid and paid tribute to Professor Asif Aslam Farukhi of Habib University, who remained a great collaborator with her. He said that missing Mr. Farrukhi is very natural in this festival, “It would have been him speaking here instead of me.”
As the theme of Adab Fest was Climate Change, it is a topic of unprecedented significance today. Dr. Nauman Naqvi continued by saying, “Pakistan is a country in an unfolding climate catastrophe as the world witnessed. Indeed, many are still witnessing the devastating aftermath of unprecedented floods. The unfolding climate catastrophe is on the very ground of the conceptualization of Habib University’s curriculum.
Since its inception, we have been teaching students about such crises and call our curricular approach, ‘Reparative’. It is not just about reparative gestures for the destruction of apartheid, colonialism and racial capitalism in our modern history, but also a wider work that is of cognitive repair that is indicated by the catastrophic historical moment.”
Sherry Rehman said, “What goes in Pakistan, will not stay in Pakistan. Climate Change represents a total crisis of existential vulnerability. Climate Dystopia is at our doorstep despite that we are the least contributors to carbon emissions. Climate Action is never successful if citizens are not directly involved as stakeholders.”
Literatures festivals are the lungs which provide oxygen to people to critically engage, question, unlearn and learn. Opening ceremony was followed by panel discussions, book talks, art gallery, storytelling, documentaries, dance, and music.