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UNESCO declares Lahore as ‘City of Literature’

Lahore has been declared as a “city of literature” and has become the first place in the country to have been conferred the title by UNESCO.

A ceremony was held at Alhamra Art Centre where UNESCO director and Punjab government officials spoke about the importance of Lahore as a centre of learning and conviviality.

Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan was the chief guest at the plaque unveiling ceremony representing Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar. She celebrated the prestigious status and said that Lahore would be known in the world as the literary city of Pakistan. She added that the government will take special measures to celebrate Lahore’s status by organizing literary activities around the year.

UNESCO Director Patricia Mcphillips said she was “really honoured to be part of this prestigious ceremony”. She said Lahore was one of the greatest cities with rich cultural heritage. Lahore, she said, had become the first city of literature of Pakistan. She said it has rich vibrant culture and is now in the network of cities recognized by Unesco for its literary status.

Commissioner Lahore Zulfiqar Ahmed Ghuman said Lahore had a rich literary culture. Legendary poets like Allama Iqbal, Faiz Ahmed Faiz, Intezar Hussain, Bano Qudsia, Ashfaq Ahmed, Ustad Daman, and Ibn-e-Insha have contributed to the city’s rich literature background.

He added that the provincial government has decided to celebrate 2021 as the year of literary activities and all cultural and literary institutions will hold events.

A calendar for these activities is under preparation. Ghuman added that efforts are being made to enable the cities of Multan and Bahawalpur to get the same status. A Memorandum of Understanding was also signed between the Lahore Arts Council and UNESCO.

Last month, The New York Times had listed Lahore among its top pick tourist destination to visit in 2021. Lahore is included in the list named ‘dream destination 2021’ among 52 cities.

The writer mentions the hospitality and warmth they received in Lahore, in the short description of the city. The author talks about the Walled City of Lahore, which is home to iconic Mughal-era structures and monuments. The author also discussed the vibrant and lively culture of Lahore city in its description.



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