Day three of the ongoing Young Leaders’ Conference (YLC) on Friday was all about highlighting the relevance of Pakistani arts and culture for the youth in the country for making them ready to assume a leadership role in the near future.
The theme of the day was “Arts, Culture, and Society-Aiwaan” and the Champ Arsal Fahim was the main highlight of the day. Different speakers of the day also shed light on the artistic and cultural diversity Pakistan possesses as the unique feature of its society.
The English Biscuit Manufacturers (EBM) was the sponsor of the day in line with its firm commitment and resolve continuing for near about 20 years to support YLC in the best interest of budding leaders of Pakistan. The EBM’s support this year has been especially noteworthy that it let the YLC takes place despite continuing coronavirus emergency that otherwise interrupted many such events all over the world or confined its proceedings to the digital medium only. A musical concert as a part of the day’s proceedings to enrich the cultural exposure of the YLC participants was also sponsored by the EBM. The YLC organizers expressed special gratitude to the EBM for its unwavering commitment every year to organize the event.
The EBM was also represented on the occasion by its Brand Manager Shayan Rasool who talked about the concept of Alif.
Through encouraging counter-narratives, cross-pollination of idealism, and self-expression, day three sought to create an intellectual space, promoting diversity and pluralism in Pakistan’s society and beyond its borders while providing an opportunity for the YLC participants to connect with the art, culture, society, and moral ethos of Pakistan.
One of the keynote speakers of the day, Yousuf Bashir Qureshi in his conversation with the YLC participants highlighted the importance of arts in today’s modern world driven by industrialization and technology. “Art beyond drawings and paintings is a shared experience and its most essential function is to express and make sense of the struggles and emotions of society. It is a way of bringing people together and the greatest form of storytelling,” he said.
Junaid Iqbal in his lecture highlighted the importance of family, culture, religion, gender, educational background as the compelling factors that influenced the thought process of a person and shape the way he or she sees the world.
“Developing individual thought empowers us to stand apart from the crowd and allows us the confidence to voice our opinions without the fear of being judged. Additionally, if you are in a position of power, it is also crucial to ensure that your voice does not overpowers others but instead encourages individual opinions,” he added.
Nida Kirmani spoke on the concept of gender equality while saying that as almost half of Pakistan’s population being women, the need for gender equality and representation in the home, workplace, media, and politics is crucial.
Her session was aimed at bringing forth the factual realities of gender inequality and bringing context by highlighting its relevance in today’s Pakistan in order to understand that gender equality is not just important for women but equally important for men and the development of Pakistan.
A Drum circle activity was also part of the day. The participants of the YLC were given the opportunity to present their different cultures in the Cultural Night.
The day ended with a captivating EBM-sponsored musical night featuring renowned Sufi and folk singer of Pakistan Sanam Marvi.