Oxford University Press (OUP) organized the inauguration of its flagship bookshop at Park Towers, Clifton, by hosting an event which was well attended by the media, authors, academics, and foreign dignitaries.
The opening of the new bookshop increases OUP’s presence in Karachi and expands its network of bookshops within the city. This is OUP’s fifth bookshop in Karachi and currently the only one in the Clifton/Defence area. It is fully stocked with the entire range of Oxford books and resources which includes school and college textbooks, children’s books, English Language Teaching materials, dictionaries and reference books, and academic and general books.
The spacious bookshop boasts a modern, customer-friendly interior with lighting, layout, furniture, and easily accessible displays of books that add up to the overall ambiance. It features a special dedicated section for children where they will find a plethora of storybooks, reading materials, specialized child-learner-directed resources, and an area for activities to keep them engaged.
An ‘Experience Zone’ has also been set up which will give learners an opportunity to try out Oxford’s digital products and e-learning solutions. An exclusive ‘Teachers’ Resource Centre’ will allow school teachers to review OUP’s diverse range of learning and teaching materials. The bookshop also has a stage area for organizing book launches, discussions, readings, theatrical and other performances, and children’s events.
The bookshop inauguration was marked by Managing Director, Education Division, Oxford University Press UK Fathima Dada cutting the ribbon and unveiling a plaque.
She highlighted during her address that a good bookshop is something more than a great browsing space and a wonderland of reading pleasure. In her view, a bookshop is a key element in the Learning Process as it acts as an enabler of the flow of information, of knowledge, of wisdom, from the world’s scholars and authoritative experts to the reader.
Managing Director, OUP Pakistan Arshad Saeed Husain said in his welcome address, that “Bookstores are places for people to connect. They’re about experiences that bring people together. I will say that the key unique feature of this premier bookshop is that it is a project of Oxford University Press, which means it has behind it all the knowledge and learning resources of the great University of Oxford, of which we at OUP are a department, and whose values and mission we promote.”
The British Deputy High Commissioner, Mr Mike Nithavrianakis, was the chief guest on the occasion while the keynote speech was delivered by Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences, National University of Modern Languages Dr Shahid Siddiqui. The well-known television and theatre personality, and singer, Khaled Anam also spoke at the event.
The evening concluded with a performance by Zambeel Dramatic Readings titled ‘Dhal Gaya Hijrka Din: Letters by Faiz Ahmed Faiz and AlysFaiz’. The performers presented a selection from the correspondence between Faiz Ahmed Faiz and his wife Alys Faiz when the poet was imprisoned and tried under the Rawalpindi Conspiracy Act 1951. The letters represent years of hardship, struggle and loneliness that both Faiz and Alys suffered during this time period.