'Being alive': French embassy celebrates Night of Ideas 2020 in Islamabad

06:52 PM | 31 Jan, 2020
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ISLAMABAD - The 2020 edition of the Night of ideas (“La Nuit des idées”) took place on Thursday and focused on the theme: ‘Being alive”.

Guests from diverse backgrounds - intellectuals, researchers, artists - gathered to discuss the theme all across the five continents.

The goal of the Night of ideas is to celebrate the stream of ideas between countries, cultures, topics and generations.

Every year, the Night of ideas gives the opportunity to discover the latest discoveries in knowledge and arts, to listen to the ones who contribute to bring more ideas to their field, and to take part in the discussion about the main issues of our times.

At the heart of “La Nuit des Idées” 2020 is the question of ecological balance and humanity’s relationship with the world and other species. The phrase can be understood as a command, a call to awareness, action and commitment. What is being alive? What is our place in the living world? How does "Being Alive" impose us to take action? What is our present made of? How to face what our present requires? In a time of multiple emergencies, what memory and what future?

The Embassy of France in Pakistan organized the 2020 edition at COMSATS University Islamabad on January 30, 2020, from 3.30 PM to 5.30 PM. Brilliant panelists debated and exchanged with a large audience of 100 people (students, researchers, NGOs, artists, etc.) on the theme “Being alive in the age of climate change”.

 List of panelists:

·         Ambassador Shahid Kamal - Center for Climate Research & Development, COMSTECH

·         Dr. Fatima Khushnud - Independent Power Producers Association 

·         Dr. Fauzia Saeed - Pakistan National Council of the Arts

·         Dr. Zeba Sathar - Population Council

·         Ms. Tanzila Mazhar - Anchor, PTV. Women in Media Alliance

·         Mr. Yousef Bashir Qureshi - artist & fashion designer

·         Dr. Jabir Hussein Syed, COMSATS, Department of Meteorology

The event has been opened by an introductory speech of the French Ambassador in Pakistan, H.E, Dr. Marc Baréty who detailed a number of French-Pakistani cooperation in the field of climate change, through Agence Française de Développement (climate co-benefits target of 70% for any project), the Cultural and Cooperation Section of the Embassy of France in Pakistan (master’s scholarships in the fields of climate change and environmental sciences).

The moderator, Ali Tauqueer Sheikh, development sector expert, engaged a passionate debate among the panelists and with the public to create a constant interaction. Contribution of art to the understanding of present times, creativity in arts and science, supporting research and knowledge, prompting awareness and discourse, power of social media to educate and empower the younger generation, change of behaviors and daily habits of ordinary citizens, the need of collective thinking and acting etc. have been among some of the many themes discussed by the panelists.