This year Lahore has been dubbed a City Of Literature.
What does it mean to be a City of Literature? How do you become a City of Literature?
City of Literature is a venture initiated by UNESCO in 2004, where Nanjing and Baghdad figure; Stratford on Avon, Oxford and Cambridge do not. Edinburgh was the first city identified under this scheme. Manchester, Melbourne, Prague, Durban and Milan find spots on the list.
So, how do they judge which city is the right pick?
These are the features they look for quality, quantity, and diversity of publishing in the city; educational programmes focusing on domestic or foreign literature at primary, secondary, and tertiary levels; how important the role of literature, drama, and poetry are in the city. They also check out how many literary events and festivals promoting domestic and foreign literature are hosted in the city.
Manchester has the library. Edinburgh hosts the International Book Festival and has its own poet laureate. Melbourne has more than 300 bookshops. There are seven Asian cities in the list including Nanjing and, now, Lahore.