Guest Speaker Session - Spreading Tolerance through Humor

Spreading Tolerance through Humor

EMBA's Reading and Discussion Group (R&D Group) organized a talk on "Spreading Tolerance through Humor" by Shazaf Fatima Haider, author of How It Happened on Saturday 28th February from 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm.

Ms. Fatima talked about the possibility of promoting tolerance in Pakistani society through humorous writing. In a society where people have become extremely sensitive and ready to take offence at the slightest provocation, humorous writing has a limited capacity to promote tolerance, she said.

Referring to her novel, she said that the best kind of humour is self-directed and self-deflating. By describing norms in her own community in an amusing way, she emphasized the importance of being self-critical.

The author was of the opinion that tolerance comes from accepting others and respecting their rights to live in their own way. Without such acceptance and openness, humour has very little chance of promoting tolerance, she said.

Ms. Fatima responded to audience questions throughout her talk. The audience listened to her talk with great concentration and demonstrated their interest through questions which continued until the end of the session. Refreshments were served at the end of the event.

The R&D Group meets every week to discuss books and exchange ideas. For more information regarding the group please contact Fatima Attarwala at

Facebook page: