May 24, 2024

Highlights from the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

 Highlights from the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

Sunday, 6 February

The final day of the first weekend at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature was packed with children, as children’s author superstar David Walliams had two sold out sessions diving into his Mega Monster and Gangster Granny Strikes Again stories.

Hana Al Hashimi and Mona Ali Khalil discussed the future of diplomacy following the rise of the COVID-19 and stressed the importance of working together to not only solve the global pandemic, but on the sacrifices that will be needed to be made to tackle other worldwide issues such as climate change and poverty. 

Executive Editor-In-Chief of Al Khaleej newspaper Raed Barqawi launched his book Dare to Dream: How Mohammed bin Rashid Made His Dream of Dubai Come True, which explores how Dubai has become a hub for talent from all over the world under His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai. 

Illustrator and author Rob Biddulph‘s second LitFest session saw him inspire kids and adults alike as he shared the story of how he became an illustrator and offered advice, read from his own stories, and even taught a live #DrawWithRob session here in Dubai! 

The session was full of beautiful reminders about the joys of celebrating difference, creating things that you love, and doing things that make you happy. Rob weaved together stories from his life, charting the path he took to become an author illustrator, inspiring older children yet keeping the younger ones engaged – not least by peppering his slides with rogue ‘alien invasions’ as he flicked through his slides!

Two of the UAE’s biggest talents, author Julia Johnson and author-illustrator Maitha Al Khayat, led a session on their new book published by ELF Publishing, Aisha’s Pearl, delighting their young audience. 

Actress and writer Mira Sethi shared excerpts from her recently published book, Are You Enjoying, and talked about the complexities of being a modern Pakistani person. 

Assistant Curator for the Abu Dhabi Guggenheim project, Jessica Cerasi, offered a fascinating primer on contemporary art and why audiences need not be afraid of it.

Human rights lawyer and newly published author Marina Wheeler discussed her new book, The Lost Homestead, and her experience writing about her mother’s life and how the partition of India impacted her and lingering effects still being felt today.  

Al Arabiya news anchor Fatima Daoui discussed her new book, Don’t Look Down and offered tips and advice to other young women looking for a career in journalism, while still being true to who they are. 

Coming Up Tomorrow

Grab something borrowed, something blue, something old and something new because the Emirates LitFest is throwing Miss Havisham’s Wedding, with Charles Dickens’ descendant Lucinda Dickens-Hawksley in attendance to help celebrate the beloved author’s 100th anniversary — and give this iconic character the wedding she’s been waiting for! 

The Emirates LitFest hits Expo 2020 for a Poetry Evening with Afra Atiq, Brent Shuttleworth, and Carlos Andres Gomez