More Expert Panel Sessions from the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2020 Added to Digital Content Series Curated
Literature fans will have easy access to 11 panel discussions from this year’s LitFest online
Dubai, United Arabic Emirates,18 May 2020: The Emirates Literature Foundation, organisers of the annual Emirates Airline Festival of Literature (EAFOL) is adding more virtual panel sessions from the events 2020 edition to its newly launched digital content series. Further enhancing its visibility across the region and around the world, the online series allows literature fans the opportunity to easily access and enjoy insights and ideas shared by literary icons from the events 12thedition.
The video series, which was curated in collaboration with Dubai Calendar, the citys go-to entertainment and events guide, has been gaining momentum in the online world since it was launched in early April with the full recording of a panel discussion featuringSir Ranulph Fiennes Sir Chris Bonington, two of the worlds greatest living adventurers, who discuss their extraordinary experiences. A total of 11 such expert sessions from the recent edition of the LitFest, which was held from February 4-9, will be uploaded to its YouTube channel.
In the past few weeks, four more expert panel sessions have been added to the digital series -Relationships under Strain, in which authors Tayari Jones, Esi Edugyan, and Clare Mackintosh discuss the pressure of culture and other aspects in a relationship; Identity Poetics, featuring renowned poets Carlos Andrs Gmez, Afra Atiq, and Farah Chamma; andModern History of the UAEthat gives viewers an insight into the factors that propelled UAE into global prominence, as the subject is widely discussed by three authors of the countrys history, Dr Alamira Reem Bani Hashem, David Heard and Nick Cochrane-Dyet.
Every week, one session in digital format will be released and the first session that was streamed online in May is a panel discussion titledArab writers going globalin which award-winning writers Jokha Alharthi, Hoda Barakat, and translator Marilyn Booth look at what the future holds for writers from the Arab world. This session is conducted almost entirely in Arabic, and offers insight into the challenges faced by Arab writers. All sessions are subtitled.
The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature 2020 gave book worms and poetry pundits the chance to meet and mingle with a line-up of celebrities such as Jane Goodall, Jo Nesbo, Tayari Jones, Fatima Bhutto and Jokha Alharthi, in addition to Sir Ranulph Fiennes and Sir Chris Bonington. In line with social distancing and the UAEs #stayhome campaign, the festivals limited digital content series is providing literature enthusiasts and all those who missed the popular LitFest in February, an opportunity to further enrich their knowledge from the comfort and safety of their living rooms by browsing through and selecting from a wide collection of videos that reflect the high quality sessions that made the 12thedition of the event an enormous success.
Ahmed Al Khaja, CEO of Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE)said: As part of DFREs commitment to encourage reading, learning and sharing of literary ideas, we are happy to play a key role in enlightening those who love literature on some of the most popular activities and events of the Emirates Literature Foundation through our Dubai Calendar platform. The launch of the digital content series from the latest edition of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature opens an exciting new chapter in our partnership, which aims to further boost the profile of this much-awaited fixture in the international literary calendar. Going digital during this period is not only timely but also falls in line with Dubais social strategy to leverage modern communications and technology to promote cultural understanding and help safeguard Dubais global reputation as a city of excellence and intellectual diversity.
Ahlam Bolooki, Festival Director of Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, commented: The Festival this year was the biggest and best yet. Tens of thousands attended as we explored the world of tomorrow through life's big questions, discussed by local, regional and international superstar authors. Each year the Festival is completely unique and we are delighted to be able to share some of these unforgettable conversations now in this time of social isolation, and hope people who watch them will find something of interest, a moment of inspiration and joy, and hope for a better tomorrow.
Isobel Abulhoul, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation, said: There is no greater consolation than literature in times of uncertainty. Throughout the year, we strive to put books into the hands of more people, and the love of stories into their hearts. Not everyone is able to attend the Festival or take part in our year round events, so the chance to watch some of the most popular sessions from the Festival couldnt come at a better time. They bring stories to life and allow everyone in the Emirates and around the world to enjoy the conversations about the topics that matter.
Book recommendations and a curated list of resources for literary entertainment, education and self-improvement including reading lists and other resources for children of all ages will also be published across the Foundations digital platforms.
THE DIGITAL CONTENT SERIES WILL ALSO FEATURE THE FOLLOWING SESSIONS:
Let Her Fly: Ziauddin and Toor Pekai Yousafzai
Ziauddin Yousafzai is best known as the father of the youngest Nobel Peace Prize recipient, Malala. But he is also the father who refused to clip his daughters wings. Ziauddin fought for equality long before he learnt the word feminism. Battling the norms of a patriarchal society he founded a school for his daughter to attend, granting her a privilege only boys enjoyed education. Toor Pekai Yousafzai rarely speaks publicly about the experiences that brought her and her family to the worlds attention. But this is her story too.
Science for Humans:Adam Rutherford, Dr Mohamed Qasem
Two authors and broadcasters who have made science communication their business discuss how scientific literacy can improve society. Adam Rutherford is the author of How to Argue with a Racist, The Book of Humans and A Brief History of Everyone Who Ever Lived. He presents BBC Radio 4s flagship science programme, Inside Science. Dr Mohamed Qasem was named one of the top science communicators in the Arab world by Nature Middle East for his Arabic science podcast Sciware. He is the author of Things You Cannot Imagine, selected by the UAE Ministry of Education for use in schools.
Cities of Tomorrow:Tony Juniper, Roma Agrawal, Saeed Al Gergawi
Three experts discuss what is being done now, and what could be done, to build sustainable and resilient cities. Roma Agrawal is the author of Built: The Hidden Stories Behind Our Structures. She is an award-winning structural engineer and an advocate for inclusivity in engineering. Saeed Al Gergawi is Director of Dubai Future Academy, an organisation dedicated to preparing industry pioneers in the UAE to create a better future, and Tony Juniper CBE is Chair of Natural England and fellow of the University of Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership. His books include Rainforest and What Has Nature Ever Done for Us.
Faith in the Modern World: Omar Said Ghobash, Lesley Hazleton, Gelong Thubten
A panel of high-profile writers investigate what we gain from understanding the spiritual side of life. Gelong Thubten is a Buddhist monk and bestselling author of A Monks Guide to Happiness, who teaches meditation and specialises in providing non-religious mindfulness training. Lesley Hazleton is an award-winning journalist, historian, blogger and author of The First Muslim. Omar Saif Ghobash is the Assistant Minister for Cultural Affairs, and author of the acclaimed Letters to a Young Muslim.
Dispatches from the Wilderness:Miriam Lancewood, Gavin Thurston, Ali Alsaloom, Kate Humble
Four writers who have experienced nature under very different circumstances discuss what their travels have taught them. Ali Al Saloom is best known for his Ask Ali TV show, column and books, with more than 1 million copies sold worldwide, but his ongoing exploration of Emirati identity has led him to look at the relationship between the UAEs natural environment and its culture. Winner of five Emmys and two BAFTAs, Gavin Thurstons work as a wildlife cameraman has taken him to every continent while author and presenter Kate Humbles most recent book is Thinking on My Feet, a record of her walks and runs across the globe throughout a single year. Miriam Lancewood is the author of Woman in the Wilderness that tells the story of her adjustment to a new life in the wild and what she learned.
The Poetryhood Presents: The Poetryhood brings you an evening of powerful and honest performances with a fun, laid-back vibe where Spoken Word artists share their creativity in a safe-haven of vulnerability and truth. Come and experience the joy of this poetry community founded by Jamil Adas, and including poets Ahmad Nizar, Alaa Abu Arshid, Alysia Knowles, Carlos Andrs Gmez, Danabelle Gutierrez, Farah Chamma, Hakeem Kemet, Harry Baker, Maher Gidwani, Namal Siddiqui, Osama Al Husseini, Suhaib Alises and Yazeed Makhlouf.
To view the sessions and to keep updated on all of the latest content, subscribe to the EmiratesLitFestYouTube channel, and follow EmiratesLitFest on:
Twitter: @emirateslitfest and @elfdubai
Facebook: @emiratesliteraturefoundation and @EmiratesLitFest
For more information on citywide entertainment, please visit Dubai Calendarswebsiteand also tune into its Live From Dubai series via the Dubai Calendar Instagram page.
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About the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature:
The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is the Arab Worlds largest celebration of the written and spoken word, featuring international and regional writers, poets, thinkers and speakers from around the world. In 2020 the Festival reached more than 43,000 people through the Festivals main programme of events which featured Jane Goodall, Jo Nesbo, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Sir Chris Bonington, Tayari Jones, Fatima Bhutto, Markus Zusak, Mitch Albom and Jokha Alharthi, among many others.
The aim of the Festival is to develop a culture of reading as an enjoyable habit in the UAE, and its efforts have been recognised through many awards over the years. By providing an equal platform for international and locally based talents, the Festival continues to build the literary landscape in the UAE and further afield.
Alongside the main programme, the Festival organises an Education programme, which positively impacted on more than 100,000 students across the UAE. The programme includes education days, student sessions, live streamed sessions, and author school visits where young people meet and interact with their favourite authors, plus student competitions, held in Arabic and English, which allow young people to showcase their skills through poetry, short stories and reading.
Held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the Festival is a key part of the Emirates Literature Foundation, which was established in 2013 by Royal Decree. The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is held in partnership with the Dubai Culture Arts Authority (Dubai Culture), the Emirates dedicated authority for heritage, arts, and culture.
For information and updates about the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature visit the website:www.emirateslitfest.com