Emirates unveil inaugural programme

Liz Thomson
News - International 13 Nov 2008

Margaret Atwood, Frank McCourt, Kate Mosse, Wilbur Smith, Jung Chang, Ranulph Fiennes, Mark Tully and Kate Adie are among the distinguished roster of authors announced for the inaugural Emirates Airline International Festival of Literature, taking place in Dubai next spring. The Festival is directed by Isobel Abulhoul, of Magrudy's, the largest bookselling chain in the region.

The eradication of illiteracy being a priority in Dubai, the Festival will feature a number of children's authors, including Anthony Horowitz, Lauren Child and Anne Fine; there will also be an education day. The event will showcase a number of Arab authors, among them Mekkawi Said, Jamil Qureshi, and mathematician and essayist Nassem Nicholas Taleb. A poetry event will celebrate the life and work of Mahmoud Darwish, the revered Arab poet who died last year.

'We've been overwhelmed by the fantastic support we've had from authors and publishers in this launch year of the Festival', EAIFL Programme Director Vivienne Wordley told BookBrunch. 'There's a real hunger for this sort of literary event in the Middle East and, with over 60 writers from all around the world appearing, Dubai Festival City is certain to reverberate with debate, laughter, poetry and discussion in three event-packed days next spring.' The Festival runs from 26 to 28 February, with 1 March designated Education Day.
Photos: top, Turki al-Dakhil, best-selling Saudi author and journalist, at the EAIFL launch; and Anthony Horowitz chatting with young students in a majlis


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