By Staff writer
2017 Emirates Airline Festival of Literature organisers boost numbers as part of UAE's national reading push
Nearly a third of the writers appearing at the 2017 Emirates Airline Festival of Literature are from the UAE, organisers have announced as the country embarks on a major campaign to encourage reading.
The UAE representatives will include game designer Fakhra AlMansouri, Sheikh Dr Abdullaziz bin Ali Al Nuaimi also known as The Green Sheikh, Freej creator Mohamed Saeed Harib and young chef Bader Najeeb, all of who will be attending the festival for the first time.
Organisers added that Syrian screen writer Adnan Alaoda will be a first time guest, along with Carmine Gallo, the speaker and executive coach, while festival favourite, writer and publisher Noura al Noman returns to talk about science-fiction and fantasy fiction in the Arab World.
The festival, which takes place in Dubai in March, provides a platform for international and locally-based authors to interact with UAE fans.
"Our author line-up is promising to be our most eclectic yet," said Isobel Abulhoul, CEO and trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation and director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.
"Part of the success of the Festival is the efforts we make to be as inclusive as possible, bringing a range of personalities and topics that can be enjoyed and appreciated by all, whether they are readers or not.
"With this year’s fascinating array of writers, thinkers, and commentators, and topics that are entertaining, inspiring and thought provoking, the 2017 programme most definitely will have something for everyone."
The 2017 Festival will be held during March, the Month of Reading, part of a new National Reading Law declared by Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan, President of the UAE.
The advancement of the UAE and the Arab World will be brought into the spotlight by noted media personality, award-winning journalist and Huffington Post blogger, Faisal J Abbas who is currently serving as Editor-in-Chief of Arab News and Badriah Al Bishr, journalist and author of Thursday's Visitors, who will be focusing on the progress of social and gender issues in the region.
Jalal Jamal Bin Thaneya who is a campaigner for special needs and has made several journeys around the GCC on foot and on bicycle, will be sharing his unique perspective of the region, including the story behind his latest endeavour - an attempt to enter the Guinness Book of World Records with a seven-day trek through the seven Emirates.
The festival, which runs from March 3-11, announced last month that the line-up will include bestselling authors Jeffrey Archer and Dr Monther Al Kabbani, Ms Marvel co-creator Sana Amanat, Bones executive producer Kathy Reichs, Emirati authors Abdulaziz AlMusallam and Dr Hamad Al Hammady, as well as television personalities Alan Titchmarsh and Nadiya Hussain.