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History

How has history affected the world and can we still feel the reverberations from past events? Find out with historians Bettany Hughes, Eugene Rogan, Scott Anderson, Anita Anand, Jung Chang and Charles Glass at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, from March 3-7 at the InterContinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City.


Genre: History
Event 4 Kate Mosse: 1818-2018 Frankenstein at 200

Friday 2 March, 12pm-1pm   Al Ras 2, InterContinental

Authors: Kate Mosse
In 1818, Mary Shelley's Gothic novel Frankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus was first published. It was an instant sensation: a story of love and rejection; of over-reaching ambition; of the nature of life and immortality. To celebrate the bicentenary, bestselling novelist Kate Mosse will consider why the story of Dr Frankenstein and his Creature continues to exert such a strong hold on our imaginations. Placing Frankenstein within the wider tradition of Gothic fiction, from Walpole, Radcliffe and Stoker to modern day masters and mistresses of the genre such as Stephen King and Sarah Waters, she will use examples from page, stage and screen to illustrate why this extraordinary novel is as powerful today as it ever was.

Language: English

Kate Mosse: 1818-2018 Frankenstein at 200

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Event 59 Lessons from the Levant: Thomas Fletcher, Eugene Rogan & Dima Wannous

Friday 2 March, 2pm-3pm   Al Ras 3, InterContinental

More than 100 years have passed since the infamous Sykes-Picot agreement set in motion the division of the Arab World by European powers. What does history teach us about the problems facing the region today? And has global media helped or hindered the search for stability?

Thomas Fletcher is the former UK Ambassador to Lebanon and author of The Naked Diplomat, an exploration of the impact of technology on international relations.

Eugene Rogan is the director of the Middle East Centre at Oxford, and author of The Arabs: A History, recently updated to explore the violence that followed the 2011 uprisings.

Dima Wannous is a Syrian novelist, journalist and translator; her latest book, The Frightened, explores the depths of fear in contemporary Syria.

This panel is moderated by Najwa Yassir.

Language: Arabic & English with translation

Lessons from the Levant: Thomas Fletcher, Eugene Rogan & Dima Wannous

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Event 19 Future Folklore: Dubai Abulhoul, Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Sjón

Friday 2 March, 6pm-7pm   Al Ras 3, InterContinental

What do our legends tell us about ourselves? And why is it important to remember? Our three writers have drawn on the cultural folklore of the UAE, Iceland and the Canary Islands – find out what happens when you transport ancient myth into modern tales.

Dubai Abulhoul published her first novel, Galagolia: The Hidden Divination, aged just 16. She recently wrote a series of children’s books that draw on Emirati folklore and explore the motives of ‘evil’ djinn.

Kiran Millwood Hargrave is the author of The Girl of Ink and Stars, a children’s fantasy book whose heroine rediscovers the forgotten folklore of the island of Joya.

Sjón’s novels draw heavily on Icelandic and world folklore as they challenge the modern world, with old stories speaking up in a new, disruptive voice.

This panel is moderated by Julia Wheeler.

Language:  English with Arabic translation.

Future Folklore: Dubai Abulhoul, Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Sjón

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Event 20 William Dalrymple: The World’s Most Infamous Diamond

Friday 2 March, 6pm-7pm   Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

In his new book, world-renowned historian and travel writer William Dalrymple tells the improbable, bloody story of one of the world’s most mythologised jewels. Through ‘Koh-i-noor’, he traces the rise and fall of empires, from a 10-year-old maharajah, through the sullied hands of the East India Company to the stone’s current controversial setting: the crown of Queen Elizabeth.

Dalrymple has followed Marco Polo along the Silk Road with In Xanadu and explored the heart of Delhi in City of Djinns; join him for a new slice of Asian history with erudite storytelling of the highest form.

William will be in conversation with James Mullan.

Language: English

William Dalrymple: The World’s Most Infamous Diamond

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Event 34 Mark Kurlansky: Paging Through History

Saturday 3 March, 12pm-1pm   Al Baraha 2, InterContinental

Mark Kurlansky is a master of explaining the world from the perspective of something seemingly innocuous – most famously in his bestselling books Cod and Salt.

In his book Paper: Paging Through History he digs deep into the story behind the now-ubiquitous writing material that made the modern world possible, from its early origins in China, through the print revolution and into the digital age, where people are still finding new uses for it despite the rise of computers.

Tracing insights through Paper, his latest book Havana: A Subtropical Delirium, and his other surprising histories, you’ll find Mark’s eternal curiosity is catching.

Mark will be in conversation with Kevin Hasler.

Language: English

Mark Kurlansky: Paging Through History

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Event 44 The Soul of a City: Afra Atiq, Yara Bamieh, Eric Broug, Meik Wiking

Saturday 3 March, 12pm-1pm   Al Ras 3, InterContinental

Is a city built by its architects or the people who inhabit it?

Dubai is unusual in being a global city that appeared almost overnight. How does a new city acquire its ‘spark’?

Our panel of art, architecture and design and wellbeing experts goes in search of the soul of a city.

Afra Atiq is an Emirati spoken-word poet. She is a member of the Untitled Chapters group and has a large YouTube following.

Yara Bamieh is a graphic designer and illustrator based in Ramallah; she has worked on conservation, reconstruction and cultural projects in Palestine.

Eric Broug is a master of Islamic geometric design who consults on architectural projects, advising on creative and effective use of Islamic heritage.

Meik Wiking is the CEO of the Happiness Research Institute and the author of The Little Book of Lykke, which shares six factors that explain the differences in happiness across the world.

This panel is moderated by Rachel McArthur.

Language: English with Arabic translation

The Soul of a City: Afra Atiq, Yara Bamieh, Eric Broug, Meik Wiking

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Event 28 Eugene Rogan: The Fall of the Ottomans

Saturday 3 March, 4pm-5pm   Al Ras 3, InterContinental

Authors: Eugene Rogan
One century on, award-winning historian Eugene Rogan brings the First World War and its immediate aftermath in the Middle East to vivid life in The Fall of the Ottomans. A history of how the defeat of the Ottoman Empire affected Arabs, Turks and Europeans alike, it has just been translated into Arabic – importantly, as the events of the early 20th century continue to reverberate in the region.

Dr Rogan is one of the world’s most respected scholars of Middle Eastern history and here he shares a sweeping narrative of battles and political intrigue from Gallipoli to Arabia – not to be missed!

Eugene will be in conversation with Rehan Khan.

Language: English with Arabic translation

Eugene Rogan: The Fall of the Ottomans

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Event 7 The World on a Plate: Madhur Jaffrey, Claudia Roden, Mark Kurlansky

Saturday 3 March, 6pm-7pm   Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

Does the food on our plate have its own story to tell? Our panel discusses the historical and cultural significance of national dishes, the forces that cause different cuisines to evolve, and the impact of globalisation on our tastes.

Madhur Jaffrey is a world authority on Indian food, and through books such as Curry Easy has introduced aspiring cooks to the varied cuisines of India.

Mark Kurlansky is the author of Cod and Salt, books that show how food shaped global trade and human history, and International Night, a collection of international recipes he and his daughter cooked together.

Claudia Roden approaches the food of the Middle East and Mediterranean as an anthropologist: her recent book The Food of Spain explores the history and culture of the regional cuisines featured.

This panel is moderated by Tom Urquhart.

Language: English

The World on a Plate: Madhur Jaffrey, Claudia Roden, Mark Kurlansky

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Event 56 Shashi Tharoor: Inglorious Empire

Saturday 3 March, 6pm-7pm   Al Baraha 3, InterContinental

The British Empire is much mythologised but poorly understood, and its role in Indian history is frequently at the heart of this confusion.

Here to revisit this contested era of history is Shashi Tharoor, outspoken politician and equally outspoken author, whose viral talk on British looting in India led him to write Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India, a thoroughly researched history of British Imperial misrule.

Tharoor will be in conversation with William Dalrymple, author of White Mughals, The Last Mughal, and new book Kohinoor.

Language: English

Shashi Tharoor: Inglorious Empire

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Event 62 Zaki Nusseibeh: Memories of Zayed

Saturday 3 March, 7.30pm-8.30pm   Al Ras 1, InterContinental

The year 2018 has been proclaimed the ‘Year of Zayed’ to mark 100 years since the birth of the country’s founding father, Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan.

In this special session, Sheikh Zayed’s former interpreter and advisor Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh - recently appointed Minister of State - speaks about Zayed’s legacy and his continuing importance to the UAE and its people.

This is a chance to learn more about one of the defining figures of recent Middle Eastern history, from one of his closest friends and advisors.

Language: English with Arabic translation
Sign language interpretation is available in this session

Zaki Nusseibeh: Memories of Zayed

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Event 78 Kate Adie: Women and War

Friday 9 March, 12pm-1pm   Al Baraha 3, InterContinental

Authors: Kate Adie
Women kept the war machine running during World War One, and lives were changed forever. Are the repercussions still being felt 100 years on? Award-winning journalist Kate Adie has written about women and warfare in her highly acclaimed books Corsets to Camouflage and Fighting on the Home Front, and has extensive experience reporting from war zones around the world – including Rwanda, Yugoslavia, and the first Gulf War. Come along and share in unique insights into the vivid history of ordinary women and their extraordinary deeds in conflict, and the often unsung achievements of women in the armed services today.

Kate will be in conversation with Eithne Treanor.

Language: English

Kate Adie: Women and War

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Event 92 Andrew Morton: Diana and Wallis, Royal Mavericks

Friday 9 March, 12pm-1pm   Al Ras 1, InterContinental

Authors: Andrew Morton
In 1992, Andrew Morton’s Diana: Her True Story shocked the British public and establishment alike. More than 25 years on, the revised edition of the book continues to create headlines.

Morton’s new book, Wallis in Love, looks at an earlier ‘scandalous’ royal – the well-connected social climber Wallis Simpson, who upended the British monarchy when Edward VIII abdicated so they could marry.

An expert on the history of the House of Windsor and the tangled lives of the British royals, Andrew sheds light on these two influential women – and reflects on how times have changed for women marrying into royalty as he writes his next book, Meghan: A Hollywood Princess.

Andrew will be in conversation with Lea Sellers.

Language: English

Andrew Morton: Diana and Wallis, Royal Mavericks

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Event 138 The Arabian Nights Quest: Robert Irwin & Paulo Horta

Friday 9 March, 2pm-3pm   Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

Delve into the intriguing world of the Arabian Nights as we retrace clues of the past.

Arabists Paulo Lemos Horta and Robert Irwin take on a persistent and pernicious myth – that favourite stories in the Arabian Nights, including Aladdin and Ali Baba and the Forty Thieves, are European inventions, added by translators. The real story of these ‘orphan’ stories is much more interesting, and stars a mysterious Syrian scholar, Hanna Diyab…

Paulo Lemos Horta is the author of Marvellous Thieves, an account of the French and English translators of the Arabian Nights.

Robert Irwin is a renowned scholar of Arabic literature who has written extensively on the Arabian Nights.

This panel is moderated by Maán Jalal.

Language: English with Arabic translation

The Arabian Nights Quest: Robert Irwin & Paulo Horta

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Event 93 Hatoon Ajwad Al Fassi: Women in Arabia, Myth and Representation

Friday 9 March, 4pm-5pm   Al Ras 1, InterContinental

The history of women in Arabia is a complex and sometimes sensitive subject.

Dr Hatoon Ajwad Al Fassi, one of Saudi Arabia’s most respected scholars and an outspoken activist for gender equality, is the author of Women in pre-Islamic Arabia: Nabataea and the chapter “Women of Eastern Arabia: Myth and Representation” in the book Gulf Women, among many others. From the Queen of Sheba and Nabatean businesswomen to the women of the modern Gulf states, she guides us through the highs and lows of Arab women’s rights and status throughout the ages.

Hatoon will be in conversation with Eman Al Yousuf.

Language: Arabic with English translation

Hatoon Ajwad Al Fassi: Women in Arabia, Myth and Representation

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Event 105 Hiding from History: Souad Mekhennet & Andrew Morton

Saturday 10 March, 10am-11am   Al Ras 2, InterContinental

What happens when nations try to bury past evils? Even as Germany entered an ongoing period of self-examination about the crimes of the Nazis, Allied governments and armed forces chose to look away. Two authors who have explored this strange twist of history discuss the ongoing consequences.

Souad Mekhennet made her name getting inside the heads of jihadis, but she is also the co-author of The Eternal Nazi, an account of the hunt for Aribert Heim, a war criminal who escaped justice for a new life in hiding in Cairo.

In his book 17 Carnations, Andrew Morton explores the questionable allegiances of Edward VIII, the abdicated monarch whose open admiration for Hitler and the Nazis was covered up by the British government.

This panel is moderated by Bilal Orfali.

Language: English with Arabic translation

Hiding from History: Souad Mekhennet & Andrew Morton

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Event 112 Andrey Kurkov: The Bickford Fuse

Saturday 10 March, 12pm-1pm   Al Khayma, InterContinental

Authors: Andrey Kurkov
In the modern masterpiece, Death and the Penguin, Ukrainian author Andrey Kurkov explored the woes of Ukraine through the mournful eyes of Misha, a lonely penguin saved from Kiev zoo by well-meaning writer Viktor. He returns with The Bickford Fuse, a powerful satire of Soviet Russia, written in the final days of Communism and recently translated into English. Following a disparate collection of wanderers – one bearing an explosive gift – it blends real events with allegory and fable and has been compared to the works of Bulgakov, Vonnegut and Heller.

Kurkov is one of the finest writers on the post-Soviet world – this is a rare chance to hear him speak about his craft.

Andrey will be in conversation with Lea Sellers.

Language: English

Andrey Kurkov: The Bickford Fuse

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Event 74 Jenni Murray: A History in 21 Women

Saturday 10 March, 2pm-3pm   Al Baraha 2, InterContinental

Famous queens, unrecognised visionaries, great artists and trailblazing politicians: these are the women who feature in Jenni Murray’s A History of Britain in 21 Women.

Jenni has hosted BBC Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour since 1987 and is one of the best known voices on women’s issues in Britain today. Her next book will go international, looking at pioneering women from history who have shaped the world.

Learn more about the women without whose outstanding achievements we would barely recognise the world we live in, and who in many cases do not get the acknowledgement they deserve.

Jenni will be in conversation with Julia Wheeler.

Language: English

Jenni Murray: A History in 21 Women

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Event 118 Giants of the Golden Age: Mohammed Hasan Alwan & Robert Irwin

Saturday 10 March, 2pm-3.15pm   Al Ras 2, InterContinental

The explorers and scholars of the Islamic Golden Age were larger-than-life figures who invented much of the modern world. Two authors who have been inspired by their accomplishments discuss the legacy of two of these extraordinary people.

Mohammed Hasan Alwan is the author of A Small Death, a novel about the great Sufi scholar Ibn Arabi, who travelled the Islamic world and authored as many as 800 works. The novel brings to vivid life the diverse world Ibn Arabi inhabited.

Robert Irwin recently finished a book on the pioneering philosopher of history and historian Ibn Khaldun, whose extensive writings offer modern readers a valuable insight into a dynamic and sometimes alien earlier age.

This panel is moderated by Bilal Orfali.

Language: Arabic & English with translation

Giants of the Golden Age: Mohammed Hasan Alwan & Robert Irwin

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