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Myth and Mythconception

Event 51 Saturday 4 March, 5pm-6pm Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

“The old stories have a lot of wit, riddles and imagination in them.” AbdullAziz AlMusallam, on Emirati folk tales

How much can you learn about a culture from its stories? Each of our panellists has committed themselves to preserving and retelling folk tales – together they explore the world of mythology.

Kevin Crossley-Holland is an expert in Norse mythology and the author of The Penguin Book of Norse Myths. He has also translated Beowulf and used Arthurian legend as the basis for his Arthur Trilogy.

Sonia Nimr is a Palestinian author on a mission to preserve oral history and traditional stories. Her collection of folk stories in colloquial Arabic, Wondrous Journeys in Strange Lands, won the 2013 Etisalat Book Award.

Language: Arabic, English with simultaneous translation

Myth and Mythconception

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Lost Objects: Preserving the Past

Event 64 Wednesday 8 March, 6pm-7pm Al Ras 3, InterContinental

How do we hold on to heritage in an increasingly globalised world? Can the destruction of historical objects affect our future? Does language extinction matter? Our panel considers the implications of neglecting the past.

Bettany Hughes is a historian specialising in classical history, and has dedicated her career to keeping the past alive and uncovering its buried secrets.

AbdullAziz AlMusallam is Director of Heritage for the Sharjah government and an expert on UAE history and folklore who has an interest in investigating and recording UAE dialects.

Kanishk Tharoor recently presented the BBC radio series Museum of Lost Objects, in which he tells the stories of destroyed and looted sites. He also writes about the cultural implications of endangered languages.

Language: Arabic, English with simultaneous translation

Lost Objects: Preserving the Past

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Fly With Me: The Green Sheikh

Event 69 Thursday 9 March, 11am-12pm Al Baraha 3, InterContinental

“Life brings life, and passion produces a new energy, and enthusiasm moves the human and he moves the world.” – HH Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Ali Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi

HH Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Ali Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi, also known as The Green Sheikh, aims to inspire, motivate and mentor young people to become protectors of the environment and climate-conscious leaders.

The Green Sheikh believes that people can learn to take responsibility for the world and to leave it a better place than they found it, and promotes environmental issues on his radio shows Fly With Me and Spirit of Leadership, and on his social media channels.

HH Sheikh Abdulaziz bin Ali Bin Rashid Al Nuaimi is a member of The Ajman Royal Family, CEO of Al Ihsan Charity Association, and environmental consultant for Ajman.

Language: Arabic, with simultaneous English translation

Fly With Me: The Green Sheikh

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Wars and Wildlife

Event 186 Friday 10 March, 1.30pm-2.30pm Al Khayma, InterContinental

“This is wonderful conservation work from a country where the daily news is rarely uplifting.” – Richard Porter on the work of Nature Iraq biologists.

Richard Porter has been at the frontline of conservation in the Middle East for many years, working with BirdLife International, Nature Iraq and other organisations on many projects especially in Iraq, Jordan, Syria and Yemen. In this fascinating presentation on his experiences working in war-torn countries, he shares a picture of hope that can be provided by a renewed natural environment – and how protecting nature can inspire citizens and even build relationships between nations.

Language: English

Wars and Wildlife

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Can Megacities Save the World? Inter-city Environmental Collaboration

Event 103 Friday 10 March, 4.30pm-5.30pm Al Baraha 2, InterContinental

“Mankind’s voluntary concentration into a dense, coastal civilization is certainly efficient, but it may not be very wise.” – Parag Khanna, Connectography

Urbanisation, industrialisation, population growth – the trends that are enriching the human race are also causing environmental stress that threatens billions through rising sea levels, overconsumption and lost biodiversity. Cities consume 75% of the world’s resources and and produce more than 60% of greenhouse gas emissions – but global cities are organising, individually and through collaborative efforts like the C40 Climate Leadership Group, which Dubai recently joined, to slow climate change and find solutions for global problems.

Can cities alone challenge national governments or international corporations to change their ways – can they turn bold statements into real change? And while the largely coastal cities in the C40 might take rising tides seriously, will they also take leadership on other environmental issues?

George Berbari is founder and CEO of DC PRO Engineering, an electromechanical consultancy firm specialising in District Energy Services and Green Buildings. His book The Energy Budget looks at whether governments are doing enough to tackle global warming. 

Parag Khanna is the author of Connectography and an expert on the supply chains that bind civilisations together; his new book Technocracy in America examines the harm caused by politicians making decisions, rather than experts, and looks for alternatives. 

Further panelists to be announced.

Language: English, with simultaneous Arabic translation

Can Megacities Save the World? Inter-city Environmental Collaboration

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