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The Rise of the UAE

Event 28 Saturday 4 March, 8pm-9pm Al Ras 2, InterContinental

“These countries and the region boast one of the longest historical spans in the world.” – JE Peterson

In The Emergence of the Gulf States, edited by JE Peterson, academics from around the world contribute to an authoritative new text on the region’s history from the 18th century to 1971.

Our panel discusses how this period shaped today’s fast-evolving UAE society.

David Heard arrived in Abu Dhabi in 1963 as a petroleum engineer; he has remained here ever since and is the author of From Pearls to Oil.

Frauke Heard-Bey has lived in Abu Dhabi since 1967, where she worked for the Centre for Documentation and Research. Her latest book is Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates and the Gulf Region: Fifty Years of Transformation, and she has contributed a chapter to The Emergence of the Gulf States.

Adnan Pachachi is a veteran Iraqi politician who became the UAE’s first Minister of State and was granted citizenship – he has the unusual distinction of being an elder statesman of both the UAE and Iraq.

JE Peterson is a renowned historian and political analyst specialising in the Arabian Peninsula and Gulf; in addition to The Emergence of Gulf States he has written numerous books and articles on the region and is working on a modern history of Arabia.

Language: English, with simultaneous Arabic translation

The Rise of the UAE

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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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Spices on the Silk Roads: A Supper Club Discussion

Event 145 Wednesday 8 March, 7pm-9pm Al Baraha 2, InterContinental

If you want to experience first-hand the workings of cultural exchange, then look no further than your plate! Join us for a lively discussion about food and how it shaped the world, accompanied by a three course meal.

Sabrina Ghayour’s Sirocco – the inspiration for the evening’s recipes – was named for the wind that blows from East to West, a title that symbolises her approach to cooking and the historic spice trade that was an integral part of the global economy for generations and which shaped global cuisines.

Ghayour is joined by Peter Frankopan, author of The Silk Roads and a historian of the globalisation that occurred along ancient trade routes.

Dress code: smart/casual.

Language: English

Spices on the Silk Roads: A Supper Club Discussion

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The Strait of Hormuz: Living Memories

Event 141 Thursday 9 March, 10am-11am Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

Emirati author Reem Al Kamali’s interest in history began when she was a young girl listening to her grandmother’s oral stories; as well as her love for the land she was born in, Khasab in Musandam, overlooking the Strait of Hormuz. She went on to obtain a degree in history and archaeology, and spent several years studying this fascinating land – strategically important throughout history and if anything, even more so in today’s world of global supply chains: more than 20% of the world’s petroleum passes through the Strait.

Her research also led her to write the novel Strait of Hormuz. This novel is rich in historical detail and authentic cultural insights from Al Kamali’s studies of the region’s oral history.

Al Kamali is an Emirati author and journalist, currently working as Editor of Al Bayan newspaper. Strait of Hormuz won the Al Owais Award for best creative fiction of 2015 and the 2016 Sayidaty magazine literary award for Emirati women.

Come along for new insights into the history and culture of this important region and to learn more about an exciting new novelist.

Language: Arabic, with simultaneous English translation

The Strait of Hormuz: Living Memories

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The Silk Roads: A New History of the World

Event 159 Friday 10 March, 11.30am-12.30pm Al Ras 1, InterContinental

“This idea of globalisation as something Facebook taught us is rubbish – it has been happening for centuries. I’ve tracked Icelandic warriors who travelled to Constantinople.” – Peter Frankopan

Historian Peter Frankopan has described the Silk Roads as “the world's central nervous system" – not only in history, but right now in a world whose centre of economic gravity is shifting eastwards again.

In his ambitious and highly acclaimed The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, Frankopan challenges accounts that focus on Europe alone. This talk is a powerful introduction to a new view of global history.

Language: English, with simultaneous Arabic translation

The Silk Roads: A New History of the World

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Ancient Journeys: The Road Goes Ever On

Event 136 Friday 10 March, 6pm-7pm Al Ras 3, InterContinental

“Neuroscientists now tell us our brain can reach an alpha state when we walk; we are, after all, hard-wired to be nomads.” – Bettany Hughes

Prepare for a guided tour of the ancient world! Our panel will take you on a journey down three of the ancient routes along which history has been made over and over.

Peter Frankopan is the author of The Silk Roads: A New History of the World, and will reintroduce these vital arteries of global trade.

Michael Freeman has photographed the world, and one of his greatest journeys was along the 3,000km Tea Horse Road in China, which was active as a trade route for tea and horses from the 7th century to the 20th.

Bettany Hughes recently presented the documentary Ancient Ways, about the Via Egnatia – once a vital trade route from Rome to Byzantium, now both a “ribbon of archaeological activity” and a key land route for refugees fleeing to Europe.

Language: English, with simultaneous Arabic translation

Ancient Journeys: The Road Goes Ever On

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Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities

Event 106 Saturday 11 March, 10am-11am Al Ras 1, InterContinental

“Istanbul has always been a place where stories and histories collide and crackle.” – Bettany Hughes

Istanbul – the city once known as Byzantium and Constantinople – has a proud history as a gateway between East and West and the heart of multiple civilisations.

Bettany Hughes returns to the Festival to introduce us to one of the world’s oldest and most influential global cities in a new cultural history Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities. The longest-lived political entity in Europe, Istanbul has been home to many different peoples and cultures; archaeologists have measured forty-two human habitation layers in the city that has been called home by everyone from Phoenicians to Vikings.

Bettany Hughes, a captivating presenter of history known for her TV and radio series such as Genius of the Ancient World and Ancient Ways and her books The Hemlock Cup and Helen of Troy, is the perfect person to lead us on a journey into the layers of history in Istanbul.

Language: English, with simultaneous Arabic translation

Istanbul: A Tale of Three Cities

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Closing Ceremony: Letters to the Festival

Event 140 Saturday 11 March, 6pm-7pm Al Ras 3, InterContinental

“Letters have the power to grant us a larger life. They reveal motivation and deepen understanding. They are evidential. They change lives, and they rewire history.” – Simon Garfield

Writing a letter is more than a means to an end - it is an act with a thrilling legacy of love, loss, secrecy, and endearing quirks. This year’s closing ceremony will feature some of this year’s authors reading the letters they have written to Dubai and its people.

After this, you’ll hear some of the heartfelt and humorous tweets, messages, and anecdotes left by Festival visitors and a letter from the Festival’s Director Isobel Abulhoul, looking ahead to 2018. With a letter-focused medley of songs from the award-winning acapella group Take Note to bid you all a final farewell, #DubaiLitFest 2017 will be truly signed, sealed and delivered.

Language: English, with simultaneous Arabic translation

Closing Ceremony: Letters to the Festival

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