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An Audience with Jeffrey Archer

Event 14 Friday 3 March, 4.30pm-5.30pm Al Baraha 3, InterContinental

“The stories are always there, they never stop. I'm very lucky, they just keep flowing.” – Jeffrey Archer

Jeffrey Archer’s life has been even stranger than the global bestsellers that keep flowing from his pen.

His books have sold more than 275 million copies worldwide and he can claim the unique achievement of having topped fiction, short story and non-fiction charts. His most recent book, This Was a Man, concluded the Clifton Chronicles, a seven-book epic that spans the 20th century, and once again topped international bestseller lists.

In this talk on his many achievements, expect entertaining anecdotes from a life spent in writing and politics – and perhaps some clues as to what’s next from this larger-than-life character.

Language: English, with simultaneous Arabic translation

An Audience with Jeffrey Archer

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Penning the Past: When History Meets Fiction

Event 24 Friday 3 March, 6pm-7pm Al Ras 1, InterContinental

“You have to absolutely pack your head with information… then there comes a point at which you shut all the books and let your imagination take over.” – Tanya Landman

Three authors with very different approaches to writing about history discuss how they bring the past to life – and why it is so important not only to learn the facts of history, but to empathise with people of the past.

In Leila Aboulela’s The Kindness of Enemies, the action moves between contemporary Scotland, 20th century Sudan and the Caucasus mountains in the 19th century, where Imam Shamil defends his people from Tsarist Russia.

Tanya Landman’s Hell and High Water stars a mixed-race boy in 18th century Devon, while the Carnegie-winning Buffalo Soldier, inspired by a true story, pits a freed slave serving in the US Army against Apache warriors in a shameful episode from American history.

Simon Scarrow is most famous for his Eagle series, in which legionaries Cato and Macro travel the world from Britannia to Syria to the corrupt city of Rome itself – in Invictus, they travel to rebellious Spain to quell an uprising.

Language: English, with simultaneous Arabic translation

Penning the Past: When History Meets Fiction

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The Taaleem Award Prize Giving

Event 202 Saturday 4 March, 1pm-1.30pm Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

The Taaleem Poetry Award celebrates young poets. This year’s prize will be presented by Carnegie Award-winning children’s author and poet Kevin Crossley-Holland and Emirati children's author and journalist Shaima Al Marzooqi.

Prizewinners will be invited to attend the following session, ‘Vikings and Arthurian Knights’ for free.

Language: Arabic, English with simultaneous translation

Age Group: 9-Adult

The Taaleem Award Prize Giving

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Vikings and Arthurian Knights : Legendary Journeys

Event 43 Saturday 4 March, 1pm-2.30pm Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

The Taaleem Poetry Award celebrates young poets, and for this year’s prize giving we are joined by Carnegie Award-winning children’s author and poet Kevin Crossley-Holland, speaking about the ancient journeys of history, myth and legend.

The ancient world was one of epic voyages and treks, where pilgrims ventured into lands unknown. From King Arthur to Viking explorers to medieval villagers taking their first steps into a larger world, Kevin’s characters take life-changing journeys and will definitely have something to teach readers and writers who are beginning their own.

Prizewinners will attend this session for free.

Language: English

Age Group: 9-Adult

Vikings and Arthurian Knights : Legendary Journeys

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Eagles of the Empire: Roman Military Fiction

Event 142 Saturday 4 March, 1.30pm-2.30pm Al Ras 2, InterContinental

Authors: Simon Scarrow
“I really don’t need this kind of competition.” – Bernard Cornwell on Simon Scarrow

Simon Scarrow is an expert in Roman military fiction and all things gladiatorial.

Invictus, the 15th book in his Eagle series, sends veteran soldiers Cato and Macro to restless and ‘unconquerable’ Hispania, where the Spanish are embroiled in conflict with their Roman occupiers – and with each other. And the newly published novel Invader features their ally, the Celtic-Roman soldier Horatius Figulus, as he leads a mission against those Celts that still resist the Empire.

Scarrow’s books have been widely praised for their action, political intrigue and strong characters – all of which act together to bring the ancient Roman world, from Britain to Syria, to vivid life.

Language: English, with simultaneous Arabic translation

Eagles of the Empire: Roman Military Fiction

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The Angels Die: Yasmina Khadra in Conversation

Event 48 Saturday 4 March, 3pm-4pm Al Ras 1, InterContinental

“The Angels Die was, for me, an opportunity to revisit a time that I feel has been unjustly ignored by writers and historians as a decisive moment for the destiny of Algeria.” – Yasmina Khadra

Making his debut at the Festival, the inspiring author of The Swallows of Kabul will share the dramatic rise and fall of the boxer Turambo, whose deadly left hook carries him to fame amid poverty and racial tension in inter-war Algeria.

Mohammed Moulessehoul – better known by his pen name Yasmina Khadra – has called his 2013 novel Les Anges Meurent de nos Blessures his favourite of his works. Now also published in English, it is an examination of the power of sport to reawaken national pride and identity, and of the search for love and a path in life. Prepare for a deep and moving insight into colonial Algeria.

Language: French, with simultaneous translation 

The Angels Die: Yasmina Khadra in Conversation

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The Kindness of Enemies

Event 40 Saturday 4 March, 5pm-6pm Al Ras 2, InterContinental

“As Leila Aboulela’s new novel reminds us, to ask where we come from, to choose where we belong, is not a simple matter at all.” – New York Times review of The Kindness of Enemies

Leila Aboulela’s novel The Kindness of Enemies shifts between a present in which academic Natasha Wilson, a ‘failed hybrid’ of identities, feels she belongs nowhere; and a past in which noblewoman Anna is taken hostage by the Caucasian rebel leader Imam Shamil and begins to question her own place in the world.

Aboulela has established a reputation as a writer with an insightful grasp of the subtleties of culture and identity – this is a chance to hear her speak in person about these universal but challenging questions.

Language: English, with simultaneous Arabic translation

The Kindness of Enemies

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Hell and High Water

Event 47 Saturday 4 March, 6.30pm-7.30pm Al Ras 3, InterContinental

Authors: Tanya Landman
“I like to go back to the dangerous past, where there were no rules, no safety nets and where anything can – and will – happen.” – Tanya Landman

Tanya Landman, winner of the Carnegie Medal for her powerful YA novel Buffalo Soldier, returns with another gripping slice of history in Hell and High Water.

The year is 1752. Caleb’s father has been transported to the colonies for a crime he didn’t commit, and Caleb must fight prejudice and corruption as he tries to clear his father’s name.

Find out what adventures Caleb has in store for him, and learn more about Tanya’s powerful books – including forthcoming novel Beyond the Wall, which stars an escaped slave girl on the run from the Roman Empire!

Language: English

Age Group: 13+

Hell and High Water

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Behind the Crime Scene: the Dubai Police Stories Project

Event 212 Sunday 5 March, 7pm-8pm Al Ras 2, InterContinental

There is a thin line between a real crime and crime fiction – real crimes inspire writers all the time, and a good story will feel authentic in terms of both criminal behaviour and police procedure, however outlandish the crime itself.

But what happens when police officers themselves turn to writing fiction? Captain Abdulla AlSaadi oversaw the Police Stories project, in which Dubai Police officers contributed to a short story anthology based on their experiences. He will be joined by Major Arif Ali Bishoh, who has 22 years of Criminal Investigation experience and specialist knowledge of crime reduction programs, to discuss how real-life crimes provide inspiration for stories, and what they learned from the project.

Language: Arabic, with simultaneous English translation

Behind the Crime Scene: the Dubai Police Stories Project

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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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Swimmer Among the Stars

Event 211 Friday 10 March, 10am-11am Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

“Swimmer Among the Stars announces the arrival of a writer who is gifted not just with extraordinary talent but also with a subtle, original and probing mind.” – Amitav Ghosh

The stories in Kanishk Tharoor’s debut collection Swimmer Among the Stars have been met with high praise, with reviewers hailing Tharoor’s imagination and poetic voice and comparing him to masters of the short story such as Jorge Luis Borges. He is also making a name for himself as an insightful commentator on culture and politics in his columns and on series such as Museum of Lost Objects, a BBC radio series on cultural destruction in Iraq and Syria. He is currently working on his first novel.

Make sure to catch this session to see a powerful new literary voice at the beginning of his career.

Language: English, with simultaneous Arabic translation

Swimmer Among the Stars

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Knights, Priests and Time Travel

Event 100 Friday 10 March, 3pm-4pm Al Ras 2, InterContinental

“Nothing was supposed to be and wasn’t. Nothing was going to disappear and didn’t. As if today was brought in yesterday and yesterday will come tomorrow.” – Monther Kabbani

Meet the doctor-turned-author who readers have called “the Arabic Dan Brown”!

Monther Kabbani is here for a thrilling conversation about his sci-fi-fantasy series, which slips between the 12th and 21st centuries and between truth and illusion.

His Knights and Priests trilogy has been a bestseller since the week the first book was published, while his first book The Shadow Government was described as “the birth of suspense in the Arab world.”

This is an exciting opportunity to hear from one of the most innovative and popular writers of Arabic fiction – don’t miss out.

Language: Arabic, with simultaneous English translation

Knights, Priests and Time Travel

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The Intellectual Thriller

Event 155 Saturday 11 March, 3pm-4pm Al Ras 3, InterContinental

Have you ever got so lost in a book you no longer knew if you were in the 12th century or the 21st? Or read a book that blended history and fantasy so well that you didn’t know where one ended and the other began?

Three of the best authors of intellectual thrillers – gripping, genre-bending books that take the readers on journeys through past, present and future – discuss their art in a panel that will excite and entertain.

Monther Kabbani is a Saudi surgeon and author of the bestselling Shadow Government series and the Knights and Priests Trilogy.

Raymond Khoury is best known for his suspenseful series starring Sean Reilly, the most recent of which is The End Game. He is also a screenwriter who has written for series such as Waking the Dead and Spooks.

Mohammad Rabie is the author of the novels Amber Planet and Year of the Dragon; his third book, the time-twisting ‘dark fantasy’ Otared, was shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction.

Language: Arabic with simultaneous English translation

The Intellectual Thriller

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