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Zora O'Neill

Events for Zora O'Neill
All Strangers Are Kin: Adventures in Arabic

Event 171 Friday 3 March, 1.30pm-2.30pm Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

Authors: Zora O'Neill
“The shadda is the key difference between a pigeon (hamam) and a bathroom (hammam). Be careful, our professor advised, in the first moment of outright humor in class, that you don’t ask a waiter, ‘Excuse me, where is the pigeon?’ — or, conversely, order a roasted toilet.” – Zora O’Neill

Zora O'Neill studied Arabic for seven years, but never felt comfortable speaking it. In what she came to call her ‘Year of Speaking Arabic Badly’, she travelled the Arabic-speaking world, including the Emirates, trying to master different dialects – which inevitably led to many humorous misadventures! Native and Non-Arabic speakers alike will revel in Zora’s witty storytelling.

Language: English, with simultaneous Arabic translation

All Strangers Are Kin: Adventures in Arabic

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How to Learn a Language – in an Hour!

Event 800 Saturday 4 March, 10am-11am Al Waha, InterContinental

Authors: Zora O'Neill
Zora O’Neill travelled the Arab world on a mission to learn Arabic as it is spoken, but that’s not the only way to get to grips with a language. There are many different routes to language acquisition, and in this fast-moving masterclass Zora will introduce a number of different language-learning strategies to get you on the road to fluency.

The tutor: Zora O’Neill is the author of All Strangers are Kin, a memoir of her travels to Egypt, the UAE, Morocco and Lebanon on a mission to improve her Arabic skills by learning different dialects.

Language: English

How to Learn a Language – in an Hour!

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Wanderlust: Beyond the Comfort Zone

Event 169 Saturday 4 March, 3pm-4pm Al Baraha 2, InterContinental

“The mental liberation we experience while travelling is advantageous not only in exploring unseen lands, but also as a means of exploring ourselves.” – Abdullah Al Jumah

We are fortunate to live in a world where people of many different backgrounds can travel the world – a potent way of undermining stereotypes and inspiring tolerance of other ways of living. Our panel of travel writers discusses their life-changing experiences and discoveries.

Saeed AlBadi is an Emirati former war correspondent who has since turned his hand to preserving UAE heritage. His travel to foreign countries inspired his books Women and Cities (winner of the Emirates Novel Award) and The Cursed City.

Abdullah Al Jumah is a Saudi lecturer in law and legal counsel whose journeys led to the bestselling Tales of a Saudi in Europe and a new book on travel in Latin America; he is also the presenter of Rahalla, the first flashpacking show in Arabic.

Zora O'Neill is an American food and travel writer and aspiring Arabist – her quest to improve her Arabic skills by living in several different Arab countries forms the basis of her book All Strangers are Kin.

Language: Arabic, English with simultaneous translation

Wanderlust: Beyond the Comfort Zone

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