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Winning at Life: The Secrets of Not Having It All

Event 71 Thursday 9 March, 12pm-1pm Al Baraha 2, InterContinental

“If having it all means exhausting yourself so that you can be on top of your emails, then having it all is, in my humble opinion, completely overrated.” – Bryony Gordon

Is it really necessary to ‘have it all’? Our panel doesn’t think so, but that’s only the beginning of the discussion – when the world expects us all to be ‘always on’, what do you make time for and what do you let go in the name of health, sanity, or just having some time for yourself?

The journey to a less fulfilling life begins here!

Bryony Gordon is an author and journalist whose book Mad Girl chronicles the challenges of balancing work, family and mental illness. 

Omaira Farooq Al Olama is the founder and managing director of Advanced Learning Formulas (ALF), which trains young Emiratis in vital workplace skills.

Sara Sadik is a blogger on a mission to ‘find the magic in mommyhood’. She writes for the Huffington Post and Sassy Mama Dubai, and is working on her first parenting book.

Language: English, with simultaneous Arabic translation

Winning at Life: The Secrets of Not Having It All

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Dreams of a Refugee

Event 76 Thursday 9 March, 7.30pm-8.30pm Al Ras 2, InterContinental

“I wanted to take people outside the Middle East and inspire them to follow their dreams before following their destiny.” – Mostafa Salameh

Mostafa Salameh is the first Jordanian, the first Arab and one of only 13 people in the world ever to climb the Seven Summits and travel to both the North and South Poles – the ‘Explorer’s Grand Slam.’ Inspired by a dream in which he was reciting the call to prayer from the top of Everest, he began adventuring and using his experiences in his motivational talks and his campaigning against radicalisation. In this session he will share his remarkable journey.

Language: English, with simultaneous Arabic translation

Dreams of a Refugee

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Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind over Body

Event 82 Friday 10 March, 10am-11am Al Ras 3, InterContinental

Authors: Jo Marchant
“It isn’t trickery, wishful thinking or all in the mind. It is a physical mechanism, as concrete as the effects of any drug.” – Jo Marchant on the placebo effect

Can our minds really heal our bodies? This is the controversial question Jo Marchant set out to answer in her book Cure, looking for the real science behind hypnosis, meditation, positive visualisation, virtual reality therapy and all manner of other techniques.

The relationship between body and mind is an ongoing mystery, and one that scientists are exploring every day – in this talk Marchant takes us on a journey through the latest findings.

This session is part of the UK/UAE 2017 Year of Creative Collaboration led by the British Council.

Language: English, with simultaneous Arabic translation

Cure: A Journey into the Science of Mind over Body

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Dare to Do

Event 98 Friday 10 March, 10am-11am Al Ras 1, InterContinental

Authors: Sarah Outen
“It’s so intense and immersive to be in such a small vessel, so close to the water, and to an extent at the mercy of the elements.” – Sarah Outen

When Sarah Outen set out to cycle, kayak and row around the world, she was embarking on a journey that would test her spirit as much as her body, as treacherous weather repeatedly sabotaged her efforts.

The story of her eventually successful adventure and the obstacles she overcame are contained in the inspirational memoir Dare to Do – a book that invites readers to push their own boundaries and start their own adventure.

Language: English, with simultaneous Arabic translation

Dare to Do

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Micromastery: The Secret Art of the Polymath

Event 85 Friday 10 March, 11:30am-12:30pm Al Ras 2, InterContinental

“Humans are growth machines – we are here to develop and evolve until we die.” – Robert Twigger

Become a master of micromastery!

Author, explorer and polymath Robert Twigger describes micromastery as “mastering a small, discrete, learnable chunk of something much bigger and more inchoate” and “motivational nutrition.” It is a way of learning a new subject not by endless practice but by starting small and picking up a useful new skill, and being prepared for life’s surprises by having a broad set of skills and the ability to learn quickly.

Expect surprising stories, unusual insights, and inspiration for whatever you have planned next on your life’s journey!

Language: English, with simultaneous Arabic translation

Micromastery: The Secret Art of the Polymath

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With Chef B: Cooking Up Success

Event 183 Friday 10 March, 6pm-7pm Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

Authors: Bader Najeeb
If you were passionate about your career but society didn’t approve, would you just give up on your dream, or would you do something new – and maybe change people’s minds?

Emirati Chef Bader Najeeb chose to stand up to the stereotype that cooking is ‘only for women’. When he was just 14 years old he began learning recipes from his mother and from YouTube videos, and later cooking lessons from the head chef in the Jumeriah Zabeel Saray hotel. When he started sharing his distinctive Emirati-inspired cooking through social media he rapidly became a sensation.

Since then, he has participated in food festivals and begun hosting the TV shows With Bader and Sukar Ziyadat.

Language: Arabic, with simultaneous English translation

With Chef B: Cooking Up Success

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I'll Make a Man Out of You

Event 111 Saturday 11 March, 10am-11am Al Ras 2, InterContinental

“Notions such as manliness are old hat now, best forgotten.” – Robert Twigger

From debates about emotional literacy to revelations of ‘locker room talk’ in politics, the dark side of masculinity is under intense scrutiny. Is there more to ‘manliness’ than aggression and crudeness? Each member of our panel has their own unique take on this subject – come along and share in the debate!

Andy Miller has written about the manliest of pursuits in Tilting at Windmills – an attempt to make sense of the laddish obsession with sport.

Bader Najeeb was pressured to give up his dreams of being a chef because baking ‘is a woman’s domain’, but he chose instead to challenge stereotypes with his online cooking show.

Sarah Outen has challenged the expectation that perilious journeys are exclusively male territory – she recently completed a solo journey around the world by boat, kayak and bike.

Robert Twigger’s Being a Man and Real Men Eat Puffer Fish put the pursuit of risk at the heart of the manly ideal.

Language: English, with simultaneous Arabic translation

I'll Make a Man Out of You

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Embracing Happiness: Why Wellbeing Matters

Event 112 Friday 10 March, 7:30pm-8:30pm Al Baraha 2, InterContinental

''Happiness isn’t superficial, it is our deepest longing.'' - Anthony Seldon

In 2016 the UAE government took the enterprising step of making happiness not only a policy goal, but a department of government, appointing HE Ohood bint Khalfan Al Roumi as Minister of State for Happiness. But what can institutions actually do to improve happiness? And what impact can it have? Our panel discusses these tricky questions.

Dr Abdulla Karam is Chairman of the Board of Directors and Director General of the Knowledge and Human Development Authority (KHDA), an organisation that under his directorship has put happiness at the heart of policy.

Sir Anthony Seldon is a historian, educationalist and the author of Beyond Happiness: The Trap of Happiness and How to Find Deeper Meaning and Joy; while headmaster at Wellington School in the UK he introduced well-being lessons for students.

Language: Arabic, English with simultaneous translation 

Embracing Happiness: Why Wellbeing Matters

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International Women's Day 2017: Be Bold for Change

Event 117 Saturday 11 March, 11.30am-12.30pm Al Ras 3, InterContinental

“When a woman succeeds, she reaches out to those around her and pulls them up with her. That is why if you empower a woman, you empower a whole society.” – Queen Rania of Jordan

To celebrate International Women’s Day, we have brought together a diverse panel of authors to discuss the theme ‘Be Bold For Change.’ Three inspiring women who have made changes in their countries, and an equally inspiring man who has stood up for equality time and again, speak about their own experiences and about what can be done to empower women, achieve gender equality, and bring about positive change.

Candy Gourlay started changing the world at a young age when she wrote for the political magazine Mr&Ms Special Edition; she continues making a difference as an author of award-winning children’s books.

Jo Malone is an entrepreneur who has overcome adversity to found one of the best-known perfume brands on the planet – and then created a new brand from scratch - Jo Loves.

Kei Miller is the author of Augustown, a book that has been praised for its strong female characters. He joins the panel as a male ally who has spoken up repeatedly for women’s rights.

Noura Al Noman is the author of the Ajwan trilogy, a young adult science fiction series that has broken new ground in Emirati writing; she is also the pioneering founder of the publishing house Manuscript 5229.

Language: English, with simultaneous Arabic translation

International Women's Day 2017: Be Bold for Change

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The Year of Reading Dangerously

Event 134 Saturday 11 March, 3pm-4pm Al Baraha 2, InterContinental

Authors: Andy Miller
“Reading dangerously is about connecting with great books in the real world, the one we actually live in, rather than the classroom or the pages of the London Review of Books.” – Andy Miller

When Andy Miller realised that he had lost the reading habit, he decided to do something about it. Every day on his commute, he would read the books he had so far only pretended to have read!

Initially recorded on his blog, the results were eventually published as the hilarious and insightful The Year of Reading Dangerously: How Fifty Great Books Saved My Life.

In this talk, he will take you on a journey through the literary canon that changed his life – and the not-so-great books that didn’t! – and will invite you to take the Dangerous Reading Pledge.

Language: English

The Year of Reading Dangerously

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Lifeshifting Journeys

Event 165 Saturday 11 March, 4.30pm-5.30pm Al Ras 3, InterContinental

“Not all those who wander are lost.” – JRR Tolkien

Three authors who have gone on life-changing journeys – climbing mountains, crossing oceans, and exploring deserts and jungles – meet and discuss how their journeys have changed them.

Sarah Outen took on the dangerous and frequently lonely challenge of cycling, rowing and kayaking around the world – a journey of 25,000 miles that took 4.5 years and several painful but educational setbacks.

Mostafa Salameh has climbed the highest mountains on each continent and travelled to the North and South Poles, on a mission to inspire young Muslims to pursue their own dreams.

Robert Twigger, who has been described as 'a 19th Century adventurer trapped in the body of a 21st Century writer', has travelled by canoe along early North American explorer routes, crossed the Great Sand Sea of the Sahara on foot and discovered secrets of Borneo’s jungle.

Language: English, with simultaneous Arabic translation

Lifeshifting Journeys

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