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Stars of Tomorrow: Emirates Novel Award Winners

Event 21 Friday 3 March, 4.30pm-5.30pm Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

There is a wealth of writing talent in the UAE and we are proud to celebrate the success of the Emirates Novel Award in giving Emirati authors a chance to be published and to build their international reputations.

The Emirates Novel Award was established in 2013 to support and encourage talented Emirati writers, and the winners of the previous years’ books have been highly appreciated by readers and critics alike.

In this session Eman Al Yousuf and Saeed AlBadi, who were jointly awarded the top prize in 2016, speak about the effect of the prize on their work and their life.

Saeed AlBadi is an Emirati author who began his career as a war journalist and covered a number of wars and disasters, including the 2003 Iraq war. His novels include Trip to a City of Two Fires, The Cursed City and Women and Cities.

Eman Al Yousuf is an Emirati author and columnist who has published the two short stories “People’s Faces” and “A Bird in a Fish Tank” and the novel Guard of the Sun. She also writes a weekly column in Al Roua’a and Al Bayan newspapers.

Language: Arabic, with simultaneous English translation 

Stars of Tomorrow: Emirates Novel Award Winners

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Tales of a Saudi in Latin America

Event 170 Saturday 4 March, 11.30am-12.30pm Al Baraha 2, InterContinental

Social media phenomenon and author of Tales of a Saudi in Europe, Abdullah Al Jumah, returns to the Festival to talk about his travels in Latin American countries – travels that went beyond visiting cities and sites to learning about the beliefs and cultures of many different peoples. His new book, Khawaja Sharqi, will be published later in 2017.

Jumah’s thousands of social media followers accompanied him on his journeys, staying updated via YouTube and Snapchat. Included on the Arabian Business list of most powerful Arabs under 40, Jumah is shaping his fans’ views of the world in positive ways.

Language: Arabic, with simultaneous English translation

Tales of a Saudi in Latin America

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UAE Political Fiction: Betrayal of a Country

Event 56 Monday 6 March, 6pm-7pm Al Ras 3, InterContinental

People leave and the homeland stays at the left side, where the heart is.” – Hamad Al Hammady

When this Emirati author wrote his first political novel based on true events, it broke the mould and sparked a huge wave of interest throughout the country. Hamad Al Hammady is building a reputation as a novelist who tackles high stakes issues such as love, patriotism, and sinister terrorist cells, and as the first Emirati writer of political fiction, he was given the UAE Pioneer Award.

His books include Retaj, which was adapted as the popular Ramadan TV series Betrayal of the Country – described as the first politically themed drama in the history of Emirati television, and which became a popular trending topic on Twitter – and brand new novel Any More? They tell the stories of extremists plotting against the UAE, and of those who oppose them. The books have been welcomed by Emiratis and expats alike who are drawn in by these fictional accounts of our world’s very real dangers.

Language: Arabic, with simultaneous English translation

UAE Political Fiction: Betrayal of a Country

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UAE Travellers: Around the World by Car

Event 185 Monday 6 March, 9pm-10pm Al Ras 1, InterContinental

Awad Mohammad Bin Sheik Mojrin Bin Sultan established the UAE Travellers in 1996. That year they also launched ‘UAE Travellers: Traveling the World by Car’, a years-long road trip that would take them to 65 countries.

Awad and his navigator Ahmed Farooq Alawar will talk to us today about their adventures and the dangers they faced during their trip, as well as how this project helped to introduce the Emirati culture to the people they met on their journeys. All the trips were documented through videos and photos.

Awad Mohammad Bin Sheik Mojrin Bin Sultan, Head of the UAE Travelers team, launched the Dubai Travellers’ Festival, which is considered the first of its kind in the Middle East. He launched and organised a number of programmes for UAE Travellers, such as Climbing Mount Kilimanjaro by Camel and the RMDHA challenge. He was awarded a Creativity and Excellence award in Milan, Italy.

Ahmed Farooq Alawar, a businessman, holds a Bachelor’s degree in Automotive Engineering from the USA. He participated in the UAE Travelers: Travelling the world by car as a navigator.

Language: Arabic, with simultaneous English translation

UAE Travellers: Around the World by Car

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Growing Voices: Arab Women Writers

Event 65 Wednesday 8 March, 6pm-7pm Al Ras 2, InterContinental

“I don’t want to change the rules of the world, but I don’t want the rules to take what is left of me.” – Bothayna Al Essa

Women play a central role in the literary life of the Arab world. Arab women writers act as ambassadors for their culture, challenging Western perceptions of the ‘subjugated’ woman and revealing their real stories in the limited number of books that are translated into other languages.

Celebrating International Women's Day, this panel brings together two influential women whose different approaches to writing have both had a big impact on the literary scene.

Mansoura Ez Eldin works to change western views of Middle Eastern women by writing about the social challenges that both men and women face.

Bothayna Al Essa challenges her own society’s prejudices and barriers, focusing on breaking the ‘walls’ that keep women from achieving their literary potential.

Language: Arabic, with simultaneous English translation

Growing Voices: Arab Women Writers

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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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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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The International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2017

Event 73 Thursday 9 March, 4.30pm-5.30pm Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

Three of the finest contemporary Arab authors discuss what it takes to win literary prizes, and the different approaches they take to writing powerful, memorable works. These authors are breaking new ground in Arabic writing with their surprising and innovative work.

Rabai Al Madhoun’s Destinies: Concerto of the Holocaust and the Nakba won the 2016 International Prize for Arabic Fiction, mixing together the tales of people living under occupation and those living in exile.

Al Madhoun is joined on the panel by Mohammad Rabie, whose time-slipping dark fantasy Otared was also on the 2016 shortlist, and Mansoura Ez Eldin, who was shortlisted in 2010 for Beyond Paradise, a novel about family secrets and our relationship with the past.

Language: Arabic, with simultaneous English translation

The International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2017

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Thursday's Visitors

Event 74 Thursday 9 March, 6pm-7pm Al Waha, InterContinental

“I hope that women will free themselves from destroying their self just because they are born girls.” – Badriah Al Bishr

Award-winning journalist and author Badriah Al Bishr returns to the Festival to introduce her new book Thursday's Visitors. The first woman to win the Arabic Journalism Award, she discusses pressing social issues on her show on MBC Arabic, Badriah. Her previous novels include Marry a Saudi, Hind and the Soldiers and the IPAF-Longlisted Love Stories on Al-Asha Street.

In Thursday’s Visitors, we meet Mashae’l, who grew up promising herself that she would not repeat her mother’s mistakes, but found as time went on that she was becoming an even darker copy of her mother. Will the Thursday majlis, with its teenagers, girls in love and their wise mothers, help her to understand life and its circumstances?

Language: Arabic, with simultaneous English translation

Thursday's Visitors

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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 Godfather of Arabic Sci-Fi: Ahmed Khaled Tawfik in Conversation

Event 105 Friday 10 March, 4.30pm-5.30pm Al Khayma, InterContinental

The ‘godfather’ of Arabic speculative fiction returns to the UAE to speak about his award-winning new novel, Like Icarus, and how he came to inspire a generation of science fiction and fantasy writers.

Ahmed Khaled Tawfik’s many novels include the famous Ma Waraa Al Tabiaa series of paranormal adventures and Utopia, a dystopian story of the near future which is being adapted as a major motion picture – filmed partly in the UAE.

His new novel Like Icarus, about a man who can see the future, won the Best Novel Award at the 2016 Sharjah International Book Fair – has Arabic sci-fi finally achieved the recognition it deserves?

Language: Arabic

The Godfather of Arabic Sci-Fi: Ahmed Khaled Tawfik in Conversation

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Emerald Mountain: Mansoura Ez Eldin in Conversation

Event 107 Friday 10 March, 6pm-7pm Al Khayma, InterContinental

Mansoura Ez Eldin’s new novel Emerald Mountain features a search for a lost tale from the Thousand-and-one Nights amidst the chaos of Egypt in 2011. Mysterious narrator Bustan seeks to restore the story of Mount Qaf, the Emerald Mountain – but why?

Mansoura Ez Eldin is a highly-regarded Egyptian author of three novels and the co-editor of Akhbar Al-Adab literary magazine. Emerald Mountain was named Best Novel at Sharjah Book Fair in 2014 – to find out why, take a trip to a parallel version of modern Cairo in which myths come to life!

Language: Arabic

Emerald Mountain: Mansoura Ez Eldin in Conversation

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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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Between Two Wives

Event 189 Friday 10 March, 6pm-7pm Al Ras 2, InterContinental

"That day, I split myself in two before life did." - Hussain Ali Lootah

In his semi-autobiographical novel Between Two Wives, Hussain Ali Lootah examines the complexities of polygamy in a reflective story of a man coming to terms with his choices – and his destiny.

With insights into the place of polygamy in Islamic culture and the modern world, this will be an illuminating and revelatory discussion.

Language: Arabic, with simultaneous English translation

Between Two Wives

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The Map of Wondering

Event 120 Saturday 11 March, 1.30pm-2.30pm Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

“If there is nothing to say… then say what can’t be talked about.” – Bothayna Al Essa

Bothayna Al Essa’s novel The Map of Wondering takes us on a journey of questioning and searching for possible answers deep between reality and illusion. In the Alleys of Wonder, crime, cruelty and hunger test the inhabitants’ very humanity….

Bothayna Al Essa entered the literary world in a brave way, talking about difficult issues in poetic language that both challenges and inspires readers. This is a chance to hear from the author’s own mouth how she approaches her craft.

Language: Arabic, with simultaneous Arabic translation

The Map of Wondering

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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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