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Jacqueline Wilson: The History Girls

Event 2 Friday 2 March, 10am-11am Al Baraha 3, InterContinental

Superstar children’s author Jacqueline Wilson has created some of the most beloved characters in children’s literature, from the mischievous Tracy Beaker to the headstrong Hetty Feather.

Her new book, Wave Me Goodbye, tells the moving story of 10-year-old Shirley, an evacuee in the Second World War who is sent to live in a strange old house with the mysterious Mrs Waverley….

Travel back in time with Shirley, Hetty and many more in Jacqueline’s capable hands.

There will be no public book signing at this session, but printed book plates with Jacqueline’s signature will be available with each book purchased at the Festival Bookshop.

The lucky first 200 ticket buyers will have a chance to meet Jacqueline for a special book signing and photo.

Language: English

Age Group: 9+

Jacqueline Wilson: The History Girls

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James Dashner: The Maze Runner

Event 5 Friday 2 March, 12pm-1pm Al Baraha 3, InterContinental

Authors: James Dashner
James Dashner’s epic Maze Runner series is an international phenomenon. The first book stayed on the New York Times bestseller list for 100 weeks and two of the books have been adapted as blockbuster movies starring Dylan O’Brien, with part 3, The Death Cure, hitting cinema screens worldwide in early 2018.

In his first visit to the Festival, hear from the author himself how he created Thomas, WICKED and the Gladers, as well as his other series such as the mind-bending Mortality Doctrine and dimension-hopping 13th Reality.

Language: English

Age Group: 12+

James Dashner: The Maze Runner

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Rhianna Pratchett: The Rise of the Tomb Raider

Event 8 Friday 2 March, 2pm-3pm Al Ras 2, InterContinental

Rhianna Pratchett’s remarkable career has seen her redefine video game storytelling, rebooting the Tomb Raider series and creating whole new worlds in Mirror’s Edge and Heavenly Sword. She also works to preserve the legacy of her father, Terry Pratchett, and his beloved Discworld books, ensuring that forthcoming adaptations of The Wee Free Men, The Watch and others are faithful to his vision and unique sense of humour. She is currently developing a TV series set in the world of the Arabian Nights.

Join us for this exploration of Rhianna’s writing and filmmaking careers, the challenges of reinventing gaming icon Lara Croft, and the importance of plenty of tea-drinking!

Language: English

Rhianna Pratchett: The Rise of the Tomb Raider

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Kevin Kwan: Crazy Rich Asians

Event 65 Friday 2 March, 2pm-3pm Al Baraha 3, InterContinental

Authors: Kevin Kwan
We’ve all wondered at how the super-rich live, but may not have seen the wild extravagance of it first-hand. Author Kevin Kwan has, and he’s here to reveal all about the world of the luxury-laden Crazy Rich Asians trilogy, from private jets to plastic surgery for pet fish.

The satirical series, which has been dubbed ‘a Chinese Dallas meets Pride and Prejudice’ for its portrayal of the gossip and scheming of a wealthy elite, has entertained readers worldwide and is now on its way to cinemas. This is your chance to get the inside story on those #richpeopleproblems from the author who knows them best!

Language: English

Kevin Kwan: Crazy Rich Asians

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Ibrahim Nasrallah: Dog War II

Event 24 Friday 2 March, 4pm-5pm Al Ras 3, InterContinental

In 2006, Ibrahim Nasrallah finally fulfilled his dream of becoming a full-time writer. With the freedom to write, he has produced some of his best work, including the IPAF-shortlisted Time of White Horses, Lanterns of the King of Galilee and Kilimanjaro Spirit – the last inspired by his journey with volunteers and disabled Palestinian children to the top of Mount Kilimanjaro.

In this conversation he will talk about his writing, the challenges he faced growing up and his shift from telling the story of 250 years of recent Palestinian history to his surprise move into futuristic dystopian fiction in Dog War II.

Language: Arabic

Ibrahim Nasrallah: Dog War II

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Locke & Key: Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

Event 22 Friday 2 March, 7.30pm-8.30pm Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

The Eisner Award-winning Locke and Key comic series has sold more than a million copies and is already considered a modern comics classic, pitting a grieving family against the forces of evil and their own buried secrets.

For the first time in Dubai, the creators appear together on stage to discuss their work, an upcoming TV adaptation, and their reunion in Tales from the Darkside.

Joe Hill is the author of Locke and Key, as well as the novels Heart-Shaped Box, Horns, NOS4A2 and the Locus Award-winning The Fireman.

Gabriel Rodriguez is the illustrator of Locke and Key. He also won an Eisner Award for Little Nemo in Slumberland and recently launched his own original series, Sword of Ages.

Language: English

Locke & Key: Joe Hill and Gabriel Rodriguez

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Khaled Khalifa: Aleppo in Our Heart

Event 25 Friday 2 March, 7.30pm-8.30pm Al Ras 3, InterContinental

Celebrated Syrian author Khaled Khalifa, twice shortlisted for the International Prize for Arabic Fiction, joins us to talk about his critically acclaimed writing and his love for his home city, Aleppo. His novels No Knives in the Kitchens of this City and In Praise of Hatred – both also published in English to widespread praise – portray the life of the city and its people over the period of history from the first world war to 2003 – a time of great social and cultural change.

Make sure to catch this important conversation for an author’s insight into the real Aleppo.

Language: Arabic

Khaled Khalifa: Aleppo in Our Heart

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Come Dal With Me: Dinner with Madhur Jaffrey

Event 27 Friday 2 March, 7.30pm-9.30pm Al Baraha 3, InterContinental

Spice up your Friday night with an evening of mouthwatering food, with the Queen of Curries, Madhur Jaffrey.

Madhur has made a career of educating aspiring cooks in the art of Indian food. To mark the India-UAE Cultural Celebrations: a cultural partnership for a positive future, she will take us on a journey to trace the influence of Indian cookery. Hear about culinary adventures around the world, tales of her exciting life as actress and author, and even some of her prized cooking secrets to making curry easy!

Join us for themed entertainment and a delicious four course meal based on recipes from Madhur’s books.

Dress code: smart casual

Guests will be seated at tables of 8 to 10.

Language: English

Come Dal With Me: Dinner with Madhur Jaffrey

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Richard & Judy’s Festival Book Club

Event 29 Saturday 3 March, 10am-11am Al Baraha 1, InterContinental

Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan found fame as Britain’s foremost daytime TV duo, and have since become the nation’s favourite book-loving couple.

In this session Richard & Judy meet with their pick of Festival authors for a live Book Club session.

The Panellists:

Kevin Kwan is the author of Crazy Rich Asians and its sequels China Rich Girlfriend and Rich People Problems – a satire of Singapore’s uber-wealthy that has been a global hit with readers.

Kate Mosse’s Labyrinth was a standout title in the strong 2006 lineup for the Richard & Judy Book Club and picked up a British Book Award that year. She is working on a new series, the Burning Chambers Trilogy.

Shari Lapena’s gripping domestic thriller The Couple Next Door was a Richard & Judy pick in 2017 and bestseller on both sides of the Atlantic; her new book is A Stranger in the House.

Language: English

Richard & Judy’s Festival Book Club

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Anthony Horowitz: Alex Rider Returns

Event 38 Saturday 3 March, 10am-11am Al Ras 1, InterContinental

Alex Rider is back by popular demand in the new adrenalin-fuelled novel, Never Say Die.

Anthony Horowitz has brought the world’s greatest teenage spy out of (early) retirement to put an end to Scorpia once and for all. Come and hear about the thrilling mission that throws Alex back into a world of deadly secrets, from Egypt to France, with a minefield of dangers along the way. And listen closely for some hints of what to expect in Alex’s next adventure, Nightshade!

Language: English

Age Group: 9+

Anthony Horowitz: Alex Rider Returns

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Digital Diplomacy: Omar Saif Ghobash & Thomas Fletcher

Event 42 Saturday 3 March, 2pm-3pm Al Ras 2, InterContinental

In a world where heads of state can share every idle thought with the world at the push of a button, what’s a diplomat to do?

Two inspiring young diplomats who came of age in the digital era speak frankly about the state of international relations and how to make sure that technology is used responsibly by those with power.

Thomas Fletcher served as British Ambassador to Lebanon from 2011-2015 and is currently Visiting Professor of International Relations at NYUAD. He is the author of The Naked Diplomat: Understanding Power and Politics in the Digital Age.

Omar Saif Ghobash is the UAE’s Ambassador to France and a leading thinker on moderate Islam and the future of the Arab World. His book Letters to a Young Muslim was published in 2017 to international acclaim.

Language: English

Digital Diplomacy: Omar Saif Ghobash & Thomas Fletcher

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Shashi Tharoor: Inglorious Empire

Event 56 Saturday 3 March, 6pm-7pm Al Baraha 3, InterContinental

The British Empire is much mythologised but poorly understood, and its role in Indian history is frequently at the heart of this confusion.

Here to revisit this contested era of history is Shashi Tharoor, outspoken politician and equally outspoken author, whose viral talk on British looting in India led him to write Inglorious Empire: What the British Did to India, a thoroughly researched history of British Imperial misrule.

Tharoor will be in conversation with William Dalrymple, author of White Mughals, The Last Mughal, and new book Kohinoor.

Language: English

Shashi Tharoor: Inglorious Empire

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Creative Writing Course with Ibrahim Nasrallah

Event 818 Sunday 4 March, 9.30am-5pm Al Amwaj 2, InterContinental

Award-winning author Ibrahim Nasrallah is coming to Dubai to teach a one-day creative writing course to aspiring novelists writing in Arabic.

Focusing on diversity in writing, Nasrallah’s course explores the importance of offering readers a wider variety of stories – in both subject matter and style. How can writers break out of their comfort zone and diversify their writing? This course will teach how, and Nasrallah will guide participants in their exploration of new forms, new vocabulary, new ideas – everything needed to write new stories!

Please download the outline here for full details of the day’s activities.

The tutor: Ibrahim Nasrallah is a successful author who, in his latest book, has made his own stylistic leap. Dog War II, set in a corrupt but highly advanced future dystopia, is groundbreaking in style and content. He has written 14 poetry collections, 16 novels, and several non-fiction books. His novel Time of White Horses was shortlisted for the IPAF, Kilimanjaro Spirit won the Katara Prize, and he has received the Sultan Owais Literary Award for Poetry and Jerusalem Award for Culture and Creativity for his body of work.

Lunch and coffee breaks are included.

Make sure to arrive for registration and introductions at 9:30 so the course can begin promptly at 10:00.

Language: Arabic

Creative Writing Course with Ibrahim Nasrallah

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Creative Writing Course with Greg Mosse

Event 819 Sunday 4 March, 9.30am-5pm Al Amwaj 1, InterContinental

An unmissable opportunity for the UAE’s aspiring writers!

Acclaimed author and writing teacher Greg Mosse is bringing his one-day creative writing course to Dubai. If you have ever wanted to write a novel, or already have one underway and want to polish your skills, this is the perfect chance to get started.

The course will cover aspects of planning a novel and building up characters, location and dialogue. Please download the outline here for a detailed outline of the day’s activities.

The tutor: Greg Mosse is a highly regarded creative writing teacher, writer and editor with more than 20 years of professional experience. He was previously programme leader for creative writing at West Dean College where he taught his own MA degree, validated by University of Sussex, and a wide range of short courses. He curates and teaches the Southbank Centre Creative Writing School and works in story development and consultancy for stage and screen.

Lunch and coffee breaks are included.

Make sure to arrive for registration and introductions at 9:30 so the course can begin promptly at 10:00.

Language: English

Creative Writing Course with Greg Mosse

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Mohammed Hasan Alwan: A Small Death

Event 99 Thursday 8 March, 6.30pm-7.30pm Al Ras 1, InterContinental

Mohammed Hasan Alwan won the 2017 International Prize for Arabic Fiction for A Small Death, a historical fiction novel about the great Sufi scholar Ibn Arabi.

Following Ibn Arabi on his extensive travels through the 12th Century Islamic world, A Small Death examines the evolution of one of the best known Arab scholars of all time against the backdrop of a colourful but tumultuous period of history, full of details of the traditions of the cities he visited and the insights this gave him into the human soul.

In this session Alwan will discuss this powerful book and what he learned while writing it.

Language: Arabic

Mohammed Hasan Alwan: A Small Death

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Levison Wood: Hitchhiking the Silk Road

Event 137 Saturday 10 March, 2pm-3pm Al Baraha 3, InterContinental

Authors: Levison Wood
Bestselling author, explorer and photographer Levison Wood takes us on an epic journey across continents. In his new book Eastern Horizons: Hitchhiking the Silk Road, he recounts his shoestring budget journey from England to India and the eccentric (and occasionally dangerous) characters he encountered on the way. And for his next book, he’ll be mounting his most complex expedition yet, travelling around the Arabian Peninsula.

The winner of the 2016 Edward Stanford Adventure Travel Book Of The Year Award, Wood is a gripping speaker who has stories of adventures on five continents and whose busy schedule encompasses everything from filmmaking to saving elephants.

Language: English

Levison Wood: Hitchhiking the Silk Road

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