Emirates Airline Festival of Literature: the must-sees

Now in its 16th year, the festival will run from 31 January to 6 February at the Intercontinental Dubai Festival City. A special tribute will be paid to the Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwich.

These include Egyptian novelist Miral Al Tahawy, whose novel 'Tales from the City of the Rising Sun' has been shortlisted for the 2023 International Prize for Arabic Fiction, and whose autobiographical novel "Brooklyn Heights" won the 2010 Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature. Award-winning Egyptian poet and Prince of Poets TV finalist Ahmed Bakheet will also take to the stage, while the first figure skater from the UAE and the region to compete at world level, Zahra Lari, is set to launch her children's book "Not Yet: The Story of an Unstoppable Skater".

Arab authors returning to the festival include Kuwaiti novelist Saud Alsanoussi, winner of the 2013 International Prize for Arabic Fiction for his novel 'The Bamboo Stem', and Emirati author and poet Ali Abu Al Reesh, best known for his novel 'The Confession'.

Now that the programme has been unveiled, here are a few sessions you won't want to miss!

2 February: Mai Al-Nakib, a Kuwaiti author who recently published "An Unfast Home" and "Now You See Us". Both novels deal with the marginalisation of women, including the subject of "kafala" in "Now You See Us".

On 3 February: a tribute to Mahmoud Darwich, with Palestinian poet Dana Dajani, accompanied by musician Ammar Ashkar and actor Jad Hakawati.

On 4 February: a meeting with Egyptian novelists and graphic designers Malaka Gharib, winner of the Arab American Book Award in 2020 and author of "It Won't Always Be Like This", and Deena Mohamed, author of the award-winning graphic novel "Shibeik Lubeik".

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