The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature yesterday unveiled the details of its 12th edition, which begins on February 4, bringing together more than 150 Emirati, Arab and foreign creators and writers who will enrich the six-day events with inspiring experiences and diverse issues at InterContinental, Dubai. Festival City. The founder of the Women's Museum in Dubai, Dr. Rafia Ghobash, confirmed the presence of the Arab writer at the festival this year, noting during the press conference held yesterday to reveal the details of the upcoming festival session, that each dialogue session will include an Arab writer in addition to foreign writers hosted by the festival, In the interest of cross-fertilization of the various cultures and civilizations embraced by the UAE. She added that there is a clear orientation and dedication to the participation of the UAE creative creator, pointing to the keenness of the festival management to participate in new faces, and to avoid repeating some of the names that have already participated. “The decision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President, Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, to adopt the Emirates Literature Foundation has contributed to the support of the Literature Festival and transformed it into a cultural destination that weighs heavily on the local and international literary scene. The presence of Her Highness Sheikha Latifa bint Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum as Chairman of the Culture and Arts Authority in Dubai, as well as being a member of the Board of Trustees of the Festival, is a strong motivation for the festival in its upcoming sessions.

Hala Badri, Director General of the Culture and Arts Authority in Dubai, expressed her happiness with the cultural partnership between the Authority and the Emirates Literature Foundation. “We are delighted with our continued support for the festival, especially this session, which is being held under the umbrella of the Dubai Art Season 2020. One of the top priorities of Dubai Culture is to foster a passion for knowledge and a love of reading among all segments of society, in line with the National Reading Strategy led by HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid. Al Maktoum, where the festival hosts a host of international writers to attend this wonderful event, we are honored to support this initiative that makes reading an integral part of the lives of UAE residents. ”

`` For us, change will always be related to the new characters and glittering names that the festival attracts every year, and is betting on innovation and diversity, '' festival director Ahlam Blokie told Emirates Today. She added: `` We are proud to host a group of Arab innovators with international experiences, including Omani Jokha Al Harthy, who is the first Arab figure to win the Man Booker International Prize for her novel (Ladies of the Moon), and Lebanese Huda Barakat, the winner of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2019 for the novel (Bread Night) Inam Kajji, whose novel (American granddaughter) reached the short list of the International Prize for Arabic Fiction 2009, as well as Saudi Omaima Al Khamis, winner of the Naguib Mahfouz Prize in Literature 2018, for her novel (Masra Al-Gharaniq in Al-Aqiq), and other prominent names that Will furnish spaces Culture and knowledge at the festival ». Concerning the female presence, the Director of Emirates Literature pointed out that the festival is dedicated to discussing the important roles of women through the ages, with the participation of Moroccan researcher Abdelilah Ben Arafa, founder of the Women's Museum in Dubai, Dr. Rafia Ghobash, and UAE writer and journalist Reem Al Kamali.

Talking about the change in the event, Ahlam Bloki pointed to the introduction of new low-cost tickets for the first time. “The prices for adult sessions started from AED 75, today it is only 59, and children's sessions will start from 39 from AED 50. This, I think, is an incentive for adults and children to visit the festival, and enjoy the various events and workshops, and then his discoveries of knowledge and surprises, as we have created this year, for the first time, rooms dedicated to free sessions that can be frequented by those interested in just booking a free ticket on the festival site under the item of free tickets » . “We promise our audience a special opening ceremony and a poetry evening to be held in the UAE's enchanting desert atmosphere in Abiyat from the depths of the desert. In cooperation with Dubai Cares, it will be held in support of their programs for refugee children across the region. ” She said, `` Today we are delighted with the hosted Arab characters, who carry with them a cognitive weight and remarkable success at the moment.

She pointed out that «the festival is a global occasion that brings together all the international experiences, and this in itself highlighted the peculiarities of the festival, which devotes its uniqueness and cultural diversity, and even his vision of the university culture, and calling for communication, but we are always committed to selecting and selecting the best experiences, Arab or foreign».

Written for the first time

About the UAE literary experiences and the space allocated to this year's Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the director of the festival, Ahlam Bloki, said that 35 Emirati writers will share their experience with the festival audience, especially the new experiences.

She added: “Among the free programs will be the launching of the first book launching event. It will also focus on hosting Emirati characters who are used to seeing them in various other fields. This time, they will be hosting the launch of their books, such as vocalist Ahmed Bukhatir, who will launch a new book for young people in English. Habib Al Mulla, who is used to seeing him at the law firm, will see him launch a book about his international experiences with food. This is only a renewed proof that the festival is not only literary but cultural, welcoming different groups and reflecting their interests.

The first Emirati astronaut

Visitors to the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature will meet Hazza Al Mansoori, the first Emirati astronaut to go into space, to talk about how to introduce Emirati culture to the International Space Station. Salem Al Marri, Director of the Emirates Astronaut Program at the Mohammed Bin Rashid Center for Space and Technology.

There is the participation of the award-winning construction engineer Roma Aggarwal, who has completed many creative projects.

The program of the festival is also full of interactive sessions for young people and children.

Slender Ghobash:

• «Each session will include an Arab writer along with foreign authors hosted by the festival».

Hala Badri:

• “We are delighted to support the festival, especially this course which is organized under the umbrella of the Dubai Art Season 2020”.

• 35 Emirati writers will present their experiences to the festival audience.

• 65 Arab speakers will discuss several topics and issues.

• 150 writers hosted by the festival in its next session.