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Big names and programmes lined up for Emirates LitFest

Staff Reporter/Dubai
Filed on November 13, 2019
Emirates LitFest, Emirates Airline Festival, Dubai

(KT File photo)

Tickets of the festival will be on sale to the public from November 14.

A long list of award-winning and popular authors from across the world will inspire and entertain visitors at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature from February 4-9, 2020, organisers have announced.

Big names coming to Dubai for the Festival include TV presenter, cook and bestselling author Nadiya Hussain, explorer Ranulph Fiennes, visual artist and children's book author Oliver Jeffers and TV astronomer and space scientist Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock. From the UAE space programme, Hazzaa AlMansouri will also be present at the fest. Bestselling fiction writers include Rosie Project author Graeme Simsion, Killing Eve creator Luke Jennings, and crime writer extraordinaire Linwood Barclay. 

Ahlam Bolooki, festival director for the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, said: "In a world so full of information, we have a duty of making responsible decisions every day. It is in the small actions we take every day that our impact is made. We can't afford not to be inquisitive and not to ask the big questions in life. We may not find all the answers but with every word we read, we get a little bit closer. Many of the big problems of our world today were predicted in science fiction books long ago. Can we therefore look in today's literature for clues about tomorrow?  

"With the stellar line-up for the 2020 Festival, there is no better place to search for the answers, whatever your question may be. We have writers to entertain, inspire, challenge and excite people from all walks of life and of all ages. Join us at Emirates Airline Festival of Literature because one thing we all have in common is the love of good conversations and great stories"

Many of the sessions, under the theme of Tomorrow, explore the topics of sustainability, spirituality and kindness to self and others, along with the LitFest's ever popular genres covering literary, popular and crime fiction, business, history, poetry, science, food, adventure and exploration and more.

Tickets of the festival will be on sale to the public from November 14.

reporters@khaleejtimes.com

Award-winning novelists

. Tayari Jones, winner of the 2019 Women's Prize for Fiction for An American Marriage

. Jokha Alharthi, the 2019 Man Booker International Prize winner (author of Celestial Bodies)

. Hoda Barakat, winner of the 2019 IPAF for her most recent novel, Night Mail

. Omaima Alkhamis, Saudi Arabian writer who won the 2018 Naguib Mahfouz Medal for Literature for her novel Voyage of the Cranes in the Cities of Aga

. Esi Edugayan, nominated for 2018 Booker prize for Washington Black

. Mohammed Hanif, winner of the Commonwealth Writers' Prize for Best First Novel for A Case of Exploding Mangoes

. Stuart Turton, winner of the 2019 Costa First Novel Award


Two inspirers on stage

. Ziauddin Yousafzai, father of the youngest Nobel Peace Prize recipient Malala, will tell his story to the audience at the Emirates Airline LitFest, along with his wife Toor Pekai Yousafzai. They will discuss his memoir, Let Her Fly.

. Nujeen Mustafa, who began her journey as a refugee in a wheelchair from Syria in 2014 will elaborate her experiences as both a student adjusting to life in a foreign country and as a tireless advocate for disabled refugees and those who remain in Syria.

Mark these special events

. Henry Firth and Ian Theasby, the duo behind the internet sensation BOSH! will show how to live the vegan life

. Green Sheikh Abdulaziz Al Nuaimi will tell the visitors how they can all make steps to contribute towards a sustainable future

. World's greatest living explorer Ranulph Fiennes and master of the mountains Chris Bonington will explain what it's like to conquer the earth's most extreme frontiers

. Investigative photo-journalist and broadcaster Jeremy Hunter will talk of his mission to explore North Korea

. TV broadcaster, environmentalist and wildlife expert Kate Humble will be talking about the power of her year-long journey on foot

. Miriam Lancewood will share the story of her life in the wilderness, foraging, hunting and being at one with nature, and learning what it means to feel truly alive

. Winner of five Emmys and two BAFTAs, Gavin Thurston will reveal the extraordinary adventures and true stories of tracking down and filming the world's most captivating creatures

. The festival will conclude with a charity finale event - an extravaganza of music, poetry and readings in collaboration with Dubai Cares, in support of their programmes for child refugees across our region, and featuring Nujeen Mustafa, whose story of her escape from Syria is told in, Everyday Wonders: The Girl from Aleppo

. Jeetendr Sehdev will examine The Kim Kardashian Principle, which was named one of the year's most influential books by the Huffington Post

. The winner of Asia's first Apprentice show, Jonathan Yabut, will share his business secrets

. Historian Bettany Hughes will examine what we can learn from ancient civilisations, with professor Jonathan Phillips, an expert on the crusades

. Egyptian author and critic Tareq Imam comes to the festival with his novel The City of Endless Walls, which has been called "the new 1001 Nights"

. Young Adult fiction writer Alwyn Hamilton blends the mythologies of the Arabian Nights and the American West to create a surprising new story.

. Gelong Thubten, who left life as an actor at 21 and ordained as a Tibetan Buddhist monk, will guide the visitors on their search for happiness within an urban jungle


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