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Emirates Airline Festival of Literature kicks off with a day of poetry Filed on February 4, 2020 | Last updated on February 4, 2020 at 08.49 pm
Dubai, Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, kicks off, day of poetry,  poetry, Desert Stanzas,

(Supplied photo)

Set to run until February 9, this year's literary celebration features 206 authors from 43 countries.

The highly anticipated Emirates Airline Festival of Literature kicked off on Tuesday by taking its guests into the world of poetry.

Set to run until February 9, this year's literary celebration features 206 authors from 43 countries, with a strong contingent of home-grown talent - the largest number recorded for the event.

And what better way to start the fest than with the time-honoured Emirati tradition of poetry?

One of the signature events, Desert Stanzas, officially opened the event in an evening of rhymes and rhythms, feelings and ideas - delivered under the moon-lit sky at a desert camp.

A night of cultural entertainment unique to Dubai, Desert Stanzas brought together celebrated poets in the UAE and from across the globe. The line-up included Hassan Al Matrooshi, Ibrahim Ahmed Alshami, Hamed Al Yahyai, Afra Atiq, Harry Baker, and Eleanor Hooker.

Colombian-American poet Carlos Andrés Gómez ­- an author, an actor, and a two-time International Poetry Slam Champion - was also among the literary stars at ?the opening.

Earlier in the day, young finalists of the Emirates NBD Poetry for All competition - aged eight to 18 - interpreted their favourite poems on stage. There was also a non-competitive category for students of determination.

Winners for two age categories were chosen by a panel of highly acclaimed poets and literary figures.

Staff Reporter

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