Malala among top names announced in Emirates Lit Fest 2021 author line-up


Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

Dubai - The theme for the festival will be ‘Change the Story’, a nod to the spirit of the current times.

By Web report

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Published: Tue 29 Dec 2020, 3:04 PM

Last updated: Tue 29 Dec 2020, 11:10 PM

Nobel prize winner Malala and authors Elif Shafak, Amin Maalouf and Lemn Sissay will be among the top names to take part in the 2021 edition of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.

Organisers on Tuesday announced that the annual event, which will take place from January 29 to February 13, will feature a mix of live appearances and virtual sessions. Several sessions will also be livestreamed for those who are unable to attend or who miss out on tickets.

The theme for the festival will be ‘Change the Story’, a nod to the spirit of the current times.

Ahlam Bolooki, Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature said: “The world has shifted since the 2020 Festival, and we have all changed by the events of the last year. Although circumstances have meant that some of the usual elements of our Festival are not possible for 2021, we are thrilled to be able to stage live sessions again.

“I believe the programme we have curated captures the zeitgeist of the world at the moment," she added. "We’re looking forward to a better future, and a more hopeful, accepting and empathetic world. We all want to make more positive choices in our lives, while being entertained and having some fun. The New Year brings a new beginning. I hope it enables us all to ‘Change the Story’ for 2021, and our Festival to bring a big dose of optimism for the future.”

For the first time, the festival will be expanding its programme across the city to cover three weekends as part of a collaboration with Jameel Arts Centre and Alserkal. Jameel Arts Centre will host the first weekend of the festival from January 29-30. This will be followed by the big festival weekend at the InterContinental Festival City, from February 4-6. Alserkal Avenue will host the final weekend from February 12-13.

Emirates Airline president Tim Clark said: "Culture and creativity that generates thoughtful conversations, feeds knowledge, and brings people together has never been so important during these extraordinary times. The blend of physical events and virtual sessions led by some of the most prolific authors and cultural figures of our time will help bring ideas and learnings to new audiences, and serve the festival’s loyal community.

"Dubai’s strong vision for the future continues to underpin its efforts to bounce back stronger, and we will continue to support its growing appeal as a destination for people to gather and engage for a myriad of events,” he added.

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