#DecolonizeReading2023 Asian Festival of Children's Content (AFCC) Emirates Airline Literature Festival Features Reading Life Reading Ruminations Reading Themes

[15th Emirates Airline Literature Festival] 2023 Theme: “Old Friends” – Sessions I Am Excited To Attend

See you there!

Myra here.

While I have heard about the lauded Emirates Airline Festival of Literature from author and bookish friends (and my own doctoral students at the university) over the years, this is the first time that I am attending the festival, which is celebrating its 15th year with the theme: “Old Friends.”

Our College Leadership team had the privilege of personally meeting Miss Isobel Abulhoul, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation, and Founder of the Festival, when she visited our university along with her highly efficient Organizing Committee just last week. Faculty and students were generously provided free tickets to most of the sessions we have identified, and I am truly looking forward to feeling inspired yet again.

As most of you know, I chaired the Program Committee of the Asian Festival of Children’s Content in Singapore from 2011 (planning for the 2012 festival) until 2019, and I still currently serve as their International Advisor at Large – hence literary festivals (both attending/presenting and organizing them and writing about them here) feed my soul. In addition, I just posted about our college hosting our very own month-long Reading Festival in March – so I am sure that all the events I will be attending would feed into whatever we have planned in the coming month.

February 01, Wednesday

Opening Night: Desert Stanzas

While we were not able to receive our requested tickets for this event, I purchased myself one, because I don’t think I could possibly miss such a unique and distinct opening night. By the time this gets posted, I would have already attended Desert Stanzas. I would be sure to take lots of photographs so I can share them here.

February 02, Thursday Morning Events

The morning sessions I plan to attend are in Arabic – but I am hoping that there will be translation available. This will also be my first time to finally see the new library in Dubai, the Mohammed Bin Rashid Library, so I am prepared to be in awe.

Cities of the Future: HE Hala Badri & HE Reem Al Hashimy

HE Mohammed Ahmed Al Murr: The Library’s Story – Between the Shelves of Knowledge

February 02, Thursday Afternoon / Evening Events I Plan To Attend

Children Take Over LitFest!

Kahlil Gibran’s The Prophet – Animated film screening and talk: Clark Peterson, Haytham Nasr & Roger Allers

Brian Cox: Shakespeare, Success & Succession – such stellar guests!

February 3, Friday Events I Plan To Attend

Oliver Jeffers: Meanwhile Back on Earth – my heart, be still.

Philip Reeve: Riding the Rails

Anthony Geffen: The Future of Storytelling

When East Meets West: A Mariela Shaker & Riyad Nicolas Concert

February 04 Saturday Events I Plan To Attend

Alexander McCall Smith: Serial Storyteller

Oliver Jeffers: There’s a Ghost in this House – how lucky can a girl get? Not one but two opportunities to see Oliver Jeffers in action!

Ambeth Ocampo: Dirty Ice Cream, Banana Ketchup & Stinking Fish – Deliciously Filipino

Bonnie Garmus: Lessons in Chemistry

Tabi-Tabi Po – Entering the World of Trese: Budjette Tan & Kajo Baldisimo – what I am SUPER excited about!

Kwentong Filipino – Filipino Stories: Angelo R Lacuesta, Danabelle Gutierrez & Miguel Syjuco

February 05, Sunday

Fatima Sharafeddine: The Lion of the Sea – An Emirati Hero – Fatima was one of our keynote speakers at the AFCC a few years ago, so I am thrilled to see her again.

Through the Magnifying Glass – History in Detail(s): Ambeth Ocampo, James Fox & Lucy Worsley – super stoked that there are quite a number of Filipino authors coming.

Constructing the Consummate Thriller: Greg Mosse & Ragnar Jónasson

War & Conflict in Children’s Literature: Onjali Q Raúf, Wafa’ Tarnowska & Wendy Meddour

Tomb of Sand: Daisy Rockwell & Geetanjali Shree

Things that Go Bump in the Night: Budjette Tan, Catriona Ward, Ragnar Jónasson & Roger Luckhurst

Are you familiar with the Emirates Airline Literature Festival?

Have you ever attended any of the past festivals? If yes, what should I expect?

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