[#EmiratesLitFest] An Ode to the Mohammed Bin Rashid Library in Dubai (and a Panel Discussion with Famous Historians)

MBRL Dubai is Love.

Myra here.

It was my first time to attend the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, and I shared some of the events I planned to attend here. What I was most excited about, though, is finally seeing the newly-opened Mohammed Bin Rashid Library in Dubai, since a few of the events were held in this gorgeous place (see my doctoral student’s post here).

Naturally, I made sure to take loads of photos. I thought the stack of books was a wallpaper design. I was wrong.

I immediately gravitated towards the Children’s Book section – and it was just such a dynamic place. Definitely not what other people would imagine a library to be (usually perceived as quiet, boring, sedentary spaces).

Evidently, a lot of thought has gone into the creation of such a dynamic space that invites young children to read and at the same time encourages movement and play.

Here is a photo that my husband has taken that shows the outside of the Mohammed Bin Rashed Library building with the sunset and Burj Khalifa in the background.

What I like even more about it is their magnificent theatre where events can be held. There are also a few other spaces where smaller talks/events can be managed. For example, I attended Filipino historian, Ambeth Ocampo’s panel discussion here along with two other famous historian panelists from the UK, Lucy Worsley and James Fox.

This was a fascinating discussion ably moderated by Rehan Khan.

There was a great deal of discussion about the history of color and all that it signifies, bathing among Europeans and Filipinos, post-colonial historical reworkings (of a sort), and Jose Rizal possibly being Jack the Ripper among other things. I was hoping to ask a question regarding the color of protest in the Philippines – and how it has evolved over the years – but perhaps the answer could be an entire lecture on its own, so I decided to spare Prof Ambeth Ocampo my potentially-polemical question. The 60 minutes flew by way too quickly, leaving me hoping that discussions with three panelists would last for at least 75-90 minutes in the future.

At any rate, I am looking forward to visiting the Mohammed Bin Rashid Library (MBRL) again, and having it as a venue for events that our college will be hosting in the future.

1 comment on “[#EmiratesLitFest] An Ode to the Mohammed Bin Rashid Library in Dubai (and a Panel Discussion with Famous Historians)

  1. Pingback: [Monday Reading] Celebrating Shaun Tan – Gathering Books

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