Emirates Airlines Lit Fest aims to inspire readers across UAE

EAFOL is set to kick off on March 1st and span for 12 days filled with literary events and veterans from all over the globe

Tarek Ali Ahmad

Published: Updated:

The Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature (EAFOL) is set to kick off on March 1 and span for 12 continuous days filled with literary veterans and events from all over the globe in an effort to promote reading and writing across the United Arab Emirates.

Festival Director Isobel Abulhoul on Monday said the festival’s program aims to inspire youth and adults to pick up reading for pleasure.

“Each year the festival evolves to embrace new ideas, appreciate new perspectives on literature, and celebrate the traditional forms we hold on so dear,” Abulhoul said at a Dubai press conference announcing the festival's program.

“The huge array of talents and topics that we are privileged to cover in 2016 has allowed us to extend the length of the festival and do justice to the most diverse program yet,” she added.

Abulhoul gave a brief list of the programs that attendees should look forward to at the EAFOL as well as some authors who will make appearances at the festival.

Among these programs are "Spotlight on the Emirates" which focuses on the UAE and its history and culture, as well as Steven Berkoff’s critically-acclaimed play ‘Shakespeare’s Villains.’ Also, Harry Potter illustrator Jim Kay is set to discuss the famed wizard and his role on the upbringing of children around the world.

Also speaking at the event was Acting Director General of the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority, Saeed al-Naboodah, as well as Vice President Commerical and VIP Customer Relations for Emirates Airline, Dinal al-Herias.

“There has never been more of a need for more creative collaboration to inspire a new generation of readers who will go on to become the next innovators, thinkers and intellectuals,” Herais said at the press conference.

Naboodah recognized this year’s festival as being a special one.

“This [Year of Reading] complements our goal of promoting a vibrant literary culture in the UAE and in nurturing the next generation of writing talent,” he said.

“The festival will continue to engage our community by drawing them into the captivating world of the written word,” he added.

Notable names at the festival include international best-selling Arab authors Hoda Barakat and Ghada Karami, as well as television stars such as the UK-based Nadia Sawalha.