11 March, 2010

The Emirates Airlines International Festival of Literature - Food for the Intellect

The term book or reading is tragically fast becoming (if not already) synonymous with the moniker nerd, or even geek. Imagine then the tag assigned to an entire festival dedicated to the sole purpose of promoting literature.

The Emirates Airlines International Festival of Literature (EAIFL) was launched in 2009 to dispel that very prejudice; the notion that books are for ‘losers’ and reading for bores.

Following its successful advent the previous year, the second edition of the EAIFL was officially inaugurated this morning at the Intercontinental Hotel, Dubai Festival City, in the presence of a full house of authors, dignitaries and bibliophiles.

Collaboratively sponsored for the second time around by Emirates Airlines and Magrudy’s, this Lit Fest has every intention of bringing back to life the dying practice of reading in the Dubai community.

Boasting a diverse line-up of more than 80 authors (including quite a few heavy weights of the business), this year’s event kicked off to a very promising start. Throngs of book-lovers marked their presence from the early hours of the morning until the end of the day’s sessions; keeping busy with the numerous discussions and ‘conversations’ scheduled for the day.

Favourites of Day 1 included the insightful Inspiration-Why We Write discourse featuring Bahaa Taher, Yann Martel and Imtiaz Dharker, The Book Club Phenomenon conversation with Chris Cleave, DJ Taylor, RJ Ellory and Rachel Hore, and the much-anticipated session with Martin Amis.

Also very well-received were the sessions with Robert Greene, Conn Iggulden and Youssef Ziedan.

Author sessions and workshops vary in price, and entry passes to each session can be either pre-booked online, or purchased at the venue itself (albeit with no guarantee of availability). Book signing sessions follow each discourse, and all titles of participating novelists (just in case you don’t have a copy in hand) can be bought at the makeshift (yet fully operative) Magrudy’s outlet at the venue.

The Lit Fest is scheduled to run from the 10th-13th of this month, so those eager to attend have 3 more days to get in on the action. The more anticipated discourses scheduled for the rest of the festival are the sessions by Marjane Satrapi, Jeffery Deaver, Alexander McCall Smith and William Dalrymple (to name a few).

To have a look at the entire schedule or for more information on session reservations, visit the EAIFL official website: www.emirateslitfest.com

For individual reviews of the festival’s sessions, visit www.moneymunot.com, www.shaahima.wordpress.com, http://hishamwyne.wordpress.com/, and http://ana-aqra2.blogspot.com/


Poodle Pelham said...

So books are just for nerds and geeks?! Don't make me laugh! It's the non-readers who are life's losers and tosspots!

Hisham Wyne said...

Very incisive, Pelham Of course, the small matter of tongue in cheek might have escaped you.

Shahima was brilliant, as was the Lit Fest. There were over 10 of us community bloggers and writers there, in addition to a bevy of photographers, etc. all doing their thing gratis, with nary any compensation.

It was an egalitarian blast, and we had a brilliant time, really.
Did you come down, you with ardent viewers about non-readers? Am sure you were there, cuz that would be the only thing distinguishing you from the non reading...umm..tosspots, am sure :)

Good article, young lady :)

Rupert Neil Bumfrey said...

Hi Shaahima,

Excellent article and thank you for all the support you gave my alter ego @emirateslitfest last week.

I do not think such terms are necessary for non-readers, as #dxblit was, apparently, trending worldwide so there is certainly an appetite for literature within twittersphere.

If indeed #dxblit was trending, then that ranks the Festival up there with the likes of #BurjDubai and #DubaiMetro, the only other Dubai related #tags to have featured.

I know, after last weeks Festival, here in UAE, the health of reading is exceptionally good.

Many thanks to all who made it such a buzzy event and all the volunteers.

Looking forward to 8th - 12th March 2011.


Harsha said...

Ooh! an interesting event missed!

Should've been promoted here earlier!

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