Today is International Women's Day, and to celebrate we are hosting talks by a number of influential women, today and throughout the Festival.
At 4.30pm today, Judith Hornok will head up a panel discussing what it takes to be a woman in the 21st Century. Judith is the author of Modern Arab Women: The New Generation of the United Arab Emirates, and the panel includes Huda Al Matroushi, Azza Al Qubaisi & Nahla Al Rostamani, three of the fascinating and influential women she interviewed for the book.
Following this at 6pm, Maryam Behnam will speak about her eventful life in a talk titled Little Miss Earthquake, or Zelzelah Bibi. Born in 1921 (the year of the earthquake in Iran that inspired her nickname), she has at various points been an author, public speaker, advocate for women’s empowerment, diplomat, cultural authority and mother, grandmother and great-grandmother. In 1979 she joined Gulf News as a writer; currently she is senior adviser to the Dubai International Women’s Club (DIWC), one of the oldest women’s clubs in the country.
Other inspiring women appearing throughout the festival include Irish travel legend Dervla Murphy (Friday) and renowned Egyptian feminist author Nawal El Saadawi.