20-10-2016

by Isobel Abulhoul, CEO of the Emirates Literature Foundation and Festival Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literaturedirectors-message-banner-2017

The team and I are so lucky to be able to help shape the Festival and endeavour to bring our marvellous audiences a wealth of talent and diversity from the world of literature.

The great thing about books and their authors is that when you start looking, you will find a tome on almost every conceivable subject. Sports, food, happiness, travel, geography, space, humour… I am sure you get the picture!

So, fulfilling some of the central aims of the Festival to be all-inclusive and accessible, and fun, is not as challenging as it first might seem.

JOURNEYS is the theme for the 2017 Festival and it lends itself so well to being imaginative. When you think about journeys, it can mean so many different things.

Here’s what pops into my mind: an actual journey, a journey through life, a journey through a book, a journey towards happiness, or fitness, or achieving a dearly held ambition. Or a journey throughout marriage, becoming a parent or grandparent. Whatever kind of journey we undertake, it will most certainly spring surprises along the way; or a diversion occurs, or the journey comes to an end.

Personally, I often think about my journey through a lifetime of books and reading, and how each book has fed me, nurtured me, educated me, made me cry or laugh, shocked me, and ultimately understand myself and the world around me a little bit better.

The journey through a book is not a lonesome one; the writer is there with you every step of the way. He or she will share their innermost thoughts and unveil his or her soul. A writer simply can’t help it.

I want you to come on the journey with us, from the 2017 Launch on October 19, perhaps taking part in some of the exciting competitions, then to tickets on sale in January, listening to the Festival authors on Dubai Eye every Saturday morning from 10am.

Follow the countdown, join us on social media, and join one of our Festival book clubs or creative writing courses.

Be prepared to have the time of your life from March 3-11 2017, a roller coaster ride is guaranteed, with a safe landing and a pile of books by your side.