I’ve just come back from Dubai where I’ve attended the Emirates Literature Festival for the first time in my life … Where was I? Really! I mean, why haven’t I read or heard about this festival before? Maybe because I was busy with raising Jana? Maybe!
Anyways, I came to know about this festival 3 weeks before it was supposed to start. I got very excited that there were authors that I’m a big fan of would be attending the festival. I got the permission from my husband, asked my aunt to join me and started booking. I booked the same hotel where all the fuzz was happening, Intercontinental Dubai Festival Hotel, which turned out to be a great hotel. And my flight was on Aljazeera (KD 63/-). It was the first time that I flew on Aljazeera, it was ok for a short trip, more importantly their timing is punctual.
Let’s talk about the festival … I arrived on the evening of Thursday 10th of March 2016. Didn’t book any sessions for this day. The whole celebrations and fun started on Friday afternoon. I went down there around 12pm where people were queueing for their favourite authors to sign their books, others enjoying their time chatting together, some people enjoying books shopping in the area (They set a book store inside the hotel selling the books of the authors attending the festival-WHSmith), and kids enjoying the activities prepared for them. The atmosphere was just amazing.
My session was supposed to start at 1:30pm, I arrived a bit early & got to know a very nice old lady from the UK where we enjoyed our time chatting together about books, authors and life. She was so sweet, we even sat together when the session started and commented on few things. The first session was about Under Cornwall’s Spell where authors Liz Fenwick & Jenny Colgan talked about their love for this particular place in England. I loved this session a lot, both authors were nice, funny and kind. They shared their experiences and talked about their characters. They also mentioned how it’s very difficult to write about the place you’re living in trying to make it sound nice when it’s totally the opposite. After the session, I asked to take a photo with both of them and they were adorable. Just look at the photos😀 I was really looking forward for meeting Jenny Colgan, such a nice lady. Later, they signed my books yeeepppeeeee.
The next session, took place at 3:30 pm in a bigger hall. Ofcourse, it needed a huge space to hold the audience/fans of the one and only Mr. Michael Dobbs who has worked with Margaret Tatcher and writing the political books/series House of Cards. This session was mind opening to the political lives of politicians and how it’s not easy to be a politician. The difficulties they face in real life, writing about it and continuing to write about it. Mr. Dobbs talked about it all, and how his book series were picked to become a TV show. He also mentioned that he’s working on season 5 right now. Oh, and that funny joke about Donald Trump hahaha After the session, I went to stand in the line for him to sign my book, he did with a bonus photo and a huge smile from him😀 Oh such a nice man.
I was able to attend only 2 sessions, but I was determined to make it on time at night to meet the famous author from my country Kuwait Saud Alsanousi. He makes me feel proud, saying that this great author is from my hometown. I reached the hotel at 9:30pm after having dinner outdoors, and saw chatting with some people, I went immediately to my room, got my book and came back downstairs for him to sign my copy of his great book. He was really nice and adorable, and I loved what he write on my book😀
It was the loveliest weekend ever, I loved every minute spent in the festival. I’ll make sure nshallah to attend the festival every year