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From Russian tragedies to Australian comedies, via Emirati slam poetry and Saudi science fiction, our appetite for words knows no bounds. In our day jobs at the Emirates Literature Foundation, you'd normally find us planning the next Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, but the rest of the time we're guessing whodunnit, debating the ultimate feel-good novel, or reading the stacks of books that line our office walls. As we are here in Dubai, one of the best connected cities in the world, ...
 
On this podcast you will find full session recordings from the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature and festival author interviews with Emirates ICE, as well as some special features. The Festival is the Arab World’s largest celebration of the written and spoken word, connecting readers with authors and books. The Festival is organised by the Emirates Literature Foundation, a non-profit NGO established to spread the love of literature.
 
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show series
 
In this episode, Andrea and Annabelle are joined by Mazen Nahawi, enthusiastic reader and Founder and CEO of media intelligence firm CARMA, here to add some intelligence to the conversation about one of the highest profile snubs this year. Sir Kazuo Ishiguro is no stranger to the Booker Prize, having won the award in 1989 for The Remains of the Day…
 
Lemn Sissay knows more than most what it takes to change the story. Until he was seventeen he didn’t even know his real name, having been brought up in a succession of foster families and care homes against his mother’s wishes. In his memoir My Name is Why, the award-winning writer and poet tells the story of his fight for justice and finding hope …
 
In this episode, Andrea and Annabelle are joined by author Nadia Wassef who talks about her fabulous memoir Shelf Life, Chronicles of a Cairo Bookseller, and the foundation’s own Dania Droubi joins the conversation about the Russian Dolls (or piñata cakes) of literature: books about books. Books and authors mentioned in this episode: The Storied Li…
 
Welcome back to Season 3! In this SHORT episode, Andrea and Annabelle go on a quick pit-stop tour of five books you can read in one sitting, or in fits and starts as you go about your daily business in what feels like the busiest month of the year. Expect weird intrigue, an uncomfortable honeymoon, a look at a world without chocolate or cats, and s…
 
For all of women’s advances in recent years, feminism remains a fraught topic and women still have to find creative ways to assert themselves in different areas. Hafsa Lodi and Houriya Altaheri, trailblazers in fashion and football respectively, discuss their careers and the recent events and ongoing trends that have affected women’s prospects. Ame…
 
Fearmongering and disinformation are serious problems today, and the medical world, in particular, is plagued by junk science, outdated theories and highly contested data presented as fact – not to mention dangerous conspiracy theories such as the one driving the anti-vaccine movement. Our panel of medical experts takes a scalpel to the mass of con…
 
Science (and science writing) begins with questions. They can be sensible questions, like “Why is the sky blue?” But even better, they can be silly questions! Award-winning science author Isabel Thomas will take you on a whirlwind tour of the funniest questions asked by scientists – showing how silly questions lead to serious science! You’ll discov…
 
Do you feel like you are surrounded by idiots? What is going on in the head of that one colleague you just can’t work with? How do meetings always end up over-length and off-topic? Our panel brings together two authors who have tackled these questions and more in their books on business, cross-cultural communication and the always-challenging art o…
 
In this episode we say happy 244th birthday to the ever youthful and dynamic United States of America. Ahlam and Andrea recommend two very different books that say something about growing up in the US, and then they are joined by American author Avni Doshi who shares her top tip for what to read this 4th July. Books and authors mentioned in this ep…
 
In this episode, Andrea and Annabelle go on a quick pit-stop tour of the six novels on the Women's Prize for Fiction shortlist - you can expect everything from a mystery story in an ocean-filled mansion to cautionary tales in Barbados, with a side helping of fun facts about authors, and a weird story about what watching The Exorcist 72 times does t…
 
Among today’s upheavals in the Middle East, a global pandemic and economic recessions, the timely release of Adrift by world-renowned scholar and bestselling author Amin Maalouf is his attempt at making sense of our world as it is today. Expertly weaving in his life story while mapping turning points in the Middle East’s geopolitics, Maalouf addres…
 
Elif Shafak’s remarkable career has seen her use the power of story to bring people together. Perhaps most famous for her fiction, which includes bestsellers The Forty Rules of Love and 10 minutes 38 seconds in This Strange World, she is also the author of reflective and insightful non-fiction. Intellectual and entertaining, universal and personal,…
 
Youngest Nobel laureate and Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai has never stopped advocating for girls’ right to education, despite the attempt on her life by the Taliban in 2012 in her home, Pakistan’s Swat Valley. Join the conversation with Malala, now a fresh graduate from Oxford in politics, philosophy, and economics, as she delves into her lif…
 
In this episode, Ahlam, Andrea and Annabelle recommend books that have music at their heart before novelist Jessica Anya Blau stops by to chat about her latest book Mary Jane, the joy of 70s music, Keith Richards and more. You can expect a record store owner who uses music to navigate his breakups, hipster 'audio craftsmen' who are haunted by an ee…
 
Want to win books signed by the authors? Of course you do, and all you need to do is complete this survey: https://survey.zohopublic.com/zs/ahCNu5 In this episode, we look at books and writers that put forward an unpopular opinion, including persuasive arguments for not becoming a mother, why you should be against empathy, and our author and editor…
 
This episode was recorded 25 April. Since then, we have seen heart breaking parallels between one of the books we discuss in this episode and the reality facing families in Sheikh Jarrah. Our hearts go out to the families affected, and we pray for a cessation and reversal of the evictions. In this episode, Ahlam, Andrea and Annabelle discuss books …
 
In this episode, as the Academy Awards have just announced their best supporting actors and actresses we found ourselves wondering who would win the Boundless Book Club trophy for best supporting character. Join Ahlam, Andrea and Annabelle on a journey through some of their favourite supporting characters who definitely deserve more page time. Stay…
 
In this episode, we look at books to read during the holy month of Ramadan. Ahlam gives us a whistle-stop tour of key facts, from fasting to the five pillars of Islam, before we speak to Buddhist Monk Gelong Thubten about all things mindfulness and meditation during Ramadan. Books and authors mentioned in this episode: Muslim Women Mystics: The Lif…
 
Do you have opinions about the show? Tell us what you think, so we can do better: https://survey.zohopublic.com/zs/ahCNu5 ---- In this episode, Andrea and Annabelle look at books that take their characters to some dangerous places, from the isolation of a cabin in the Arctic, to the simmering violence of an African jungle, before speaking to bestse…
 
Craic open a book with Ahlam, Andrea and Annabelle as they take you on a journey through the best of Irish banter, murder, ghosts, fairies, criminal masterminds, 70s nostalgia and more, in honour of St. Patrick's Day (but worth reading every day). Sheila Maher also drops in from Dublin to recommend her top tip for a book by a fellow Irish author. B…
 
If you could magically be gifted some 'mad skills'- what would you choose? If you could talk to animals would you want to know what your tortoise is saying about you? These are just some of the intense questions that Andrea, Ahlam and Annabelle from the Emirates Literature Foundation consider with Flora Rees, Head of Programming at the Emirates Air…
 
No stranger to being pride of place in bookstores, there are some authors that move us as much as they move sales. Andrea, Ahlam and Annabelle from the Emirates Literature Foundation each review a book by an author who is considered 'kind of a big deal' and decide if and why they're worth the hype. Books and authors mentioned in this episode: 10 Mi…
 
An espresso and an early start, hot cocoa and cold weather – there are some things in life that are just a perfect match. In this episode, we discover that books are no exception, as Andrea, Ahlam and Annabelle from the Emirates Literature Foundation each select two books that are perfect companions. Side-by-side or one after the other, these are t…
 
Episode Description From the best books of the year, to your own personal favourites and beyond, how do you decide what books to give as gifts? In this episode Andrea and Annabelle explore the world of literary gift giving with poet and author of The Rainbow Factory Mark Fiddes, from their own go-to gifting choices, to the risks and rewards of book…
 
Talking about books that are The Business, the Emirates Literature Foundation team delves into the books you can find on the shelves of the business section of a book shop. With not one but two special guests, this episode welcomes Mimi Nicklin, author of Softening the Edge, who shares her thoughts on harnessing the power of empathy in the corporat…
 
All Emiratis are rich, the Swedes are aloof and the English are all boring. Or are they? In this episode Andrea and Annabelle are joined by Khalid Al Ameri, Emirati YouTuber and vlogger who is known for his (often hilarious) daily videos about life with his Arab-American wife Salama Mohamed, which break down cultural perceptions and stereotypes. He…
 
Every year the Booker Prize is awarded to the best original novel written in English and published in the UK. The longlist of 13 is whittled down to a shortlist of six, with much debate and discussion over who should win, who will win, and which books we are most delighted to have discovered. Ahead of the winner announcement on 19 November, Andrea,…
 
What was the last book that really scared you? Get a cauldron-sized pumpkin latte ready for this special Halloween episode of the Boundless Book Club where you’ll find Ahlam, Andrea and Annabelle talking to Jessica Jarlvi, author of psychological thrillers When I Wake Up and What Did I Do? about what scares them in real life and fiction, and the bo…
 
Settle in for an extra special episode of the Boundless Book Club as Ahlam and Annabelle chat to one of the six incredible authors shortlisted for the 2020 Booker Prize for Fiction…which is essentially the Oscars for literature! Dubai-based novelist Avni Doshi joins us for an in-depth conversation about her debut, Burnt Sugar, a captivating story o…
 
Episode Description – Love In this episode of the Boundless Book Club from the Emirates Literature Foundation, you’ll find Ahlam, Andrea and Annabelle talking to Miles Buckeridge, reporter from What’s On, and a sci-fi enthusiast, a banner carrier for geekdom, and a man who believes in love being a crucial part of living your best life. Which brings…
 
In this episode of the Boundless Book Club from the Emirates Literature Foundation, you’ll find Ahlam, Andrea and Annabelle talking to Saeed Saeed, Arts and Culture features writer for The National (thenational.ae), about the voices from the Middle East that we want everyone to know about. There are so many though and this is just a small selection…
 
Episode Description In this episode of the Boundless Book Club from the Emirates Literature Foundation, you’ll find Ahlam, Andrea and Annabelle talking to Editor of Think With Google MENA and travel blogger Sara Hamdan, aka @holidaysinheels, about the books that are as good as a plane, train or automobile at transporting us to incredible locations.…
 
In this episode of the Boundless Book Club from the Emirates Literature Foundation, you’ll find Ahlam, Andrea and Annabelle talking about fiction and non-fiction books that offer hope in dark times, and which might brighten up your own bookshelf. This topic was suggested by a listener, and we do our best to please. You might be surprised by the boo…
 
Classics - it’s a section in every bookshop and on every bookshelf - but what makes a book a classic? In this episode of the Boundless Book Club from the Emirates Literature Foundation you’ll find Ahlam, Andrea and Annabelle sharing their favourite classic novels and the ones they’ve been resisting or that didn’t live up to the hype. Books and auth…
 
As firm believers in the redemption and enlightenment that can be found in a book, the Emirates Literature Foundation has been working for more than two years with Dubai Penal and Correctional Institutions and Dubai Police to organise visits from Dubai-based and international authors to help inmates engage with books and the writing process. After …
 
In Episode 7 of the Boundless Book Club we look at representation in fiction, and the reading lists inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement, and share three of our personal favourite books by writers of colour that take us on a journey from memoir to crime, to magic realism and beyond. The problem with a 30-minute podcast is that we always end u…
 
The gossip column goes literary in this sixth episode of the Boundless Book Club from the Emirates Literature Foundation where you’ll find Ahlam, Andrea and Annabelle diving into some juicy scandal and controversies from the book world, from the Marxist subtext of Green Eggs and Ham to marketing fails in 2020, and more. Books and authors mentioned …
 
In this fifth episode of the Boundless Book Club from the Emirates Literature Foundation, you’ll find Ahlam, Andrea and Annabelle recommending and chatting about the connections between genres and geography, from Scandi Noir, to Magic Realism, and beyond. Books and authors mentioned in this episode: Grab a cup of cocoa, because it gets chilly as ou…
 
In this episode of the Boundless Book Club from the Emirates Literature Foundation, you’ll find Ahlam, Andrea and Annabelle talking about self-help – its popularity as a genre, and if it is something you can find on their own bookshelves. Books and authors mentioned in this episode: How Women Rise: Break the 12 Habits Holding You Back from Your Nex…
 
In this episode of the Boundless Book Club from the Emirates Literature Foundation, you’ll find Ahlam, Andrea and Annabelle talking about poetry – when they turn to it, page vs performance, and what happens when they’re given the tough task of choosing just one poem to share with each other. Poems, Poets and Collections in this episode: The Rubáiyá…
 
In this second episode of the Boundless Book Club from the Emirates Literature Foundation, you’ll find Ahlam, Andrea and Annabelle asking if there is such a thing as a ‘guilty pleasure’ when it comes to reading, and what books they have hidden at the back of the bookshelf. In this episode: Love Letters of Great Men, by John C. Kirkland You might be…
 
Detective John Rebus may have retired, but bestselling crime author, Ian Rankin, certainly has not! The latest instalment continues the story of Rebus’s post-retirement meddling in the changing landscape of Scottish policing, as his protégé Siobhan Clarke investigates how the body of a long-missing private investigator was found on land that had be…
 
What makes going from A to B an adventure, not a destination? A map can show you the layout of a place, but its emotional geography is something that takes a bit more time and skill to uncover. Leon McCarron is a Northern Irish adventurer, filmmaker, writer and motivational speaker, who believes in the importance of a slower pace to truly understan…
 
Lewis Dartnell is an author, presenter and Professor of Science Communication at the University of Westminster. He’s well known for his work, The Knowledge: How to Rebuild our World from Scratch. Lewis has written science articles for popular magazines like New Scientist and written books such as Life in the Universe and has contributed an essay on…
 
Sue Nelson is an award-winning science journalist and broadcaster, formerly a BBC TV science correspondent and Radio 4 presenter. Sue was a presenter of The Material World on BBC Radio 4 and has presented a number of science series on Radio 4 including Britain’s Modern Brunels and Citizen Scientist in 2006. She was also the co-author of How To Clon…
 
Leon McCarron is a Northern Irish storyteller and is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society. Leon walked 3,000 miles across China which took him six months while filming for a National Geographic TV show. He also cycled 14,000 miles from New York to Hong Kong and trekked 1,000 miles through the Empty Quarter desert in Oman which became a featur…
 
Keith Stuart is an author and journalist. His debut novel, A Boy Made of Blocks, was a Richard and Judy Book club pick and a bestseller, inspired by Keith’s real-life relationship with his autistic son. His second novel, Days of Wonder, is a story about story about family, love and finding magic in everyday life. He has written for publications inc…
 
A former British police officer, Clare Mackintosh is now a Sunday Times bestselling author. Her debut novel I Let You Go was a Richard & Judy book club pick and won Theakston’s Old Peculier Crime Novel of the Year Award in 2016. In 2017, it was announced that she had sold over one million copies worldwide. Her second novel I See You reached number …
 
For any woman who has ever looked at her Instagram feed and thought, 'Who are these women, and how the hell do they do it?' The internet has set destructive standards of flawlessness and comparison. Katherine Ormerod, journalist and social media mogul, explodes our social-media-addled ideas about body image, money, relationships, motherhood, career…
 
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