Tales of the Emirates: People, Poetry and Fantasy

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Exploring the rich literary forms of the Gulf region, past and present

This is a free in-person only event in the British Library .

An evening with three leading writers from the United Arab Emirates, Dr Abdulaziz Al’Musallam, Dubai Abulhoul and Mohammad Al-Murr in conversation with Nikita Gill. They will introduce some of the written and spoken traditions of the region, from poetry to myths and storytelling. The will also talk about how these traditions are inspiring today’s writing.

Refreshments to follow.

Presented in association with the British Council as part of the Sharjah Market Focus at the London Book Fair.

Dubai Abulhoul is the author of Galagolia, the first Emirati fantasy novel in English. Dubai has recently published a series of five children's books with Kalimat, which aim to introduce key figures of Emirati folklore to younger generations, and preserve Emirati folktales, which have only been passed down verbally from one generation to another. She was named Young Arab of the Year in 2016 at the first Young Arab Awards for her work in youth advocacy, literature, and journalism. She is a columnist at Al Bayan NewspaperThe Gulf Today, and The National. Dubai graduated from New York University Abu Dhabi with a Bachelor's of Arts degree in Political Science, and a minor in Literature. Her undergraduate research focused on women's political participation in the UAE. Dubai has been selected as a Rhodes Scholar, and has graduated from the University of Oxford with a Master's of Science (MSc) in Global Governance & Diplomacy.

Mohammad Al-Murr is a prominent writer from UAE. He has published over 15 volumes of short stories and has had two collections translated into English: Dubai Tales (Forest Books UK ) and The Wink of the Mona Lisa (Motivate, UAE). He graduated from Syracuse University in the United States, and has been a member of a number of UAE academic institutions and councils. He is the head of the Dubai Cultural Council, recently reorganized as the Dubai Culture & Arts Authority. In 2011 he was appointed to the Federal National Council's 15th Chapter as a representative of the Emirate of Dubai, and elected uncontested as Speaker.

Dr. Abdulaziz Al-Musallam is an Emirati novelist, writer, researcher and consultant in cultural heritage. He is the chairman of Sharjah Institute for Heritage and an executive member of a number of international organisations and associations concerned with cultural heritage. Dr. Abdulaziz is known for his research and scientific interests in the Gulf and Arab cultural heritage and has tangible efforts in supporting researchers and institutions concerned with heritage. He holds a PhD in History and Heritage. He has a collection of publications in culture, fairy tales, folk memory and Nabati poetry where some of his works have been translated into English, Italian, Spanish and Czech. Dr. Abdulaziz has received a number of Emirati and Gulf awards including a Certificate of Excellence in Government Performance in the Public Service by Government of Sharjah, Cultural Personality of the Year 2012, Medal of the Gulf Innovators – Research category in Oral History (Kuwait, 2014). He was chosen as a candidate for the Swedish Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award 2016.

Nikita Gill is a British-Indian poet and who has written and curated six volumes of poetry. Your Soul Is A River (2016), Wild Embers: Poems of rebellion, fire and beauty (2017), Fierce Fairytales: & Other Stories to Stir Your Soul (2018), Great Goddesses: Life lessons from myths and monsters (2019), Your Heart Is The Sea (2019), and The Girl and the Goddess (2020). Her latest curated collection Slam was shortlisted for the CLiPPA 2021

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Name: Tales of the Emirates: People, Poetry and Fantasy
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
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When: -
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546

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