These Emirati female authors at Emirates Airline Festival of Literature are helping change the literary landscape for women in the UAE
31 January 2018| Last updated on 31 January 2018
As expatriates, rarely do we have the opportunity to connect with local voices of the UAE. In fact, we’re sure many of us wouldn’t know where to start.
But when an event likethe Emirates Airline Festival of Literature comes around each year, we’re offered with a fantastic opportunity to connect with local authors, illustrators and leading figures in the UAE.
For the 2018 edition and 10th Emirates literature festival, the line-up includes many Emirati voices, male and female, whose work you can learn more about at this year’s festival.
There are over 30 individuals we encourage you to see at the LitFest this March, but for now – here’s 5 of our favourite hand-picked, female Emirati authors you should most definitely check out.
Dubai Abulhoul Alfalasi
This 20 year old is the author of ‘Galagolia’, the first Emirati fantasty novel in English. Name as ‘Young Arab of the Year’ in 2016 at the first Young Arab Awards, she’s hailed for her work in youth advocacy, literature and journalism.
Dubai graduated from New York University Abu Dhabi with a BA in Political Science, and a minor in Literature, in May 2017. She has also been selected as a Rhodes Scholar at the University of Oxford, and is currently completing her Master of Science (MSc) in Global Governance & Diplomacy.
You can follow Dubai on Twitter, at @dubaiabulhoul
Find sessions and tickets to meet and see Dubai at this year’s Dubai LitFest, here.
Pictured above: Dubai Abulhoul Alfalasi
Noura Al Khoori
She’s a children’s author and environmentalist, who couples writing for children with volunteer community work in the UAE. Noura is passionate about incorporating aspects of the natural environment as well as local culture into her writings, and holds school readings and workshops, as well as book fair activities throughout the UAE.
Her many publications include ‘Journey Across the Maqta’, ‘The Tender Hands’, and ‘Fanteer the Fluffy Flamingo’.
Nadia Al Najjar
Nadia Al Najjar is an Emirati author who has published three novels and one children’s book.
Her novels include Mada’en Al-Lahfa, known in English as Cities of Passion, which won first place in the Emirates Award for Fiction in the Short Fiction category – 2015. The novel consists of 16 chapters, and each chapter is named after a different city ranging from Dubai to Damascus. Her latest novel, Trio D, tells the story of the burning and sinking of the Dara Ship which was carrying 690 passengers and 132 crew, 238 of whom died in the incident.
Find sessions and tickets with Nadia at this year’s LitFest, here.
Pictured above: Nadia Al Najjar
Salha Obaid is an Emirati author of several books including The Postman of Happiness and The Hidden White Thread. She won the Short Stories Award from the Cultural Office of the Supreme Council for Family Affairs in 2012, the Italian/Emirati Cultural Exchange competition in 2013 and the Al Owais Creativity Award for best fiction book of 2015. She writes for Al Roeya and Al Ittihad newspapers and is a member of the editorial board of the UAE Writers Union’s Bait Alsard magazine.
Find sessions and tickets with Salha at this year’s Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, here.
Maitha Al Khayat
Maitha Al Khayat is a member of a new breed of superheroes. The mother of five is one of the UAE’s most prolific Emirati children’s illustrators and writers. She is a Board Member at the UAE Board of Books for Young People – IBBY, and an ambassador of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature.
In less than 10 years, Al Khayat has published 17 books; five in English, including the award-winning My Own Special Way and Turn Off the Lights.
Al Khayat writes for children’s TV shows, including the newly relaunched Arabic version of Sesame Street and the Emirati cartoon series Hamdoon. Her most recent book, Nawaf Al Jallaf, is for preteens.
Pictured above: Maitha Al Khayat