by Suzan Abrams
I don't know what to write really. I can't create anything literary or clever.
So for the mundane.
I arrived in Dubai last night. I went to buy my tickets for the Emirates Festival for Literature this morning. Customer service is a precious quality here. Everyone is very helpful.
English is spoken everywhere. Otherwise, Hindi among Indians and of course, Arabic.
Cool weather about 25 degrees celsius.
Lots of taxis like Africa. Very polite taxi drivers who would never dream of rejecting a customer.
No one jumps queue here. Residents are law-abiding.
High-tech architecture and each mall about five times the size of a shopping centre in England.
Population mostly Europeans, Americans, Filipinos, Indians and Middle-Easterners
The staff at Magrudy's bookshop were extremely efficient and patient in helping me decide on events. All took pride in the literary schedule, placed for the next 3 days.
I wasn't able to attend a few events I cared for as many clashed.
I will write something in brief each day but will probably only have time for detailed events, when I return to Europe next week.
I have heard some inside stories firsthand already on the Atwood controversy and Bedell's allegations certainly ended up causing pain to innocent parties.
I think this Festival is a grand thing, helping to open up an otherwise elusive Arab literature to the world.