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Location: Dublin, Republic of, Ireland

Sunday, 22 February 2009

I'm Flying to Dubai

by Suzan Abrams
This week I leave Africa for Dubai in the United Arab Emirates.
I'll be attending the now highly-publicised Emirates International Festival for Literature. I planned this trip a month ago.
Since honing a deep interest in Middle-Eastern literature late last year, I have readily devoured the stories of several classical and contemporary Arab writers.
So far, I have tested the waters and have had a few book reviews published in the popular Cafe Arabica and The Iranian online magazines. One of my blog posts featuring jottings on Arab literature is running on Haus Publishing's website in London. These trial gems serve as heady encouragement.
The festival would act as an excellent orientation process for me as a reader and writer. There is so much to learn and to immerse myself in.
I am delighted that Rajaa al Sanea for her famed Saudi-banned Girls of Riyadh, will be there. Of course, there'll be others too like Chimamanda Adichi and Anita Amirezzvani. There will be several discussions on Arab literature and its place in the world today. I want to be there participating in and also absorbing those engaging and enlightening conversations.
I am pleased that Arab literature with all its complicated rules is on its way to a stellar rise internationally in spite...yes, in spite... Especially note Egypt and Beirut, Lebanon and I must add too, Iran.

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