Reading is something I started doing quite late in life, but my transformation into the literary beast, which I still proudly am, was fairly quick. It was ‘mystery’ that hooked me in, starting me off with some innocent Enid Blyton (of the Hardy Boys fame); it wasn’t long before I was injecting regular doses of Agatha Christie (remember Hercule Poirot?). My metamorphosis was complete; there was no going back. I started tasting other genres including horror, sci-fi and fantasy, and to this day, nothing gets my heart beating faster than speculative fiction.
I moved to Dubai in 2014 and it was then that I heard of the Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature (EAFOL). The EAFOL is the highlight of Dubai’s event calendar and is organized every March by the hard-working people at the Emirates Literature Foundation. I was lucky enough to be part of the EAFOL volunteering team in 2015 and decided to (happily) render my services in 2016 as well; this time as a photographer. The event served to be a thousand KVA jolt of much-needed motivation/inspiration and I finally started my journey as an aspiring novelist.
This year, EAFOL had a stellar lineup of authors, poets, illustrators, chefs, scientists, astronauts and journalists from across the globe. I was fortunate enough to interact with quite a few of them; they were more than eager to share priceless insights into the mysterious world of writing and publishing. Every single one of these individuals (whose photos I’m about to share with you) is an amazing human being with the power of transforming lives through the pen. Hats off to you all – keep calm and write on!
In Session: Afshin Molavi and Annabel Kantaria
In Session: Alexander McNabb, Garth Nix and Jenny Colgan
In Session: Anchee Min, Victoria Hislop and Helen Macdonald
In Session: Ian Rankin and Chris Carter
In Session: Christopher Edge and Curtis Jobling
In Session: David, Hilary and Ben Crystal
In Session: The Wonderful World of Harry Potter
John Julius Norwich
Korky Paul and his Quirky Assistant
Lauren St. John
Liliane van der Hoeven
Maitha Al Khayat
In Session: Scintillating Science with Christopher Edge, Nick Arnold and Rachel Hamilton
Sean Fay Wolfe
Shukri Al Mabkhout
In Session: The UAE Mars Mission with Sarah Amiri and Saeed Al Gergawi