Weekly Photo Challenge: Face

Face

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A smiling Jacqueline Wilson at the Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature, 2016.

A Literary Feast For A Literary Beast

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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!

Adel Khozam

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A.F. Harrold

Afshin Molavi

Annabel Kantaria

In Session: Afshin Molavi and Annabel Kantaria

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Alexander McNabb

Garth Nix

Jenny Colgan

In Session: Alexander McNabb, Garth Nix and Jenny Colgan

Anchee Min

In Session: Anchee Min, Victoria Hislop and Helen Macdonald

Antony Beevor

Anthony Horowitz

Brandon Sanderson

Brian Johnson

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Chris Carter

Ian Rankin

In Session: Ian Rankin and Chris Carter

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Chris Cleave

Chris Hadfield

Chris Haughton

Christopher Edge

Curtis Jobling

In Session: Christopher Edge and Curtis Jobling

Cristina Mejia

In Session: David, Hilary and Ben Crystal

Darren Shan

David Allen

David Melling

David Neild

Diana Darke

Gavin Mortimer

Gill Lewis

Harry Baker

In Session: The Wonderful World of Harry Potter

Imtiaz Dharkar

Jacqueline Wilson

Jo Simpson

Joe Wicks

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John Julius Norwich

John Man

John McHugo

John Torode

Jonathan Meres

Julia Johnson

Justin Marozzi

Kikka Hotta

Kiran Chhabria

Korky Paul and his Quirky Assistant

Lauren Child

Lauren St. John

Liliane van der Hoeven

Lisa Faulkner

Liz Fenwick

Maitha Al Khayat

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Marcia Williams

Marco Misiroli

Mark Evans

Michael Dobbs

Muhsin Suleman

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Peter Horacek

Rachel Billington

Rachel Hamilton

Riz Khan

Robert Lindsay

In Session: Scintillating Science with Christopher Edge, Nick Arnold and Rachel Hamilton

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Sean Fay Wolfe

Sebastian Fitzek

Shukri Al Mabkhout

Suad Amiry

Susan Abulhawa

Susan Casey

Tim Spencer

In Session: The UAE Mars Mission with Sarah Amiri and Saeed Al Gergawi

 

Readeth On: An Homage To Book-lovers

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Falling in love with someone can be hit or miss; fortunately, you can never go wrong with books. They’re there when you need them most, even if they’re a means to escape the banality of everyday life. Give me an un-put-down-able fantasy hardcover any day of the week and you won’t see me come out of my room till I finish the whole thing.

We book-lovers are a curious, word-hungry breed. If I happen to spot someone reading on the subway, I find myself unabashedly staring at the book he/she is engrossed in, not giving up till I at least have a title (if not the author name) to Google for later. We crave our daily recommended dose of reading (sometimes a bit more) and just don’t settle for anything less.

I recently had the pleasure to volunteer at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature (EAFOL) and it was exciting to see such a massive turnout of book-lovers from the UAE and beyond. Since I volunteered with EAFOL as a photographer, I had the pleasure of catching some avid readers in the act – guilty as charged!

This photo-montage is a tribute to all fellow book-worms across the globe; so keep calm and readeth on!

A Literary Treat: The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in Pictures

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2015 is supposed to be a year of change for me; I had stayed holed up in my comfort zone for far too long and it was high-time I ventured outdoors to follow my passions. Volunteering at the Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature 2015 seemed like a perfect opportunity to awaken the literary beast within me from a long hibernation. Plus, it gave me the ideal opportunity to inaugurate my new Nikon D7100. Words would be wasted on the awesome experience that was the EAFOL, so without further ado, here’s a look at the essence of the festival through my lens.

Bruises

Jump

Standing on trial
No judge and no jury
Guilty by default
Punished with fury

The torture, the pain
There’s no end in sight
Funny, this tunnel
Doesn’t end in light

Black/blue all over
Caresses leave bruises
Surrounded by questions
Running out of excuses

Pain’s a plenty
My body’s gone numb
But I’ve had enough
I’m done playing dumb

Running blindly
Straight to the edge
With one last look back
I jump off the ledge

Feels liberating
One with the winds
The past is forgotten
As I spread out my wings

Think of me

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At times, you can’t help but jog down memory lane, remembering those you have left behind in this race called life. Even though it’s a love poem, the theme revolves around drifting apart, only to find our way back into each other’s lives. This right here is my tribute to all those long-lost friends and acquaintances, my way of telling them that they have not been forgotten, and the hope that someday, somewhere, we shall meet again.

Think of me

On our first cheesy date
Over cake that we ate
Bound together by fate
Heading back to that place
Do you think of me?

Hand in hand on the beach
Out of the world’s reach
Love’s what we did preach
Hearing the sea’s speech
Do you think of me?

I gave you a head-start
Wondering who’d finish last
Our hearts beating fast
When you look in the past
Do you think of me?

Hiding tears in your eyes
‘midst laughter and cries
As we said our goodbyes
When a piece of you dies
Do you think of me?

Giving up all my hope
would I be able to cope
Memories in cine-scope
I held onto life’s rope
Do you think of me?

In the middle of the night
I put up a good fight
With every ounce of my might
Guided by our love’s light
Do you think of me?

Happiness at each turn
Two hearts beating as one
A new chapter’s begun
After all’s said and done
I know you think of me