Afra Atiq, Roudha Al Marri and Amna Al Mansouri are just some of the talented authors whose work is currently being applauded at the Emirates Literature Festival.
While the Emirates Literature Festival 2019 will be taking place in Dubai until March 9, the works of the talented writers will endure to entertain and influence long after the festival wraps up.
For the 10th edition of the festival, authors from many different backgrounds and of all different ages conducted talks, Q&As and workshops across the city. As many as 185 authors from 37 countries turned up to the event attended to by over 44,000 people.
Within that list of celebrated authors including many local, homegrown talents. As the event starts to wrap up, here are three Emirati authors you need on your radar.
Having won the ADMAF (Abu Dhabi Music & Arts Foundation) Creativity Award in 2017, Afra Atiq became the first spoken word to be granted the award.
But the Emiriti poet has also become a name on the global scene. She has performed everywhere from the US to Kuwait, and has even been published within the International Journal of Research in Humanities and Social Sciences. Giving back to her community, Atiq has contributed to the world of literature by holding workshops with Untitled Chapters – a platform that aims to bring together female Emirati writers of all ages – and conducted social research involving literature and education.
Her work often focuses on what the Emirati identity means in a contemporary context. Some of her most applauded work includes poems We and Nightfall, but she previously admitted she often improvises when performing her spoken poetry.
Roudha Al Marri
While she was born here in the United Arab Emirates, Roudha Al Marri finds passion and inspiration through travelling the world. A vegan and yoga teacher as well as a successful author, she leads a holistic lifestyle.
Previously she belonged to the corporate world, but she left to pursue her creative side a decade ago. Most recently, she paired up with expat Ilaria Caielli to pen UAE 101, which explores the region’s multicultural society.
A traditionalist, Roudha Al Marri carries a pen and paper wherever she travels in case inspiration strikes.
Another local talent, Asma Kalban focuses her energy on creating stories for children. In her work, she combines her love of nature with her dedication to preserving both the Arabic language and the Emirati culture.
Her first book, named Weaving A Square, tells the story of a girl who is diagnosed with Autism. So successful was the story, that it was chosen for the previous two years to feature on the Ministry of Education’s Arabic curriculum in UAE for fourth grade.
The inspirational author donated any profits to help fund education programs for Autistic children.