In which I finally try to make good on my Year of Saying Yes…
Finally shaking off the dust (and sand) of our move to Dubai, I accepted a media invite to a Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature (EAFOL) press event. Having never attended something like this, I went in with an open mind. As I waited for things to start, I began to put together what I thought these posts would look like. While I’m sure the organizers of these events would much rather I was part of some larger media conglomerate and therefore able to make contact with tons of individuals, they are getting me.
Starting time? Published to begin at 10:30AM, actual start time 11:03AM (I’m pleading the 5th on reasons I know it was started late).
Refreshments? Tea and coffee, some small snacks (as one would find at a coffee break at a nice hotel).
Location? Amwaj Ballroom, Intercontinental Hotel Festival City (an enjoyable property and the forever home of EAFOL). This will also be the press office during the festival.
Messages? The moderator welcomed distinguished guests and led a spirited discussion, where I learned:
- Emirates Airlines has audiobooks on their flights (?!)
- Emirates Airlines also has a dedicated station on their ICE to EAFOL
- There is a celebration of Shakespeare at the festival
- There is a literary cruise on the Dubai Creek (I kind of want to go)
- I should probably attend the Herodotus lecture
- There is going to be a ‘time travel’ dinner
- This is one of the best run festivals I have come in contact with – there is literally something for EVERYONE at EAFOL.
Personal reflections: I truly enjoyed being around a group who was so passionate about reading, literature and sharing the experience with others. As an author, most of my writing is done in solitude. The event was a great reminder that reading can (and does) bring people together.
Naturally, I also had a moment of jealousy/disappointment when a list of ‘locally based authors’ was shared with me. I’m a local author and my name did not appear. Furthermore, there were no Americans at all on the list. After the festival is over, I’m going to follow up and see if it’s possible to get my name added.
I know, get over myself.
No, lady, do not stand up and give two completely and obviously under researched questions and comments.
And finally, as the Dubai Culture and Arts Authority is clearly in great support of this event (it is the Year of Reading in the Emirates), I wondered if there was such local support for U.S. based festivals. I guess I really liked that such clear acknowledgement is being given by the government.
Swag? Sorry, none.
Bottom line? Go to EAFOL. You won’t be disappointed.