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AUK Diwaniya Book Club Members Attend the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature

The Emirates Airline Festival of Literature is an annual event in Dubai, UAE, that celebrates the critically acclaimed works of creative writers and offers numerous workshops and lectures open to the public. From March 5 to 7, members of the Writing Center Diwaniya Book Club at the American University of Kuwait (AUK) travelled to Dubai to attend the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature for its third annual trip. Students Omar Khalil, Bhavneet Sahni, Shaza Al-Wattar, and Dina Al-Qassar were accompanied by Hala Botros and Kirsten Bartholome, Academic Support Specialists at the Writing Center. While at the Festival, they attended workshops, lectures, and panel discussions conducted by renowned authors from around the world.

The members had the opportunity to participate in workshops relevant to their areas of interest, and attend lectures featuring the authors of some of their favorite books. Omar Khalil, an aspiring writer and Computer Engineering major at AUK, along with Dina Al-Qassar, a senior majoring in English, attended "Lost or Gained in Adaptation," a lecture that examined the film adaptation of the bestselling novel The Book Thief, and the book club's March reading selection. While there, Dina and Omar joined in a discussion about the creative writing process hosted by Lauren Oliver, author of the Young Adult novels Delirium and Panic.

Other Diwaniya members such as Bhavneet Sahni, who is an avid reader and a senior majoring in Accounting and Finance, attended a panel discussion called "The Wondrous Wows of Science and Math." The controversial discussion examined mathematical equations in literature. Bhavneet also joined Shaza Al-Wattar, a junior majoring in International Relations, for sessions related to creativity and mental illness, hosted by Professor Adrian Furnham, Professor of Psychology at University College London. Shaza also attended a panel on historical fiction, along with an experimental creative writing workshop entitled "Where Your Werewolf Hides."

In addition to the variety of panel discussions and workshops available, the festival included interviews and poetry readings by poets such as Zeina Hashem Beck, who passionately read excerpts of her work. One of the festival's highlights was the annual Orwell Lecture, which was delivered this year by the legendary Egyptian writer, Nawal El-Saadawi. Other notable hosts included the author of The Book Thief, Markus Zusak, and multi-award winning author of Americanah, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.  

Nawal El-Saadawi discussing George Orwell's 1984

Dina Al-Qassar with author Markus Zusak

Writing Center staff members in Dubai

Writing Center staff members in Dubai

Staff and club members in Dubai

Released by the Office of Public Affairs on the 8th April 2015

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