x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

New chapter of Al Ain Reads kicks off

Al Ain Reads book show, an annual event which aims to promote a love of the written and spoken word, returns for a fifth year.

ABU DHABI// Acclaimed novelists, poets, storytellers and journalists are among the line-up at an annual literary festival which aims to increase the population’s love of books and reading.

Now in its fifth year, Al Ain Reads will open tomorrow for one week and will give book-lovers the opportunity to meet writers, listen to readings and gain tips on how to write a story – including developing a narrative and characters.

Emirati and Arab writers will feature heavily at the show, which is organised by the National Library of Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and held at Al Ain Convention Centre.

Among the guests are Huda Suroor, an Emirati writer, who will present her first novel. Haifa Busamra, an award-winning Emirati writer who has published a book of short stories, will sign copies of her latest novel, The Garden’s Alleys.

Suhair Al Dallal, a Syrian writer and painter who is based in the UAE, will also present and sign her new book while Shaker Noori, an Iraq writer and journalist who has published several novels, will showcase his latest offering, Chaman.

Sessions for schoolchildren will aim to help them use their imagination to create story ideas, while cartoonist Abdulla Al Sharhan will explain the creative process behind his animations as he sketches some of them.

Open mic discussion sessions, literary debates, talks and book-signings are also part of the schedule. BookExchange, where visitors can exchange old books for others, free of charge, is also back following popular demand.

Lecturers from UAE University will take part in academic debates and there will be musical performances by two of Beit Al Oud’s youngest musicians – 13-year-old qanun player, Ahmed Husein Al Sheikh, and his 10-year-old brother, Ali Husein Al Sheikh, who plays the flute and clarinet.

Other activities include Creativity Corner, which will bring together children with special needs for daily literary and art workshops, and the Reading Corner, where children will be read stories, taught about daily newspapers and how to write a letter.

Visitors of all ages will also be able to learn more about Emirati culture and traditions though heritage workshops.

Previous years have seen book-lovers in their thousands attend the annual event, which aims to engage children’s interest in the written and spoken word.

Al Ain Reads will open daily between 9am and 1pm and then again from 5pm to 10pm. On Friday the event will be open between 5pm and 10pm.

jbell@thenational.ae