Sat, 29 Jan 2022

DUBAI, 30th November, 2021 (WAM) -- The best Emirati writing from each decade of the last 50 years is being celebrated by the Emirates Literature Foundation to commemorate the United Arab Emirates' 50th National Day.

The work of the venerated poet Ousha bint Khalifa and prolific short-story writer Mohammed Al Murr are among those highlighted among the best literary achievements of the last half century profiled by the not-for-profit organisation which supports and nurtures a love of literature in the UAE and the region.

"For a young country with a comparatively young literary tradition, we have developed a vibrant literary scene and a wonderful array of Emirati talent," said Isobel Abulhoul, CEO and trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation. "We are on the cusp of an exciting new era for literature from the UAE."

Notable authors on the wide-ranging list include novelist Maha Garghash, children's author and illustrator Maitha Al Khayat, poet and film maker Nujoom Al Ghanem and sci-fi writer Noura Al Noman.

A selection of the top names, including Dr. Afra Atiq, Omar Saif Ghobash, Salha Obaid and Dubai Abulhoul, will be taking part in the 2022 Emirates Airline Festival of Literature (3-12 February), along with new up-and-coming Emirati writers and performers.

The latest episode of the Boundless Book Club features Emirati writer Eman AlYousuf and Festival Director Ahlam Bolooki in conversation about popular Emirati books and genres, while Omar Saif Ghobash joins the conversation to talk about his own upcoming novel. The feature about the UAE's evolving literary landscape is available on the blog.

"One of our aims is to provide a platform for more Emiratis to tell their stories," continued Abulhoul. "We do this through initiatives such as First Chapter, our new global standard mentorship programme, designed to nurture emerging writing talent. We want to encourage new voices, telling our unique stories and the perspectives that currently may not yet be known beyond the region. Authentic narratives, whether it is the retelling of our traditional folk tales or insight into contemporary lives, are all equally important and need to be heard throughout the world."

First Chapter, the ELF Seddiqi Writers' Fellowship, is the first initiative of its type in the region for aspiring writers from the UAE and is free to successful applicants.

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