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Welcome to the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair Education Programme!

No matter where you are in the Emirates or GCC, you can bring the authors right into your classroom with a lively programme of fun and fact-packed sessions appealing to all ages.

Sessions are divided into three age groups:

  • Primary (Ages 5-11)
  • Secondary (Ages 11-16)
  • University (Ages 16 and up)

Just register for the group you would like access to, and you will be sent the link to the pre-recorded sessions prior to the Fair. The sessions will be available to download and screen to your students, as many times as you wish and at any time to suit your school day, from Sunday, 23 May until Thursday, 29 May.

Sessions

Primary Programme (5-11)

The Tales of Hamad by Ahmed Al Shoaibi

Age: 6-10 years old
Language: In English

Celebrate Emirati identity and the importance of reading. The Tales of Hamad is Al Shoaibi’s first endeavour in creative writing. His follow up book series entitled, The Tales of Ayesha, will debut soon. Al Shoaibi has visited numerous schools in the UAE to do book readings, book signings and discussions about topics such as the importance of reading and Emirati identity.

Lubna and Pebble by Wendy Meddour

Age: 5-9 years old
Language: In English

Lubna and Pebble is an award-winning and multi-layered culturally diverse book about friendship, kindness and family. Lubna’s best friend is a pebble. Pebble always listens to her stories. Pebble always smiles when she feels scared. But when a lost little boy arrives in the World of Tents, Lubna realizes that he needs Pebble even more than she does. Older readers will understand that this is a subtly-told story about a refugee fleeing a war-torn country. Author Wendy Meddour will also read from her latest books, Howard the Average Gecko and Tisha and the Blossom.

Can I Go Out Now? by Ebtisam Al-Beiti

Age: 6-9 years old
Language: In English

An exciting and energetic session based on Ebitsam Al-Beiti’s new book, ‘Can I Go Out Now?’ Little Earth really wants to go outside and play with his friends – but he can’t do that until he is feeling better. Then he finds a colourful way to stay in touch with his little planet friends. Can I Go Out Now? sheds light on current health and environmental issues in an entertaining and delightful way. Ebtisam’s sessions never disappoint and will have everyone up and bouncing around.

Grandmother’s Chest by Asma Kalban

Age: 6-9 years old
Language: In Arabic

Asma Kalban combines her love of nature with her dedication to preserving both the Arabic language and the Emirati culture. In this session, she will be reading from her book, Grandmother’s Chest. What is in there and what treasures will we find? Grandmother has many surprises in store. A wonderful storyteller who captivates audiences young and old.

Furboa by Maitha Al Khayat and Noura Al Khoori

Age: 6-9 years old
Language: In Arabic

How will Furboa find his way across the UAE to celebrate with his cousins? Two of the UAE’s most popular children’s illustrator/authors, Maitha Al Khayat and Noura Al Khoori team up for this charming story about a furry jerboa who gets lost on the way to visiting his rodent cousins, bumps into friendly AND mean animals in the desert, coast and mountains, and finally arrives safely. It gives young explorers a highlights tour of the geography of the UAE and is packed with Emirati terms to celebrate and preserve Emirati culture.


Secondary Programme (11-18)

The Pearl Diver’s Son by Julia Johnson

Age: 11+ years old
Language: In English

Join one of Dubai’s best-loved children’s authors, Julia Johnson, as she introduces her new book The Pearl Diver’s Son. Julia will take you on a journey into the past through the adventures of Rashid. A year ago the boy’s father sailed away to dive for pearls in the Arabian Sea. He never returned, and now Rashid is forced to leave his family and take his father’s place on the pearling dhow. Not only must he learn to survive the perils of the deep, but he is also determined to discover the truth behind his father’s mysterious death. In this session Julia shows her passion for the natural world, conservation and passing on history to the next generation, sharing exciting facts about pearls and pearl diving and why the industry was once central to the UAE economy.

Exploring the Elements with a Bang by Isabel Thomas

Age: 11+ years old
Language: In English

Did you know that everything in the universe — from the distant stars to the eyes reading this sentence — is made up of just 92 ingredients? Award-winning science author Isabel Thomas will take schools on an electrifying romp through the periodic table. You’ll find out how a metal can cry, what makes the world’s worst smell, and why it takes more elements to build a smartphone than a human. Based on Isabel’s newest book Exploring the Elements this is the perfect introduction to chemistry for inquisitive minds and will make everyone want to be a chemist.

Vlogs, Blogs, Podcasts and Influencers with Nicky Smith and Max of Arabia

Age: 14+ years old
Language: In English

Talking Vlogs, Blogs and Podcasts, this session is all about communication and influence. Max Stanton –  also known as Max of Arabia –  spent his formative years travelling the world with his parents. Now in the UAE, he talks to broadcaster and fellow world traveller Nicky Smith about how to be an influencer. How do you start a blog? What sort of equipment do you need to be a vlogger and what is an influencer anyway? How you choose topics for your broadcasts, upkeep and technical know-how are all part of this session on 21st-century communication.


University Programme (16 and up)

Shujaa’ah: Bold Leadership for Women of the Middle East by Annabel Harper

Age: 16 years old and up
Language: In English

Annabel Harper is an Executive Leadership Coach and author of Shujaa’ah: Bold Leadership for Women of the Middle East. Leadership opportunities for women are increasing in the Middle East, in some cases faster than in other parts of the world. The imperative for both women and men to collaborate in order to build organisations that are fit for the future is gaining momentum. This is a fantastic opportunity for future generations to benefit from Annabel’s experience in this session where she will offer support via the medium of her skill and knowledge.

MOVE: The Forces Uprooting Us by Parag Khanna

Age: 16 years and up
Language: In English

A world-renowned economist, futurist and expert on geopolitics, Parag Khanna is a leading global strategy advisor, world traveller, and best-selling author. Parag’s newest book is MOVE: The Forces Uprooting Us (2021). In his session, he will explore where the next generation has influence and the assets they will bring into play in this future world, as well as how the world has been shaped by the pandemic.

Registration


Register for free until the closing date 18 May 2021. Keep checking back for the latest updates on the ADIBF education programme.


ADIBF Primary Education Sessions
Receive access to all Primary-level sessions.

ADIBF Secondary Education Sessions
Receive access to all Secondary-level sessions.

ADIBF University Education Sessions
Receive access to all University-level sessions.
Register Here
Register Here
Register Here

Speakers

Primary Programme (Ages 5-11)

Ahmed Al Shoaibi

Ahmed Al Shoaibi

Ahmed Al Shoaibi

The Tales of Hamad is Al Shoaibi’s first endeavour in creative writing. His follow up book series entitled, The Tales of Ayesha, will debut soon. Al Shoaibi has visited numerous schools in the UAE to do book readings, book signings and discussions about topics such as the importance of reading and Emirati identity.

Asma Kalban

Asma Kalban

Asma Kalban

Asma’s first book, Weaving A Square, tells the story of a girl who is diagnosed with Autism. It was chosen to feature on the Ministry of Education’s Arabic curriculum in UAE for fourth grades. The inspirational author donated profits to help fund education programs for Autistic children.

Ebtisam Al Beiti

Ebtisam Al Beiti

Ebtisam Al Beiti

Ebtisam Al-Beiti is an Early Years Professional who has had a passion for education. She is usually found in a noisy classroom or running operations as an experienced Vice-Principal in an Early Years setting.

The first edition of Can I Go Out Now? was rolled out in January 2021 and was featured in The Reading for Pleasure Project, a UAE school government reading program initiated by The Emirates Literature Foundation and The UAE Ministry of Education.

Can I Go Out Now? made its official launch at the Emirates Airlines Festival of Literature in February 2021. It has since been featured in a number of book readings in schools and book fairs.

Maitha Al Khayat

Maitha Al Khayat

Maitha Al Khayat

Maitha Al Khayat is a member of a new breed of superheroes. The mother of five is one of the UAE’s most prolific Emirati children’s illustrators and writers. She is a Board Member at the UAE Board of Books for Young People – IBBY, and an ambassador of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature. an acclaimed Emirati author and illustrator who has published over 170 works (ranging from children’s books to TV scripts) in both Arabic and English.

Wendy Meddour

Wendy Meddour

Wendy Meddour

Wendy Meddour is a writer, illustrator and academic. Her debut children’s novel A Hen in the Wardrobe was named one of the ‘Best 50 Culturally Diverse Books since the 1950s’ by The Guardian.


Secondary Programme (Ages 11-18)

Isabel Thomas

Isabel Thomas

Isabel Thomas

Isabel Thomas is a science writer and award-winning children’s author who has been shortlisted for the Royal Society Young People’s Book Prize, the ASE Science Book of the Year, and the Blue Peter Book Awards.

Julia Johnson

Julia Johnson

Julia Johnson

Julia Johnson has read stories on radio and TV, narrated stories for audio book companies, run drama workshops for young people and toured schools with Theatre-in-Education productions.

A desire to share her discoveries about the region’s fascinating past, its ancient culture and traditions, led to her first story. Published in 2003, The Pearl Diver is now read and enjoyed in Primary schools throughout the Gulf, and many more titles followed including The Turtle Secret, The Secret of The Cave and The Leopard Boy which was awarded a Kirkus star in America and called “A beautiful story, a wise and wonderfully told tale” by acclaimed British author Michael Morpurgo.

Max of Arabia

Max of Arabia

Max of Arabia

Born in Botswana, Max Stanton – also known as Max of Arabia – spent his formative years travelling the world with his parents. Now living in Dubai, Max remains passionate about travel, but has definitely started growing roots in the UAE. With his near fluent grasp of Emirati Arabic, and his fascination with Khaliji culture Max is a content creator who uses his channels to drive interest of his audience to the beauty of the region, the Arabic language, promote his passion for charity work, and make people laugh and smile.

Nicky Smith

Nicky Smith

Nicky Smith

Nicky Smith, has also travelled the world, with British Forces Broadcasting, and she has made her home in the UAE.

University Programme (Ages 16 and up)

Annabel Harper

Annabel Harper

Annabel Harper

Annabel Harper has extensive experience working with leaders in the Middle East and is becoming recognised as an authority on leadership in the region, with a particular focus on developing women into leadership roles. She has a MA in Middle Eastern Studies and her research explored women and leadership in the United Arab Emirates. Her book, Shujaa’ah: Bold Leadership for Women of the Middle East, was a finalist in the 2021 Business Book Awards.

Parag Khanna

Parag Khanna

Parag Khanna

Parag Khanna has been honoured as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and has served on the WEF’s Global Future Council on Mobility, Global Agenda Council on Geoeconomics, and advisory board of its Future of Urban Development Initiative He is Founder & Managing Partner of FutureMap, a data and scenario based strategic advisory firm. In addition to MOVE: The Forces Uprooting Us, Parag is the author of The Future is Asian: Commerce, Conflict & Culture in the 21st Century (2019) on the shift in global power location from the West to the continent Asia.

Contact Us

If you have any further questions regarding the event, you can email us at mia.santiago@emirateslitfest.com .

Or give us a call:

Mia Santiago
+971 4 355 9844 (ext 305)
Emirates Literature Foundation
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