The Foundation celebrated a unique book launch at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in 2020 – a ground-breaking book featuring a collection of essays and stories written entirely by the inmates of Dubai’s penal and correctional institutions.
Tomorrow, I Will Fly is the culmination of a year-long project with authors Clare Mackintosh and Annabel Kantaria, the first of its kind in the Arab World. The book was launched at the Festival with a panel discussion following an earlier launch on the same day within the Dubai Central Jail, where the writers involved read their work aloud to other inmates and celebrated their achievements.
The project, called ‘From the Inside Out’, stems from a long-term collaboration with the Emirates Literature Foundation, supported by Dubai Police and Dubai Central Jail, which organises visits from Dubai-based and international authors to talk to inmates about books and the process of writing. After visiting the prison last year as part of this programme, the international best-selling writer Clare Mackintosh (I See You, Let Me Lie), and Dubai-based Annabel Kantaria (Coming Home, The One That Got Away), saw an opportunity to develop the initiative and help the prisoners find their voices and tell their stories. Following a week of intense creative writing workshops with a group of male and female inmates, the resulting collection of essays and personal reflections were collated in the anthology.
Copies of the book will be made available to other prisons in the UAE, the Arab World and further afield, including prisons in the UK. The Foundation continues to work with the Dubai Penal and Correctional Institutions to help inmates connect and find solace in literature.