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Meet the Team

Executive Committee

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Programming

Farah Ali Profile Photo

Farah Ali

Assistant Programming Manager

What is your favourite literary genre and why?
I really love literary fiction, short story collections, and graphic novels, especially ones that offer socio-cultural commentary and are grounded in reality history. Literature is often something I delve into as a way to further understand my heritage and roots and learn from rather than an escapism tool. This stems from when I used to immerse in encyclopedias and non-fiction when I was younger until I realized the most immersive way to learn about cultures and history is through fictional narratives.

What book should everybody read?
I believe everyone should read more books from Global South voices. POC narratives are a treasure trove that often get overlooked in bulk of literary history that make certain voices more accessible than others. However, I am certain there is so much richness and value that can be found if we picked up any book from our own heritage or place of upbringing that can be crucial to our lifelong learning. For me, those books were I Was Their American Dream by Malaka Gharib and Temporary People by Deepak Unnikrishnan.

Which book do you still think about more than a year after reading it?
Harafish by Naguib Mahfouz. The way he lyrically narrates the nonlinear progression of sixteen generations of one family lineage and their lived environment in 300 pages is something I can’t shake off until now.

What is your favourite, Tea or Coffee?
Tea hands down is my favourite. My passionate feelings towards tea are evident in how I’ve written a whole essay on my love for it once (its somewhere on the internet if you are curious cough). Tea is so versatile, it brings people closer together at family gatherings or at cafeterias with friends or colleagues, or offers me peace and serenity as I calmly reflect with each sip, or propels me into that one Ratatouille scene whenever a new herbal fusion tea blows my mind.

Education

Voices of Future Generations

Publishing

firas-al-shaer-sma

Shurooq Kamal

Programme and Production Executive

What is your favourite literary genre and why?
In every piece of literature I read, I seek out the hollow feeling surrealism leaves me with.

What book should everybody read?
I feel as though short stories don’t get as much love as they should within the literary community, even though they’re a difficult art form to master. So as a short story addict, I recommend delving into a dystopian future with its very own intergalactic circus featuring specially gifted performers out of an X-Men movie in its glory days, a city of Light where only beauty is allowed to exist in the spaces atoms occupied, and an A.I. seeking out revenge for its imprisonment in the form of eternal damnation over the human race. I am of course referring to Harlan Ellison’s short story collection named after arguably his most famous short story, I Have No Mouth & I Must Scream.

Which book do you still think about more than a year after reading it?
I love books that send me into a lucid state so sensual it’s almost alluring to spend the rest of my life wandering in the interval between dream and reality, and Banana Yoshimoto’s Asleep does exactly that. Yoshimoto’s main characters are all young women trying to navigate their relationship with sleep in the folds of blue that intermingle all three stories in the book.

What is your favourite, Tea or Coffee?
I’ll take a seat in the back as I watch tea and coffee lovers fight it out in a death battle with swords made of tea leaves and shields of coffee beans as we soak in the aroma-filled colosseum of ‘Arguments That Don’t Really Matter.’

Kateb Maktub

Events and Operations Team

Administration

Emirates Literature Foundation
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