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Alserkal Avenue’s summer programme

Literaturhaus at Nadi aims to revive the 19th-century salon where intellectuals got together to discuss literature, art, culture and contemporary issues

Gulf News

As part of their summer programming, Alserkal Avenue is celebrating the magic of the written word through the launch of Literaturhaus at Nadi, which is held every Saturday at 4pm in Nadi Al Quoz, the social club in the arts complex. The programme, which runs until September 30, aims to revive and reinvent the 19th century salon where intellectuals from various fields got together to discuss literature, art, culture and contemporary issues.

The programme brings together regional and international authors, poets, critics, curators, publishers, translators and musicians to share their ideas through readings, discussions and performances.

The programme for August includes a talk by writer and blogger Asma Al Jailani on ‘How the skill of writing becomes the journey of writing’ on August 5, followed on August 12 by a ‘Spoken word and performance workshop’ led by poet Farah Chammah and Jamil Adas, founder of Dubai Poetics. On August 19, publisher Andrew Hansen will talk about ‘My Life on the Coffee Table’, offering his perspective on how to achieve success in a rapidly changing and competitive book market, while having fun along the way. The salon on August 26, will feature a Poetry Slam, and a live musical performance by poet Chammah, accompanied by the band Parea, with percussionist Myriam Nemeh and oud and guitar player Maruan Betawi.

Next month, there will be additional sessions on September 13 and 28 at 6pm and 7pm respectively. The events lined up include a talk on ‘love for written and spoken word and the importance of translation’ by Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, who has been an interpreter for the President of the UAE since 1968, and has worked in various government departments related to culture and heritage; and readings by writer Mai Khaled, from her book The Magic of Turquoise, and poet Zeina Hashem Beck, from her award winning book Louder than Hearts.

Philip Kennedy, professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, Comparative Literature, Arts and Humanities at NYU Abu Dhabi will speak about the first Arabic novella from the 11th century — The Doctors’ Dinner Party by Ibn Butlan. Yoga expert Aidan Walker will speak about his book, The Ecology of the Soul, explaining how the seven powers of our own inner ecosystem can help us to achieve peace, power and well-being. Diplomat Tom Fletcher, who writes a blog on international relations, will talk about his book Naked Diplomacy: Power and Statecraft in the Digital Age.

Other participants include long time UAE residents Dr Frauke Heard-Bey and David Heard. Dr Heard-Bey is a historian and political scientist specialising in socio-political developments in the Gulf region, and has worked at the Centre for Documentation and Research in Abu Dhabi for 39 years. She is one of the foremost authorities on the history of the UAE, from the time of the Trucial States, and will discuss its transformation over the last four decades. David Heard, a petrochemical engineer, who has a depth of experience in the country’s oil industry, will talk about his book, From Pearls to Oil, which tells the story of how the oil companies first came to Abu Dhabi, and the role of oil in the country’s development.

The events are free and open to the public, but prior registration is required. For more information go to and to book your place write to

Literaturhaus at Nadi is held every Saturday at 4pm at Nadi Al Quoz, Alserkal Avenue, until September 30.