First Emirati founder of a Pilates studio in the UAE, Asma Hilal Lootah. Image Credit: Supplied

“Poetry is a cause, in your blood, tied up with the love of the soil, with memories and past experiences from yesterday, for the betterment of today and tomorrow.”

Many such words by legendary Emirati writer and poet, Mohammad Bin Hadher, have been etched in the UAE’s literary history. In this year’s Emirates Airline Festival of Literature this history will be revived and celebrated in a special segment ‘Spotlight on the Emirates’.

The segment will be organised from March 1-3, with the first evening focusing on Mohammad Bin Hadher’s life and works. The session will be led by renowned author Ebrahim Al Hashimi, who has written a book on Bin Hadher’s life and poems.

‘Stories and Poems from the Desert to the City’ will bring alive the rich story-telling tradition of the region, where visitors will be able to enjoy the evening seated around a charcoal burner that keeps gahwah (coffee) hot. It will feature Ali Abu Al Reesh, Fahad Almamari, Humaid bin Thaiban Al Mansoori and Dr Hessah Abdullah Lootah.

The sessions for ‘Spotlight on the Emirates’ will be held at the Dubai International Writers’ Centre in Al Shindagha with choir performances by ChoirFest Middle East.

Audiences can look forward to meeting award-winning poet, scriptwriter and film director Nujoom Al Ghanem, children's author Shaima Al Marzouqi, TV broadcast professional and executive coach Mai El Khalifa and the first Emirati founder of a Pilates studio in the UAE, Asma Hilal Lootah.

“It is really important that Emirati writers and literature from the UAE is celebrated at our festival. Each one of us living here can only benefit by understanding more about the rich seam of stories and poetry in a variety of forms that emanate from the UAE; we will certainly be the richer for it,” Isobel Abulhoul, CEO and Trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation and Festival Director of the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, said in a statement.

Tickets for the festival can be purchased online at http://tickets.emirateslitfest.com/.