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“I want the festival to be as open and accessible to everyone as possible. We shouldn’t be keepers of taste, and I am a great believer that any reading is good for you, so unusually for a literature festival I see as us as a festival for non-readers rather than avid readers, because I want us to encourage people pick up a book for pleasure.”Thirty thousand people, young and old and from all different backgrounds, together with authors came to Dubai over these five days in March. There were special sessions for children, a female focus strand, literary lunches, and writing master classes. Sessions were simultaneously translated from Arabic or English or vice versa. Casual conversations across boundaries were easy and common. The atmosphere at the InterContinental Hotel Festival City was more carnival than conference. Here were some highlights for me:
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