Hay Festival Abu Dhabi 2020 Programme

Hay Festival Abu Dhabi 2020 has now taken place. Thank you for joining us.

Philosophy

Event 18

Bettany Hughes

Venus & Aphrodite: History of a Goddess

Venue: Tolerance Majlis

Through ancient art, evocative myth, exciting archaeological revelations and philosophical explorations, the classicist and broadcaster shows why the goddess endures in the 21st century, and what her journey through time reveals about what matters to us as humans.

Charting Venus’ origins in powerful ancient deities, Hughes demonstrates that Venus is far more complex than would at first appear. Beginning in Cyprus, the goddess' mythical birthplace, she decodes Venus' relationship to the Greek goddess Aphrodite, and, in turn, Aphrodite's mixed-up origins not only as a Cypriot spirit of fertility and of procreation – but also as a descendant of the prehistoric war goddesses of the Near and Middle East, Ishtar, Inanna and Astarte.

English
This event has taken place
Bettany Hughes

Event 22

Shirin Ebadi

Until We Are Free

Venue: Tolerance Majlis

The first Muslim woman and first Iranian citizen to receive the Nobel Peace Prize is a lawyer who, at age 23, also became one of the first women judges of the country, and at age 30, one of the first magistrates in Tehran. Currently exiled in London, she continues to work for human rights and democracy, carrying the message she expresses in her autobiography, Until We Are Free, to every place she visits. Chaired by Ahmed El Shamsy.

Consecutive Farsi to Arabic translation available

Farsi
This event has taken place
Shirin Ebadi

Event 31

Ahmed El Shamsy

Rediscovering the Islamic Classics

Venue: Tolerance Majlis

Islamic book culture dates back to late antiquity, when Muslim scholars began to write down their doctrines on parchment, papyrus, and paper and then to compose increasingly elaborate analyses of, and commentaries on, these ideas. Movable type was adopted in the Middle East only in the early 19th century, and it wasn’t until the second half of the century that the first works of classical Islamic religious scholarship were printed there. But from that moment on, University of Chicago academic Ahmed El Shamsy reveals, the technology of print transformed Islamic scholarship and Arabic literature.

In the first wide-ranging account of the effects of print and the publishing industry on Islamic scholarship, El Shamsy tells the fascinating story of how a small group of editors and intellectuals brought forgotten works of Islamic literature into print and defined what became the classical canon of Islamic thought.

Chaired by scholar and broadcaster Lydia Wilson.

English
This event has taken place
Ahmed El Shamsy

Event 36

Shashi Tharoor talks to Nik Gowing

The New World Disorder

Venue: Atrium

The world is in a state of disorder. As we approach the end of the second decade of the twenty-first century, all about us is chaos. The rise of the East is viewed with scepticism and fear by the West. The international liberal order is facing a moment of crisis. Globalisation is confronted by economic nationalism. Strong leaders are exploiting the grievances of citizens (whether imagined or real) to discard global ideals and champion local interests. And the prospects of a ‘global village’, of the world coming ever closer together, seem to be in reversal. A zero-sum approach to development and the securitisation of growth are creating new potential for conflict at a time when the institutions of global governance are weaker than ever before. And we seem just tweets away from Armageddon. Writer and politician Shashi Tharoor has served as both Under-Secretary General at the UN and Minister of State for External Affairs for the Indian Government.

English
This event has taken place
Shashi Tharoor talks to Nik Gowing

Event 39

Ahmed Ben Tahar Galai talks to Lydia Wilson

Dialogue

Venue: Tolerance Majlis

Galai plays a prominent role in the Tunisian Human Rights League, an organisation that belongs to the Tunisian National Dialogue Quartet, which was awarded the 2015 Nobel Peace Prize. This association fights for the recognition of rights, and to make Tunisia after the 2011 Jasmine Revolution a de facto, free and transparent democracy. He continues his advocacy from 2018, striving for better relations between the countries around the Mediterranean and a more humane policy of the UN regarding war refugees. Lydia Wilson is a scholar and broadcaster.

Arabic
This event has taken place
Ahmed Ben Tahar Galai talks to Lydia Wilson

Event 42

Najwa Bin Shatwan, Youssef Rakha, Shahad al Rawi.

The Writers’ Table 4

Venue: The Theatre

From the intimate truths of fiction and poetry to the geopolitics of a volatile global reality, this is the fourth of a series of panel conversations in English and Arabic where writers respond to the audience's questions about the big issues of the day and reimagine the world.

Chaired by Editor in Chief of The National Mina Al Oraibi.

Arabic
This event has taken place

Event 44

Jenny Valentine

Talking to Teenagers

Venue: The Theatre

The multi-award-winning Young Adult writer, author of the contemporary classic Finding Violet Park, spent a year travelling to Hay Festivals around the world and talking to teenagers about their lives. She shares the common threads and radical differences that came up in her conversations and explores ways in which teenagers might be better understood and empowered.

11+ years
Free but ticketed
This event has taken place
Jenny Valentine

Event 56

Izzeldin Abuelaish

I Shall Not Hate: A Gaza Doctor's Journey on the Road to Peace and Human Dignity

Venue: Tolerance Majlis

The Palestinian Canadian doctor’s three daughters were killed by Israeli shells on 16 January 2009, during the Israeli Defence Forces' incursion into the Gaza Strip. His response to this tragedy made news and won him humanitarian awards around the world. Instead of seeking revenge or sinking into hatred, Izzeldin Abuelaish called for the people in the region to start talking to each other.

Arabic
This event has taken place
Izzeldin Abuelaish

Explore All Genres    

In partnership with

UAE Minister of Tolerance