Gertrude Bell

I was in the library the other day. I found myself wandering aimlessly among history, politics and travel sections partly in research mode, but also craving a little inspiration. And in my meandering I discovered Gertrude Bell, an enigmatic and wandering adventuress. A contemporary of TE Lawrence (as in ‘of Arabia’) she is, by turns, … Continue reading


Sharjah Day One: Feasting & Wafa’ Tarnowska

Today I am brimming with ideas. Artistic, political, cultural, social – my mind is racing from such complex stimuli. I’m honestly having trouble keeping up with myself. Once I’ve digested the big thoughts I’ll let you know, but for now, a brief note from last night. First off, there was a brilliant feast at Al … Continue reading

SHJIBF Opening Ceremony

This morning, the Sharjah International Book Fair was opened to the public. The first event was a conglomeration of several special celebrations: An opening brunch of incredible decadence, attended by Culture Ministers, Ambassadors, literary professionals and government agencies, hosted by His Highness Dr. Sheikh Sultan Bin Mohammad Al Qasimi, Member of the Supreme Council of … Continue reading

Sharjah : a crash course

Next week, I head to foreign shores. I’ll fly to Dubai and then be escorted to the Emirate next door: Sharjah, for the Sharjah International Book Fair. While Abu Dhabi and Dubai are well known names even in Scotland, usually conjuring images of the exotic Arabia and glitzy high rises, the UAE as a whole … Continue reading