Literary Conversations Across Borders: Noura Al Kaabi and Omar Saif Ghobash to headline final session

The Minister of Culture and Youth and the Assistant Minister for Culture and Public Diplomacy will use the online discussion to share what books shaped them

Omar Saif Ghobash, left, and Noura Al Kaabi will appear in the final Literary Conversations Across Borders session.
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As Roman philosopher Cicero once famously said, a room without books is like a body without a soul.

And if you've ever wanted to know what reads decorate the rooms of some of the UAE's most renowned names, now's your chance.

Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of Culture and Youth, and Omar Saif Ghobash, Assistant Minister for Culture and Public Diplomacy, will reveal their literary influences in the final session of Literary Conversations Across Borders.

The virtual series, organised by the Office of Culture and Public Diplomacy and the Emirates Literature Foundation, started in May with the aim of promoting "international cultural understanding" through the power of books and words.

Previous sessions featured the likes of Indian politician and writer Shashi Tharoor; English primatologist and anthropologist Jane Goodall; and UAE Minister of State Zaki Nusseibeh taking part in live panels.

In the final session of the eight-part programme, titled The Power of Books, Al Kaabi and Ghobash will open up about the books that have helped shape their lives.

They will be joined in the free webinar by Isobel Abulhoul, chief executive and trustee of the Emirates Literature Foundation.

The session will be live-streamed on Saturday, at 7.30pm UAE time. The Zoom panel will be held in English, with a simultaneous Arabic translation.

The first seven sessions of Literary Conversations Across Borders have reached more than 8,000 people in 63 countries, with all panels available to view on the Emirates Literature Foundation YouTube channel.

“The reach of this project has been impressive, with a far greater impact than we had originally anticipated," said Nusseibeh.

“Discussions have ranged from the pandemic’s effect on our future, in terms of world politics, sustainability and food security, to lively discussions on religion versus science and the changing face of journalism."

To register to watch the final session live, visit