NEW YORK – August 10, 2017 – New York University Abu Dhabi welcomed 14-year-old Emirati author Aysha Al Naqbi at its New York headquarters on August 7 for a conversation about the inspiration behind her novels and youth culture in the Middle East. The event was moderated by Bill Bragin, executive artistic director of The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi, and hosted in partnership with the Consulate General of the United Arab Emirates in New York.
“The UAE’s leadership is committed to promoting literacy and reading and encouraging the pursuit of knowledge, imagination and innovation, especially among our youth,” UAE Consul General Majid Al-Suwaidi said. “The UAE continues to invest heavily in young people like Aysha, providing them with opportunities to develop their ideas, hone their skills and prosper in a 21st century economy. We’re proud to have Aysha here with us in New York as she exemplifies the limitless possibilities of what can be achieved by young people in the UAE.”
“The Arts Center at NYU Abu Dhabi is part of a larger initiative investing in culture and creativity in the UAE,” Bragin said. “Speaking in New York with the extraordinarily talented and poised author Aysha Al Naqbi offered an opportunity to create a deeper understanding about the role of arts and culture in the UAE and highlighted the prominent role women play in UAE. It's exactly these kinds of exchanges, with culture serving as a bridge, which can bring greater global understanding.”
Al Naqbi is the youngest published author in the UAE and writer of the novel Blue Moon and its sequel, Emerald Planet. Her novels blend science fiction and fantasy and follow the narrative of a young, orphaned teenager whose computer hacking skills get her into trouble with U.S. authorities.
While in New York, Al Naqbi spoke on the tremendous support she has received in the UAE as a young Emirati author, including from friends, family, teachers and government leaders.
“I’m fortunate to be surrounded by such supportive people in the UAE, especially strong, powerful Emirati women who have inspired me to reach higher and continue developing my talent,” Al Naqbi said. “My advice to young people is to not be afraid to follow your dreams, whatever they may be.”
Al Naqbi is an active member of the UAE writing community and has participated in the Abu Dhabi and Sharjah International Book Fair. Recently, she became the youngest member of the Dubai Police’s Council of Young Leaders and was honored by Chief of Dubai Police Abdullah Khalifa Al Marri for her outstanding contribution to world class literature.