I really don’t like it when organizations in the Middle East “unveil” something new. I realize there’s no subtext intended…but….

Anyhow, all seems in order (Yousef Ziedan and Bahaa Taher, check; Amjad Nasser, check) in the lit-fest schedule. Then I notice “Day one will culminate with an eagerly anticipated session with Martin Amis…”

Certainly Amis will have some wonderfully attention-getting comments about Islam or how old people should be exterminated or how dreadfully boooring Coetzee is. I only hope it’s something more interesting and spot-on than his barroom Islamists/old people/egghead-lit rants. In any case, I cringe for him in anticipation.

The Dubai Fest is, of course, not to be confused with the Abu Dhabi Book Fair, which will happen just before the one in Dubai and is not named after an airline, el hamdul’allah. I prefer the lineup at the Abu Dhabi Book Fair; anyhow, I have a healthy fear of Dubai.

Meanwhile, the holy chaos continues here in Cairo, about which Michael Luongo is really a sport not to have complained.

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