Development At The Heart of Ananke’s Literary Festival

Strengthening women’s creative voices, the event plans to encourage women and girls to avail learning opportunities presented throughout WLF2021.
Development At The Heart of Ananke’s Literary Festival

Ananke, a digital development platform empowering women through awareness, advocacy and education, is getting ready for the first edition of  its Women in Literature Festival, from March 30th – April 1st 2021. Across South Asia and the Middle East, this is the first literary event of its kinds where authors, publishers and academicians from all over the world will be at the forefront to showcase and celebrate the crucial role women literati have played in developing and furthering the written word.

Development and capacity building forms the very core of Ananke’s work. The platform strives to initiate as well as engage in conversations focusing inclusion and gender in every sphere of society in digital space. Most importantly, Ananke offers a wide array of capacity building and leadership programs and opportunities to aspiring women for learning and growth. This includes participation of students of Wollongong University Dubai (UAE) Campus as moderators at the Women In Literature Festival 2021.

Participating as hosts, students, Eliza Makhmakhanova, Fatima Omar and Shahenda ElSayed will be chatting with distinguished women of letters about their books.

On day one, March 30th, 2021, Fatima Omar and Shahenda ElSayed will be in conversation with Radhika Maira Tabrez about her book The Emancipation of Farzana Siddiqui at 04:10 PM-04:40 PM UAE or 12:10 PM-12:40 PM GMT. The session will be live-streamed on Ananke’s Facebook page.

Development At The Heart of Ananke’s Literary Festival

Fatima Omar – Co-moderator of the Talking Books session featuring Radhika Maira Tabrez.

Day three, April 1st, 2021, will see Eliza Makhmakhanova in conversation with Aekta Kapoor about her book Everthing Changed After That at 03:15 PM-03:45 PM UAE and 11:15 AM-11:45 PM GMT.

Development At The Heart of Ananke’s Literary Festival

Fatima Omar – Co-moderator of the Talking Books session featuring Radhika Maira Tabrez.

Talking about the students’ participation, Dr. Michael Mallory, Program Director – Media & Communication, School of Humanities, Social Sciences and Health, University of Wollongong Dubai (UAE), said: “Within the study of Communication and Media, alongside the producing, creating, organizing – the making of media side of things – two of our key areas of inquiry are people and stories. As a program, one of our main goals is to empower our students to explore their stories, to explore the stories of the people in the world around us, and to learn how to bring these stories to a larger audience. We see stories as a way of uniting, not dividing. This event, the Women in Literature Festival, is an excellent opportunity for a few of our students to continue their exploration of stories and people, and in this case, through the medium of creative writing.”

Eliza Makhmakhanova – Moderating the Talking Books session featuring Aekta Kapoor.

He further said: “Eliza Makhmakhanova, Shahenda ElSayed and Fatima Omar are all excellent students with a growing wealth of knowledge and experience in critical and creative thinking. This festival is a great opportunity for them to continue developing these skills, while at the same time expanding their experiences, exposing them to new people, stories and ways of sharing, and empowering them to see more ways in which they can make an impact on the people, places and societies around them. One of the greatest ways to learn is through action, learning by doing, and Ananke has given these students a chance to do just that.”

With the goal to strengthen women’s creative voices, the event plans to encourage women and girls to engage, network and avail all learning opportunities presented throughout the festival. This includes moderating roles as well as working as  event tech and social media leads – positions currently being fulfilled by Ananke’s interns from Africa and Pakistan.

Confirmed speakers also include notable names such as pioneer of second wave feminism, Phyllis Chesler, Resident Director Aurat Foundation Pakistan Mahnaz Rehman, inspirational academicians writers and award winning authors: Leonora Miano, Baela Raza Jamil, Angela Joy, Naima Rashid, Dr. Amina Yaqin, Faiqa Mansab, Aekta Kapoor, Radhika Tabrez, Piyusha Vir, Karen Osman, Mehr F Husain, Aanchal Malhotra, Deepti Menon, Laaleen Sukhera, Nida Usman Chaudhary, Anupama Jain, Arslana Athar, Lakshana Palat, Mini Shivakumar Menon, Saba Karim Khan, Rashin Choudhry, Dina BenBrahim, Maha Tazi, Ana Serrano Telleria, Amrita Mukherjee, Sutapa Basu, Sana Munir, Kirthi Jayaumar, Anjum Katyal, Gowri Vijaykumar, Manisha Chaudhary, Ameena Saiyid, Mandy Sanghera, Jenny Bhatt, Juhi Javed Husain and many more.

Partnering with leading organizations including Zuka Books, Readomania, Seagull Books, Zubaan Books, the Gender Security Project, Authors Alliance as well as companies like ContentBud –  a written communications consultancy, Ananke hopes to set a new standard in literary festivals where there is greater visibility of female literati as well as diversified conversation on inclusion.

To register click on this form.

For more information:

Social Media: #WLF2021 #WomenInLitFest

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram: @Anankemag

About Ananke:

Ananke is a non-profit, digital platform empowering through awareness, advocacy and education. Launched in 2014 in Dubai UAE, the organization strives to trigger conversations on inclusion, gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in the digital realm. Breaking barriers to empower women, the organization is a World Summit on Information Society (WSIS) nominee for 2019 and 2020. Recently, Ananke hosted the first ever digital Girl Summit across the MENA and Subcontinent regions with attendees from all over the world.

For more information, visit:

Ananke also publishes special editions on the ISSUU platform and can be viewed here.

To check out videos of Ananke’s previous our YouTube or Vimeo channels.

Photo by Anthony Da Cruz on Unsplash


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