Emirates Festival of Literature

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventFestival or Exhibition


Alienating loved ones, depression, and war – stalwarts of comedy.

You may laugh, but writers have been mining the darker aspects of life for material for centuries, often as a survival strategy or as a way of reassuring readers that they are not alone. Each member of our panel writes in a different genre but they all are adept at finding the funny side of a terrible situation.

If the years of the pandemic have left you in need of a cathartic laugh or if you just enjoy hearing famous people saying silly things, there will be something in this session for you.

Ben Bailey Smith aka Doc Brown, is a British actor, rapper, comedian and screenwriter, and creator of the BAFTA-nominated CBBC comedy 4 O’Clock Club. His latest children’s fiction title Something I Said is the story of how far one teenage boy will go to get a laugh.

Jenny Lawson is author of Broken (in the Best Possible Way), a deeply relatable and reassuringly funny book about the many trials of living with depression and anxiety.

Naji Bakhti is the author of Between Beirut and the Moon, a hilarious debut novel that draws on the author’s childhood in post-civil-war Beirut to create a vivid world of conflict and comedy.

This conversation will be moderated by Allison K Williams. The author of Get Published in Literary Magazines and Seven Drafts: Self-Edit Like a Pro From Blank Page to Book, Allison is also a former circus performer, the Social Media Editor for Brevity where she inspires thousands of writers with blogs on craft, and has written for NPR, CBC, the New York Times, McSweeney’s, and more.
Period13 Feb 2022
Event typeFestival
LocationDubai, United Arab EmiratesShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Humour
  • trauma
  • Comedy
  • War
  • post-conflict