DUBAI: A book written by inmates held in Dubai prisons was launched on Thursday at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in the UAE.
The event hosted the release of the ground-breaking publication “Tomorrow, I Will Fly,” a collection of essays and stories penned entirely by convicts from the city’s penal and correctional institutions.
A first of its kind in the Arab world, the book is the culmination of a year-long project by British international best-selling writers Clare Mackintosh and Annabel Kantaria.
During the launch, both authors shared their experiences as writers-in-residence at the prisons. After visiting a jail last year as part of the program, Mackintosh and Kantaria saw an opportunity to develop the initiative and help the prisoners find their voices and tell their stories.
Following a week of intense creative writing workshops with a group of male and female inmates, the resulting collection of essays and personal reflections were collated in the anthology.
“Writing can be an extremely effective way of processing thoughts, experiences and emotions, bringing long-term benefits for mental health, and in turn reducing the risk of reoffending,” said Ahlam Bolooki, director of the literature festival.
“The results of this project could be potentially life-changing. We hope this ongoing initiative will continue to make a positive contribution to the outcomes for inmates in Dubai and elsewhere.”
Copies of the book will be made available to other prisons in the UAE, the Arab world and further afield, including jails in the UK.