Book written by Dubai prison inmates launched at UAE literature festival

Book written by Dubai prison inmates launched at UAE literature festival
The book was launched at the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature in the UAE. (Supplied)
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Updated 07 February 2020

Book written by Dubai prison inmates launched at UAE literature festival

Book written by Dubai prison inmates launched at UAE literature festival
  • ‘Tomorrow, I Will Fly’ is a collection of essays and stories penned entirely by convicts from the city’s penal and correctional institutions

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.


‘Night Stalker: the Hunt for a Serial Killer’ is fraught with blood and gore

 'Night Stalker: the Hunt for a Serial Killer' is now streaming on Netflix. Supplied
'Night Stalker: the Hunt for a Serial Killer' is now streaming on Netflix. Supplied
Updated 16 January 2021

‘Night Stalker: the Hunt for a Serial Killer’ is fraught with blood and gore

 'Night Stalker: the Hunt for a Serial Killer' is now streaming on Netflix. Supplied

CHENNAI: The world has lived with serial killers for centuries, and one of the earliest ones to have been recorded but was never caught is Jack the Ripper, who is alleged to have been largely active in London's Whitechapel district in 1888. Eventually, he became part of folklore and rumours. 

In the summer of 1985, Los Angeles was also terrorized by a serial rapist and murderer, who broke into homes through open windows and doors at night, and before the cops could catch him, 13 men, women and children had fallen prey to him. Sometimes he used a hammer, sometimes a knife, sometimes a telephone cord for strangulation and on occasions had a meal from the refrigerator after he had finished with his bloody business.

A new Netflix docuseries, "Night Stalker: the Hunt for a Serial Killer" from Tiller Russell graphically maps out the terrifying activity of the criminal, whose real name was Richard Ramirez ( Lou Diamond Phillips plays this part) and how he got the inhabitants of Los Angeles into a state of fear and panic.

The series has very disturbing images and can send shivers down the spine of even the most hardy, and Ramirez's serial attacks were not new to the city, which had witnessed this kind of crime earlier – Black Dahlia and Manson murderers, who killed a pregnant Sharon Tate, an American actress and wife of Roman Polanski. 

'Night Stalker: the Hunt for a Serial Killer' is now streaming on Netflix. Supplied

Ramirez was a killer with no established pattern. Between June 1984 till his arrest in August 1985, 13 people between six and 82 died. They belonged to different genders, race and class. The only common feature was open windows and doors, and LA residents zipped up their homes in 100F, barricaded their windows and adopted large dogs. But the “bogeyman” proved elusive for a long time, and when he was finally trapped on a street by passersby, who had seen pictures of him in the papers, he was only 25. Sentenced to execution, he remained on the death row for two decades before dying of cancer. 

The series has very disturbing images and can send shivers down the spine of even the most hardy. Supplied

Russell, is a veteran of true crime series and has been interested in this since his days as a reporter in a local paper. He takes us into "Night Stalker" through the recollections of two LA detectives, Gil Carrillo and Frank Salerno. Carrillo's memory 30 years after the frightening nights was amazing, and he remembered details with precision. The two went through Hell, hardly sleeping or eating. But in the end, it was worth their sweat.