“Age is just a number” is what the young Dubai Abulhoul keeps proving to herself everyday. At just the age of 11, Abulhoul declared her interest in the film industry where she was then awarded “Youngest Emirati Director” at the Gulf Film Festival in 2006. Today Abulhoul, 15 years old, islaunching her debut fictional novel on March 8th in Dubai, the UAE. Khaleejesque sat with the talented author to know more about her new novel entitled “Galagolia” and her future plans.
Tell us more about yourself.
My name is Dubai Abulhoul, I'm a 15 year old Emirati. I have a passion for all things art, literature, and creativity.
How did you decide that writing is what you want to do?
Writing has always been a part of who I am, I write whenever I feel good or bad. Galagolia was my first attempt at sitting down and writing seriously.
Tell us about your debut novel "Galagolia" what should your future readers expect?
It's a story about Maitha BinHumaid, a ten-year-old Emirati girl living in Deira, Dubai. Growing up, she was told that her mother had died soon after her birth. After the death of her father, Maitha finds a portal to Galagolia, a new world, and learns that, all along, she had known nothing about her life and that she has inherited the throne to Galagolia.
Readers should expect a very fictional adventure with a traditional Emirati twist. It's a story where Emirati readers can relate to the characters in terms of their names and traditions, all whilst enjoying one big adventure!
How did your friends and family react when you told them you wanted to be writer at such a young age?
They've been supportive since the very beginning! When I started writing the novel I was 11, so as much as everyone was supportive, no one, not even myself, expected it to be published so soon. I still am in denial of that fact!
As a writer, how do you say you deal with your "writer's block"?
Mostly what I did was Youtube inspirational stories of writers like J.K Rowling and how they went from where they were to where they now are. I get that dose of inspiration that lasts me enough to write a chapter or two!
What are your future plans for "Galagolia?"
Well, Galagolia is a series of books, so my main plan is to finish writing them. The original plan was to write around 3 books, but we'll see where my imagination takes me!
What are your other interests?
I have many passions, but they all circle around creativity. I want to work with movies in the future, to try and show the world who we really are. Art is also a part of me, and I currently am working on a series of paintings.
Your favorite author and book?
J.K Rowling, and Harry Potter all the way! The originality found in those books is just beyond me! The houses, the spells, the plot, everything! To me, Harry Potter is one of the greatest written books of all time.
A few words to our readers?
Don't let people convince you that what's important to them should be important to you. Don't let anyone convince you that your dreams are too unrealistic or that you're too young. Age is just a number, and your dreams are on the verge of being turned into a reality if you truly believe in them!
To attend the event of the launch of “Galagolia” on March 8th as a part of Emirates Literature Festival please follow this link. For the latest updates of Dubai Abulhoul’s novel “Galagolia” follow @Galagolia on Twitter.
– Fatma Lootah