Friday - - Editor’s Letter -

This week­end’s Fri­day is a study in the power of pa­tience: For ex­am­ple, our life­style writer Shreeja Ravin­dranathan be­gan work­ing on her fea­ture about gam­ing last year. No, she’s not su­per-late in de­liv­er­ing her copy; some­times it just takes a while to bring all the el­e­ments of a story to­gether at the right time. In this case, it took her from sword-fights on Abu Dhabi’s Yas Is­land to a su­per­nat­u­ral bat­tle held in a dank me­di­ae­val tav­ern hid­den near Satwa. It was mostly pow­ered by her imag­i­na­tion, and those of her fel­low gamers – as, of course, none of that is real (ex­cept the lo­ca­tions). It’s the world of RPGs – role-play­ing games that are played out on ta­bles across the emi­rates. That grow­ing com­mu­nity of gamers, who will cel­e­brate their pur­suit at this week­end’s Comic Con in Dubai, started small, and get­ting more peo­ple into the con­cept prob­a­bly re­quired a lot of pa­tience. Read all about this fas­ci­nat­ing world on page 30 – and let us know if you join in the fun and games.

There may be fewer dragons on Abu Dhabi’s un­der­ground po­etry scene, but it’s an­other world we were happy to dis­cover – no magic map or in­vis­i­bil­ity cloak re­quired this time (al­though the crowds at the event Fri­day at­tended were so thick that, on sec­ond thoughts, an in­vis­i­bil­ity cloak might have come in handy). Many peo­ple share (or over­share, de­pend­ing on your point of view) their world on so­cial me­dia, but have you got the guts to put your in­ner­most thoughts to rhyme, and get up and read it to a room of peo­ple? No one is go­ing to judge (but they prob­a­bly don’t want to know what you had for break­fast ei­ther). The ten­dency on so­cial me­dia is to post the pos­i­tives, whereas the po­ets, young and old, speak­ing their verse at Back­yard Po­etry once a month, may not talk about their new shoes or that glam­orous hol­i­day, but in­stead their emo­tions. I love the sound of that – and the fact that it’s so pop­u­lar, too. Can we cre­ate a PoetBook or In­sta­verse, maybe? Read the fea­ture on page 24.

I know many Fri­day read­ers have po­etry run­ning through their veins, be­cause many peo­ple write in to us about their work.

Now is the op­por­tu­nity to share it with your fel­low reader – send us some­thing you’d like pub­lished and we’ll pick the best to go in our next Sto­ry­tellers page. Keep them quite short (haikus are wel­come!) so we can fit as many as we can into the pages.

If you love writ­ing, make sure you also check out Anand Raj OK’s pro­file of best­selling au­thor Eric Van Lust­bader on page 26. He’s got an un­usual trick for com­bat­ing writer’s block – for when pa­tience isn’t an op­tion – and it in­volves a bath­tub.

Natalie Long, editor Reach me at

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