In this episode, we look at books to read during the holy month of Ramadan. Ahlam gives us a whistle-stop tour of key facts, from fasting to the five pillars of Islam, before we speak to Buddhist Monk Gelong Thubten about all things mindfulness and meditation during Ramadan.
Books and authors mentioned in this episode:
Muslim Women Mystics: The Life and Work of Rabi'a and Other Women Mystics in Islam by Margaret Smith
Ahlam recommends this introduction to the great Sufi thinker, Rab'ia of Basra, in a book that discusses the contribution made by Basra and other women mystics to Islamic heritage and history.
Intuitive Fasting by Dr Will Cole
Chiropractor and practitioner of functional medicine Dr Will Cole might not be Andrea's favourite science writer but the recipes in his book look promising if you're looking for steadier blood sugar and a healthier approach when breaking your fast.
Breath by James Nestor
Science writer and journalist James Nestor's ten-year foray into investigating the history of scientific breakthroughs and studies into the 'lost art of breathing' cover the importance of nose breathing, hypoventilation training in athletes, the correlation between breathing and prayer, and much more
About Gelong Thubten
Gelong Thubten is a Buddhist monk, meditation teacher, and Sunday Times bestselling author of A Monk's Guide to Happiness. His new book, a practical guide complete with meditation exercises, is titled Handbook for Hard Times: A Monk's Guide to Fearless Living, due to be published March 2022.
Ahlam Bolooki is the Festival Director for the Emirates Airline Festival of Literature, the largest celebration of the written and spoken word in the Arab World. Ahlam finds it difficult to choose a favourite genre as it’s always changing and she’s still in the midst of discovering her literary self. She’s catching up on all the gems she missed as a child such as The Little Prince and The Giving Tree, but has also developed a new appetite for Crime Fiction so who knows what’s next?
Andrea Gissdal is the Head of Communications and Marketing for the Emirates Literature Foundation. From a voracious and indiscriminate reader as a child, to a part time bookseller as a student, as an adult she has become a literary omnivore but with a preference for fiction. She also dabbles in creative writing, and has a penchant for Scrabble.
Annabelle Corton is part of the team that puts together the programme of events for the EmiratesLitFest each year. She runs the Festival Book Club and has a background in guesting and presenting on talk radio shows about various literary topics. She likes words like ‘equinox’ and ‘vespa’, and loves a good pun. She’ll read anything in reach, but has a fondness for witty tussles of good vs. evil on page and screen, especially vampire fiction where a great deal is at stake. Get it? Stake? ….She’s not sorry.