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Nadine Labaki On Why She Is Not Afraid Of Emotions

2030 NOW Ambassador Nadine Labaki photographed by Fares Sokhon. Courtesy of Life Publishing.

March heralds “Reading Month” in the UAE, and if you’re looking for an inspirational piece of literature to bump to the top of your reading list, we have just the book for you. Published by Life Publishing, 2030 NOW is a coffee table book that highlights the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals for the next ten years, and some of the empowering individuals that are at the forefront of turning them into a reality. The 296-page hardcover features a series of interviews from some of the most influential figures across film, music, politics, culture, science, and art, including Oscar-nominated actress Glenn Close, former actress and human rights advocate Bianca Jagger, and former supermodel and activist Liya Kebede, among many others.

Lebanese filmmaker Nadine Labaki, whose politically-charged film Capharnaüm was recently nominated for an Academy Award, is also featured in the coffee table book. Labaki is known to use her voice and platform to champion change by shedding light on global issues pertaining to child poverty, the refugee crisis, and society’s underprivileged, and 2030 NOW is no exception. “The objective of my films cannot be only artistic, it has to be placed at the service of a greater social cause,” she previously stated in an interview with Vogue Arabia. “If a film succeeds in influencing its viewers, this impact might reach various levels, and this is what pushes me to explore deeper and more important topics after every cinematic experience,” she explains.

The book also features exclusive photographs by Yann Arthus-Bertrand that illustrate these 17 key goals, which serve as a road map towards a better future.

Ambassador Bianca Jagger attends the launch of 2030 NOW at Harvey Nichols, London, on March 4, 2019. Photo: Dave Benett. Courtesy of Life Publishing.

Those keen to get their hands on the book can purchase it at Harvey Nichols in London or pre-order it online at In the meantime, read on for a first look at the book.

I met children with empty eyes. They do not play or smile. They lost feeling because of hunger, torture, lack of care, verbal and physical abuse, and rape. They are truly ‘the wretched of the earth’. Nobody notices those children. They are non-existent in the eyes of society because most of them don’t have official papers that confirm their existence. Most of them don’t know how old they are. They have never celebrated their birthdays. I want to talk about the lives of these children. I can no longer live my life without feeling what other people are suffering.”
— Nadine Labaki, actor and director of the award-winning film Capharnaüm.

It is the burden of populations; the challenge of governments and health systems; it’s a family’s heartbreak; and an individual’s valiant struggle. The stigma and discrimination that prevents people from seeking help must be eliminated. Mental illness is the last frontier in civil rights. Why aren’t we talking about an illness that affects one in four people? I almost lost my sister and nephew because our family had no vocabulary for mental health issues and never talked about it! I co-founded Bring Change to Mind in 2010 to bring home a very loud message — remove the stigma around any form of mental illness, empower those who live with it, and those who love them, to acknowledge it, to talk about it, to get help and to eventually lead open and productive lives.”
— Glenn Close, co-founder, Bring Change to Mind

‘Give a man a fish, and he’ll eat for a day. Teach a man to fish, and he’ll eat for a lifetime.’ – What they don’t say is, ‘And it would be nice if you gave him a fishing rod.’ That’s the part of the analogy that’s missing.”
— Trevor Noah, comedian, writer, television host

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