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The Last Word: Rehan Khan



If anyone deserves the title “Renassiance man” in Dubai right now, Rehan Khan is probably near the front of the queue. His day job is consulting director in the MENA region for a FTSE 100 corporation, which he combines with being a professor of management at an international business school, while earlier this year he somehow found the time to release his debut novel, Last of the Tasburai.

The fantasy novel is based in a fictional city and blends elements of Samurai courage and Sufi mysticism, and follows an ensemble cast of characters living, fighting and ruling on the Avantolian Peninsula. He is now working on its sequel.

What was the last sentence you wrote before answering these questions?
I’m presently working on Book Two of the Tasburai series, so the sentence was as follows: “Olaf became silent, staring in the direction of the entrance to the room. Ylva swivelled around. Suri-Yi was standing in the doorframe. The Grandmaster glared at Olaf who seemed to shrivel on the spot. Ylva gulped and fixed her gaze downwards. Without saying a word Suri-Yi walked away.”

When was the last time you did something courageous?
When I spoke the truth to someone quite senior who didn’t want to hear it.

Who was the last plot idea you threw away?
To kill off one of my main characters. But if I did that, it would be curtains for the sequel and so wouldn’t make any commercial sense. Though I am tempted…

When was the last time you read a book and thought, “Man, I wish I’d written that…”?
Never. Usually when I’m reading, I’m so in awe of the other author’s work that I can’t imagine myself inking the prose they’ve constructed.

When was the last time you were homesick?
Home is wherever we put our bags down. Mine are currently in Dubai.

What was the last great piece of advice you received?
“Stop dreaming and wake up.”

What was the last memorable meal you ate?
An organic avocado salad, with spinach, cherry tomatoes, red kidney beans, lettuce, tossed together with a shot of lemon and olive oil. It tasted awful. Yet, like an inoculation, I knew it was good for me, so I ate it with a smile upon my face. Just don’t tell my wife…!

What was the last text message you received?
From my wife who is presently in London, wishing us a happy 17th wedding anniversary. I know, I should be with her at such a special moment… but, hey, a man’s got to earn a living in order to put bread on the table for his family.

When was the last time you did something for the first time?
Taking my kids paddle boarding off Jumeirah Beach. I’m a terrible swimmer, so I spent the whole hour pretending to be totally calm whilst the waves swished around me. Believe me, inside I was totally freaked out.

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