Seven Arab writers walk into a bar.

Or rather their words do, courtesy of letters they've written directly to the people of Glasgow dealing with the Arab Spring, and responding to current events in their respective countries.

These are then read out on stage by a selection of Scottish writers: on opening day Liz Lochhead; Louise Welsh; Alan Bissett and Andrew O'Hagan. And a satisfying and engaging fist of proceedings they make of it too, as we are offered snapshots of changing, and unchanging worlds, in Egypt, Palestine and Syria.

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Part of A Play, A Pie and A Pint's Arab-themed mini-season, produced in association with the National Theatre of Scotland, the end result, while not strictly theatre (more like an Arab/Scots PEN international symposium), doesn't lack for drama or intellectual thought.

So a librarian from Alexandria salutes Egyptian youth and makes the case that culture should be the bedrock of progress in Egypt. Palestinian novelist Adania Shibili offers up a garden themed allegory of stubborn resistance. Syrian novelist Laila Hourani contemplates the Syrian conflict from the safe haven of her five-star flat in Cairo with a tale of fiery revolutionary fervour and suspicion, while a Palestinian playwright wrestles with having his work exposed to the Israeli public, but only with Israeli state funding.

Following a week where the ongoing sweep of change in the Arab has been reduced in the Western news to the pros and cons of the travelling billionaire circus that is Formula 1, it's enlightening to find something more substantial, and vital, on offer here, than who would take the chequered flag in Bahrain.Sponsored by Heineken.