Yesterday, I was very happy to be able to attend a British Petroleum BP event marking their support of education in Egypt. Until today, BP has helped fund 100 Egyptian scholars attend Cambridge university!
As one of these scholars, I can not say how lucky I still feel. The Minister of Higher Education and the Minister of Petroleum also attended and spoke at this event, promising to increase the number of scholarships.
Get excited! My first picturebook “Mila the Beautiful Cat” or “ميلا القطة الجميلة ” is coming soon! And it will be published by the famous and award winning Lebanese publishing house, Asala! What does a little girl and her local cat have in common? A love for ice cream! So when the ice cream shop closes, and the little girl’s family has no choice but to adopt Mila, what happens? Can the family learn to love this very naughty cat and welcome her into their home?
In celebration of World Book Day on March 1st, the British International School of Madinaty (BISM) asked me to be their Featured Author during their Book Week! This was an exciting week where I gave workshops to students in grades 3-6, a talk for students in grades 7-10, and a presentation to elementary school parents about the importance of reading. I also held many book reading sessions for the younger years and was happy to sign my books for so many enthusiastic readers and maybe – authors!
I couldn’t have had a better time at the wonderful BISM, and hope to visit again soon. 🙂
This Friday, I was happy to visit the 49th Cairo International Book Fair. It is scheduled to take place from the 27th of January all the way to the 10th of February – so if you have not already visited, you have time!
The place was packed with friends and parents and children all browsing for the latest books at great prices. I was happy to visit the tents of Dar El Shorouk, The Egyptian – Lebanese publishers, and many others.
I was very happy to visit with my friend, Dr. Farouk Majdalawi, of the Jordanian Majdalawi publishing house. It was a great place where people from many different backgrounds came together to share their views and passions for reading. I left with many new and exciting children’s books!
While I am so proud these 600,000 copies of 20 excellent Arabic picturebooks are being distributed across Jordan, I am equally proud that these books can benefit any parent who wants to teach their child Arabic. I have received several messages in the past few days asking where to buy these books, so I am tagging our three Jordanian publishers here who can sell them to you: Majdalawi Masterpieces, Jabal Amman Publishers جبل عمان ناشرون, and Dar Al Yasmine Publishing.
On November 14th, I stood before a crowd of 150 authors, illustrators, publishers, media, and VIPs to present the culmination of a year of extraordinary work. The truth is a good picturebook, where both the text and illustrations equally tell a story, takes not less than 2-3 years to produce. This truth was shattered as we fast-forwarded time to produce 20 excellent Arabic picturebooks in less than one year. When I initially met our 3 publishers to explain this project, they …didn’t really believe me but strangely agreed to join. Maybe it was because sometimes we want to believe in the unbelievable. Maybe we all secretly wanted this project, where these 20 books would be printed into 600,000 copies and distributed for free across the local and refugee children of Jordan, but were too cowardly to believe we could do it. Yet now, after standing there and witnessing the excitement of our team and their families, after seeing the Minister of Education in the front row silently hand-signaling to me asking whether he could come on stage and speak too, and after reading countless thank you notes and FB posts and Whatsapp messages, I have learned something that in my heart I have always known. That a crazy dream, your story, no matter which way you write it, can come true. Thank you Room to Read, Dubai Cares, and the people of Jordan. And to many more outrageous achievements. @ The Children’s Museum Jordan – متحف الأطفال الأردن
Merry Christmas everyone! I hope during this festive time of year that everyone enjoys some holiday spirit and well-deserved time off. I personally always take some time to reflect and think ahead of my goals or resolutions for the New Year.
During the annual CAC Book Fair this month, I was invited again to read my books as an alumni. It was so wonderful to sit again at school and feel the spirit of the students. I read The Magic Palm and The Lion that Dressed as a Sheep, and signed books for students who wanted to buy copies.
Some fun pictures from the day – and Santa riding a camel!
On November 1st, I was invited to read my two new children’s books “The Lion that Dressed as a Sheep” and “The Magic Palm” at Alsson International School. Walking across their huge new campus in New Giza, I was amazed and excited to present my books to grades 1 – 5.
Needless to say, I read to incredible and bright students, who asked thoughtful questions and made insightful remarks like, “Ali found the tree because of his brother” or “The girl didn’t do everything right, but she did the right thing.”
I hope I get the opportunity to visit Alsson school again. A big thanks to Elementary School Principle Mrs. Mona Mourad, and Elementary School Librarian Mrs. Ebtisam.
I am thrilled to announce that my books are not only on Amazon, but also on SOUQ.com! So much easier and more available for all my Egyptian readers! Literally have my books delivered straight to your house.