Doha, Qatar: Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press) is excited to launch a long list of books spanning across all genres at this year’s 2018 Doha International Book Fair. From Children’s to Fiction and Non-fiction, the number of books published by HBKU Press is on the rise. HBKU Press’s list of Children’s books features a wide variety of new and established authors that deal with issues related to children in an entertaining and educational way.
HBKU Press is proud to provide a literary platform for local and Arab voices and other narratives from the region. With regards to Children’s books, this means that HBKU Press promotes and assists new authors in finding their voice, which allows for only the most creative and unique content to be published.
This year, HBKU Press has added three new authors to their publishing family. Nada Abu Dahab, author of A Pet in a Pot, is a Children's author whose books encourage creativity and promote positive thinking in children when dealing with problems and life's challenges. A Pet in a Pot tells the delightfully imaginative tale of Andy, a boy who’s lost his pets but learns that sometimes you can find exactly what you want in the most unexpected places.
Long-time residents of Qatar, Zoya Anjum and Omar Khalifa, have also published two new books with HBKU Press respectively. Anjum’s book, Funny Duckling, is a quirky tale about helping others and that encourages readers to imagine the impossible. Khalifa’s book, Alphabet City takes a wonderfully unique approach to learning the alphabet highlighting landmarks in Qatar. From Benedict the baboon’s trip to Banana Island to Seymour the sloth’s adventures in the Souq, readers will travel all over Qatar within the pages of this book!
Established author’s top choice
Aside from publishing the works of new authors, HBKU Press continues to be the top choice for established authors who are experienced in the publishing world.
Shaikha Al Zeyara, an established Qatari author who has published many books throughout her career, became an HBKU Press author last year with the release of the best-selling classic, The Sultan of the Sea (Sultan Al-Baher). This year, she will launch her second title published with HBKU Press, The Farmer Who Saved the Village (Al Mouzare’), at the DIBF2018.
“Sultan Al-Baher is a story that has been passed down from our ancestors, and as a Qatari it is my priority to write about topics that instil patriotism and that serve as reminders of our proud heritage,” explains Al Zeyara. “In my previous experience with HBKU Press, it was evident how much effort they put into producing quality work. The team [at HBKU Press] builds a relationship between the author and the publishing house to produce high quality books, with a high level of unique content with special emphasis and support on local talents. I did not hesitate to cooperate with the [publishing] house for the second time with my new book Al Mouzare’.”
Another returning HBKU Press author is beloved Qatari Children’s author, Muneera Saad Al-Romaihi. Al-Romaihi is known for tackling sensitive topics in her Children’s books. The author of Khayal Manal (Manal’s World), Majid Al Ghadeb (Angry Majid), and Ana Ushbeh Al Qamar (I Look like the Moon).
“My books are all inspired by my children and that is what I feel makes them so successful,” explains Al-Romaihi. “Parents, educators, and children can really relate to my stories as they cover universal topics that we all have experienced.”
Al-Romaihi’s books deal with topics such as how we can teach children to accept others’ differences, how to deal with sibling rivalry, and the inspiration that can be found in the heroes that are survivors of childhood illness. With her fourth book, Al Wohoosh Takhaf Min Mama (Monsters are Afraid of Mama) Al-Romaihi’s ‘supermom’ character explains away simple childhood fears in a way that will have both parents and children alike sleeping soundly at night with all fear assuaged.
Basma Al-Khatib will also release the second book of the My Smart Family Series published by HBKU Press. Last year saw Al-Khatib release the first of five titles in the series, A Night Without Internet (Layla Bela Internet) that took a look at familial connections in the technologically-driven world. This year she will promote The Strawberry Doesn’t Sprout Red (Al Farawla La Tanbot Hamra’) which teaches readers about the power of patience and determination. The My Smart Family Series is a series aimed at teaching values and life lessons to children through relatable experiences.
Finally, Haifa Swarka, author of the 2017 book The Polka-Dotted Dress (Al Fustan Al- Munaqat) has published her second book with HBKU Press titled, Can You Read Me? (‘Ala Taqrakni). The fun-filled tale follows Turtle who has found a book that doesn’t have any words in it! Readers join her on a delightful journey to find the words to fill up her book.
HBKU Press’s mandate to provide a platform for cross-cultural communications through the translation of books is not limited to Adult Fiction and Non-Fiction titles. It is very much thriving in the genres for Young Adult and Children as well.
See You in the Cosmos (Arak fi Cosmos) by Jack Cheung has been translated into Arabic for HBKU Press by Tamer Fathy Mabrouk. Full of joy, optimism, determination, and unbelievable heart, the story follows eleven-year-old Alex Petroski on a whirlwind journey across America as he tries to document what life is all about.
And good news for fans of the worldwide best-selling Wonder series by R.J. Palacio: HBKU Press has acquired the rights to translate the entire series! That means, at this year’s DIBF, Wonder fans can purchase the classic YA novel in Arabic as well as the newly-translated, We're All Wonders (Kilina Ojouba). We're All Wonders (Kilina Ojouba) taps into every child's longing to belong, and to be seen for who they truly are. It's the perfect way for families and teachers to talk about empathy, difference and kindness with young children. The translations of both 365 Days of Wonder and Auggie & Me are forthcoming and will be released in 2019.
Finally, a series of nine Children’s books from have been translated from Turkish into Arabic and English by HBKU Press, along with four books translated into Arabic from Greek. Nine Adventures (Tisaa Moughamarat) is a unique series that uses imaginative and adventurous scenarios and diverse characters to teach children about friendship, empathy, courage, taking initiative, developing and growing, being different, and having fun. Funny Diaries
(Yawmiyat Mariha), another delightful series of four books that push children’s imagination to the limits, is so beautifully illustrated and such a pleasure to read that children are sure to enjoy these stories again and again.
Something for everyone
These books and many more will launch at the Doha International Book Fair (DIBF) 2018 from November 29 – December 8, 2018. The DIBF will be held at the Doha Exhibition and Convention Center and opens every day from 9:00a.m. to 10:00p.m., and on Fridays from 4:00p.m. to 10:00p.m. Follow us on our Facebook page (facebook.com/hbkupress) and on Twitter and Instagram (@hbkupress) for daily updates from the fair.