We write books in colloquial Arabic
We publish books and stories for children and students in colloquial Arabic, the Arabic that children hear and speak.
We are a married couple raising a six-year-old and an almost two years old daughters who speak English and Arabic. We wanted to read books to them not in formal Arabic, but in the colloquial dialect that they hear and speak everyday. We couldn't find such books, so we decided to write our own.
'The Girl Who Lost Her Imagination' is the first in a series of books that we hope will help our daughters to develop a love of their rich language and culture. When they grow up and are old enough to progress to formal Arabic, fussha, no one will be more proud than us.
Our books are intended for children, but also for high school or college students and for other adults who want to learn colloquial Arabic.
Reem Makhoul is a Palestinian journalist. She was born in a small village in the Galilee, near the border with Lebanon. She has always been interested in languages, and even as a young girl wondered why children’s books and cartoons were all in fussha, which seemed to be too formal for the children, animals and other characters in such simple stories. She has lived and worked in Jerusalem, London and New York City.
Stephen Farrell is a journalist of Irish descent who was born and raised in London. He went to college in Scotland and has worked as a foreign correspondent in many countries around the world, particularly in the Middle East.
They are the parents of the real Sheherazade and the real Nairouz.
Fouad Mezher is a Lebanese illustrator who has worked in a variety of mediums. He studied graphic design in Beirut and his design background now informs his drawings. He likes working on comics and children’s books, as his favorite projects are those that tell a story. He illustrated both ‘The Girl Who Lost Her Imagination,’ and ‘Where Shall I Hide?’ We hope to work on many more books together in the future.
The Real Sheherazade
Sheherazade is a child of the big, wide world. She was born in Jerusalem, moved to New York City with her parents when she was a baby, and now lives in London.
She was named after a statue of the fabled storyteller of 'Tales of 1001 Nights.’ That statue is on the banks of the River Tigris in Baghdad.
Her uncles, aunts, grandparents and cousins live in the Middle East, Scandinavia and the British Isles.
Sheherazade says funny and clever things all the time, inspiring her parents to write them down and put them in their stories. She is the real inspiration behind these books.
The Real Baby Nairouz
Nairouz made a grand entry in our second book "Where Shall I Hide?" She's the happiest baby that we know, and she admires her big sister Sheherazade, and she calls her "Zaza". Her favourite words in Arabic are "Mai" for water, "Abouta" for a hug, and "Annini" for a bottle. She even sings her own version of "Ba Ba Black Sheep," and counts to 10 in Arabic. We know we will write whole books about her in the future.