Here you’ll find a growing list of authors and illustrators of children’s and YA books in Arabic which have received critical acclaim. Please follow links to profiles of their books and translated samples on this site.
We’d love to see more of these making their way into English translation, so get in touch if we can help!
Egyptian children’s book author. 2011 Etisalat Award for Teeri Ya Tayara (Fly Away Kite) published by Nahdet Misr, Egypt.
Rania Hussain Amin
Egyptian writer for children and winner of 2016 Etisalat Award for Best Young Adult Book of the Year: Screams Behind Doors. See Read Kutub Kids and Women of Egypt mag for interviews with and features on Rania.
Yara Bamiya (Bamieh)
2016 Etisalat Award for Best Production for Boulqash, authored and illustrated by Yara Bamiya
Rania Zbib Daher
2014 Etisalat Award for Best Illustration: The Pomegranate Girl by Rania Zbib Daher and illustrated by Joelle Achkar
2018 Etisalat Award for Best Young Adult Book of the Year: The Secret of Oil (سر الزيت) written by Walid Daqqa from the Tamer Institute
2016 Etisalat Award for Best Text: I Want to Be a Turtle by Amal Farah
Shahrazizi’s Nights: A Tale Within a Tale Within a Tale by Hadil Ghoneim and illustrator Sahar Abdallah (Dar al-Balsam, Egypt) won the Etisalat Award for Best Children’s Book of the Year 2020. Ghoneim has previously been shortlisted for the Etisalat Prize, in the YA category.
2015 Etisalat Award for Best Text: Me and My Granny written and illustrated by Ebtihaj al-Harthi
Aisha Abdullah al-Harithi
Maya Abu Al-Hayyat
2018 Etisalat Award for Best Children’s Book of the Year: Homesick (الحنين) written by Aisha al-Harthi and illustrated by Hassan Manasra (Dar al-Alam al-Arabi)
The Etisalat Award 2020 for Best Text went to Words by Jikar Khorshid, illustrated by Maha Daher ( Dar Najma, Syria)
2014 Etisalat Award for Best Text: My Mom Loves Fattoosh by Eva Kosma and illustrated by Azza Hussein
Emirati children’s book author of 17+ books, including A Very Special Place (illustrated by Noora al-Shaikh) – a picture book for young cancer patients – and My Own Special Way.
Emirati children’s book author, with books including The White Hands, which describes a refugee boy’s journey from his homeland to a neighbouring country. Her first book Fanteer the Fluffy Flamingo (2013) was followed by The Golden Dates. Noura tweets at @nkhoori
Abeer Ali al-Kalbani
Author of Nour’s Escape (illustrated by Gulnar Hajo, and winner of 2015 Etisalat Award for Best Illustration), in English translation by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp (Darf, 2018)
Emirati children’s book author. Her first book, Weaving A Square, tells the story of a girl who is diagnosed with Autism.
Nabiha Mheidly (Muhaidali)
- 2009 Etisalat Award for Ana Oheb (“I Love”), illustrated by Nadeen Saidani (Hadaek, Lebanon)
- 2012 Etisalat Award for Creatures on the Ceiling, illustrated by Hassan Zahreddine (Hadaek, Lebanon
- 2014 Etisalat Award for Best Production: Clever Walker, illustrated by Hassan Zahreddine
- 2015 Etisalat Award for Best Children’s Book of the Year: Excuse Me, Give Me Away
2015 Etisalat Award for 2 awards: Best Children’s Book of the Year AND Best Production: The Judge’s Mule by Shafeek Mehdi and illustrated by Taiba Abdullah
Noura al-Noman (نورة دالنومان)
Emirati science fiction and YA writer. Her novel Ajwan was the first-ever YA winner of the Etisalat Award for Prize for Arabic Children’s Books (2013 Etisalat Award for Young Adult Fiction). It was followed by two other books in the Ajwan trilogy: Mandan (2014) and Sydonia (2016).
Al-Noman is also founder of Manuscript 2559, the Arabic publishing world’s first science-fiction-and-fantasy specialist publishing house.
A prominent Palestinian author and storyteller, Sonia Nimr writes for children and teens both in Arabic and English. Her Extraordinary Journeys to Unknown Places (illustrated by Lubna Taha) won the 2014 Etisalat Award for Best Young Adult Book of the Year.
Prolific children’s book writer and founder of Salwa Books publishing house in Amman. This Palestinian-Jordanian author is one of the most translated authors of Arabic children’s writing and we still don’t have anything like enough of her work translated into English! Her books have been on the White Ravens’ list twice, in 1998 for The Ghoul and in 2014 for Why Not? Taghreed tweets at @taghreednajjar.
Translations into English include:
- The Ghoul, illus. by Hassan Manasra (Interlink, 2019)
- My Brother and I, illus. Maya Fidawi, translated by Michelle Hartman (CrackBoom! Books, 2019)
- Watermelon Madness, illus. Maya Fidawi, tr. Michelle Hartman (CrackBoom! Books, 2018)
- Little Green Drum, trans. by Taghreed with Lucy Coats (Orion Children’s Books, 2015)
2018 Etisalat Award for Best Production: Koozy (كوزي) by Anastasia Qarawani and illustrated by Maja Kastelic from Al Salwa Books
Anas Abu Rahmeh / Anas Abu Rahma
The Well’s Song’ by Anas Abu Rahmeh (illustrated by Lubna Taha)
Mariam Suhail al-Rashedi
Emirati writer 2013 Etisalat award for Best Text: My Mum Jadida
The Poppy / The Anemone (شقائق النعمان ) by Haya Saleh, published by Al Yasmine in Jordan, won the 2020 Etisalat Award for Best Young Adult Book.
2013 Etisalat Award for prize for Best Production: When You Get Angry by Doniazad Saade, illustrated by Zarifa Haidar (Asala, Lebanon)
Lebanese writer including of I Have Not One House but Two Houses – the painful story of a separation from a childʹs perspective.
2015 Etisalat Award for Best YA Book of the Year: Getting out of the Bubble by Ibrahim Shalabi
Abeer Ibrahim Taher
2014 Etisalat Award for Best Children’s Book of the Year: Naughty Kitty by Abeer Ibrahim Taher and illustrated by Maya Fidawi
2013 Etisalat Award for Best Children’s Book of the Year: The Rod of Racemes by Afaf Tobala and illustrated by Hanadi Sleet (Nahdet Misr, Egypt)
2010 Etisalat Award for al-Noqta al-Sawda (The Black Dot) written and illustrated by Walid Taher (Dar El Shorouk, Egypt)