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Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press Kicks Off New Year with the Launch of a Long List of New Titles

Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press) is excited to kick off the new year by adding a long list of newly published books to its catalog of works. The new titles span across all genres and include a mix of original language works in Arabic and English as well as translated works from other languages

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HBKU Press usually launches the bulk of its published works at the annual Doha International Book Fair (DIBF), where the HBKU Press booth would showcase the hundreds of titles amassing over 10 years of publishing. However, this year the fair was canceled as a precautionary measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As an alternative avenue to purchase its books, HBKU Press is now participating in the Ibn Ryab Cultural Street Festival in Katara (located behind the amphitheater) where the full collection of its works are available to the public.

“Despite the cancelation of the 2021 DBIF, the entire team at HBKU Press has been working tirelessly to ensure the continuation of our work,” explains Bachar Chebaro, Executive Director of HBKU Press. “COVID-19 forced our staff to work from home for the better part of the year, and presented many logistical challenges as well, but we are proud to have overcome such a challenging time and to be able to launch a truly wonderful collection of literary works that highlight the talented authors, illustrators, translators and researchers from the region to the world.”

From the world of Academics

A Refreshed Soul is penned by Qatari author Asma Al-Dosari, who is a researcher in the field of Islamic values and culture, a lecturer at the Community College of Qatar, and a consultant in the field of human development and community work. Her debut work available in Arabic examines the strategic impact of giving as the means of strengthening one’s own spiritual values. It examines the concept of values and the concept of charitable work and their origin and development in the Holy Qur’an and by the Prophet Mohammad [PBUH].

Also by a Qatari author comes the biographical non-fiction work titled, Zheng-He: The Chinese Emperor and Sailor by author Dr. Ali Al Hajri, a book in Arabic detailing the life and times of the Chinese sailor and Muslim admiral Zheng-He (in Arabic, Hajji Mahmoud Shams).

The book examines his geographical discoveries and his seafaring travels. Zheng-He visited all of the countries located on the coasts of the Indian Ocean, South Asia, and African East coast during the first third of the fifth century (Hijri calendar), between 1405 – 1433). His voyages were known as Rahlat Al-Kanz, or Voyages of Treasure, and were a compilation of seven different marine expeditions over the course of 28 years.

Also in the realm of academic history is the original language Arabic work titled The Hajj from Qatar’s Past: A Collection of Memories by Mohamed Hammam Fikry who currently serves as the Heritage & Rare Books Advisor at the QF Cultural Advisor Office.

In his first collaboration with Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press, this book is a testament to Qatari history: a collection of memories of the holy pilgrimage to Mecca as told by Qataris, from ancient times until the present day. It provides first-hand accounts of Qataris from different generations to provide a unique perspective on their journey to perform Hajj.

Some detail their preparations for Hajj while others relate their memory of the journey itself and all of the difficulties faced and overcome to perform their sacred duty as a Muslim. A collection of powerful and inspiring accounts of a life-changing journey to the holiest place in the world.

HBKU professor Dr. Mohamad Ghaly’s pioneering work titled, Islam and Disability, is now available for the first time in Arabic published by HBKU Press. This book explores the position of Islamic theology and jurisprudence towards people with disabilities. It investigates how early and modern Muslim scholars tried to reconcile their existence with the concept of a merciful God, and also looks at how people with disabilities might live a dignified and productive life within an Islamic context.

Investigating the topic of disability from early and modern Islamic perspectives, the author provides an analysis of Muslim discussions on various bioethical questions. As such, this book will be of great relevance to current heated debates on human rights of people with disabilities, as well as providing a valuable resource for courses on multicultural bioethics, Islamic theology, Islamic law, and medical anthropology.

Also translated into Arabic are two new books addressing both sociological and anthropological issues. Knowledge: Is Knowledge Power? by Marian Adolf and Nico Stehr examines the concept of knowledge: How is it produced, where does it reside, and who owns it? Is knowledge always beneficial, will we know all there is to know at some point in the future, and does knowledge really equal power? This book pursues an original approach to this concept that seems to define so many aspects of modern societies. It explores the topic from a distinctly sociological perspective, and traces the many ways that knowledge is woven into the very fabric of modern society.

In Raising Children: Surprising Insights from Other Cultures, author David F. Lancy takes us on a journey across the globe to show how children are raised differently in different cultures. Intriguing, and sometimes shocking, his discoveries demonstrate that our ideas about children are recent, untested, and often contrast starkly with those in other parts of the world. Lancy argues that we are, by historical standards, guilty of over-parenting, and of micro-managing our children's lives. Challenging many of our accepted truths, his book will encourage parents to think differently about children, and by doing so to feel more relaxed about their own parenting skills.

Health, Wellness and Lifestyle

Available for the first time in Arabic, The Natural Menopause Plan by bestselling author Maryon Stewart shows how you can alleviate the symptoms of menopause naturally and effectively; through diet, supplements, herbal remedies, exercise, and relaxation.

The book includes more than 90 delicious recipes especially designed to alleviate menopausal symptoms in a healthful, lasting way. Complete with authoritative nutritional information, this is the ultimate guide to combating the effects of the menopause the natural way.

Additionally, HBKU Press has released the remaining three books from the Mind Zone series. The five books Instant Recall, Brain Workout, Mastering Numbers, Boost Your IQ (2020), and Think Smart, Act Smart (2020) provide readers with brain training exercises that are the natural, effective and fun way to improve mental activity and processing. These books will you help sharpen your cognitive abilities and train your brain for increased mental well-being.

Get lost in a good book

For fans of fiction, HBKU Press has two new Arabic books hot off the presses. Translated from Japanese into Arabic, the critically-acclaimed The Setting Sun by Osamu Dazai probes the destructive effects of war and the transition from a feudal Japan to an industrial society in the early post-war years. The story is told through the eyes of Kazuko, the unmarried daughter of a widowed aristocrat. When Kazuko’s mother falls ill, and due to their financial circumstances, they are forced to move into a cottage in the countryside. Her search for self-meaning in a society devoid of use for her forms the crux of a sad story.

Ladder to the Sky by Ibtesam Terraisi, follows the protagonist Heaven who suffers at the hands of her abusive husband. With no family or friends to turn to in the coastal city of Jeddah, Heaven can only dream of an escape.

But she receives a lifeline when a lover from her past, Badr, unexpectedly messages her on social media. Will their circumstances allow them to revive their love story?

Will Heaven escape her abusive relationship and be able to build a better future for herself?

Something for everyone

Hard copies of these books, and other HBKU Press publications, are available in bookstores across Qatar, and at the Ibn Ryab Cultural Street in Katara. They can also be purchased and delivered to locations in Qatar from the Rafeeq, Snoonu and Purplebox applications (available to download from the Apple Store and Google Play). For more information on how to get a copy of any of your favorite HBKU Press books, follow their Facebook page (facebook.com/hbkupress) or Twitter and Instagram (@hbkupress) for daily updates.