HBKU Press Celebrates Historic FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar

Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press) is honored to support the largest sporting event in the world taking place next month. With FIFA’s first ever World Cup to be hosted in the Middle East set to kick off in Qatar on November 20, HBKU Press is eager and ready to help fans of all ages gear up for the spectacular event with sports literature that aims to educate and inspire


“Operating over the course of the FIFA World Cup 2022 is certainly an exciting opportunity,” says Rima Ismail, Outreach and Special Projects Manager at HBKU Press.

“This is a historic, unprecedented moment for Qatar, and we are thrilled to demonstrate our support by continuing our mission of providing quality literature written by a diverse group of authors to a global audience,” she continues.

The HBKU Press Young Adult and children’s books catalogue features a wide array of literature certain to suit all reading levels and interests across a variety of categories and formats. The award-winning Swish series by Mathias Krug also features another addition to the lineup with Swish’s Mobile Dilemma, Silver recipient of the 2022 Living Now award in General Fiction, as well as Honorable Mention in the 2022 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards. Swish’s newest adventures feature the ocean’s friendliest shark and his never-ending quest to play as much football as possible with his friends. He assumes that he would have plenty of time over the summer holidays, but is soon disappointed when he realizes that everyone is simply too distracted with their digital devices.

Football fans will be delighted to find that HBKU Press offers several award-winning titles featuring the sport, including the 2021 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards first place winner The Boy Who Loved to Pass the Ball. The book is an illustrated biography about a young boy with a simple dream to play football. Readers learn about the journey of the boy as he goes from a passionate fan to one of the greatest footballers in the world, the famous Xavi Hernàndez. The comprehensive biography Kylian Mbappé includes rare images as well as exclusive interviews of the Paris Saint-Germain star, who is similarly described as a true phenomenon. Also no stranger to the world of football superstardom, his meteoric rise to fame included the incredible feat of becoming a world champion at the age of 19.

The struggles and obstacles that athletes face can often come from a number of sources, whether they are battling physical challenges, mental ones, or even societal ones, their stories will inspire us all to persevere and achieve. The Boy Who Wanted to Box Like Ali tells the incredible true story of Qatari sportsman Sheikh Fahad Al-Thani from the moment he was motivated by boxing legend Muhammad Ali to forge his own path and become a boxing champion in his own right. Similarly, The Girl Who Dreamed of Climbing Mount Everest is based on the inspiring Qatari adventurer, Aisha Al-Naami. As the first female Qatari mountain climber, she puts her ambition and determination to full use as she navigates a series of diverse hurdles on her climb to the top of the highest mountain in the world. Finally, in How to be an Ironman, Dr. Nasser Al-Mohannadi recounts his stunning journey as one of the first Qataris to ever complete a full Ironman race. While the race itself is notorious for being one of the most physically sporting challenges, Dr. Al-Mohannadi also writes about the equally challenging process of overcoming childhood fears and cultural misunderstanding.

Finally, HBKU Press offers a range of cultural and educational titles for younger children and urges readers to take full advantage of this unique opportunity by learning as much as possible about the historic event and its connection to Qatar. In Football Stadiums of Qatar, author Isabelle Hamdan takes our youngest readers on a guided tour led by Ahmed and his friends, Nasser and Aisha, as they take a trip through the country to visit all the new football stadiums that will be featured in the tournament. Her previously published book, One Week in Qatar, sees the same trio through a week-long trip around the country in an accessible and colorful guide for younger fans and learners. This delightful picture book is perfect for newer visitors touring the country for the first time, or readers at the beginning of their literacy journey who are also curious about the community around them.