This year, HBKU Press celebrated World Book Day by launching the latest book written by local Qatari author, Dr. Jabr Al Noaimi, titled Min Fa'ir Ila Maarid (The Mouse that Saved Me). Lucky students at Qatar Academy – Msheireb were treated to an animated book reading by the author and received special, complimentary editions of the book as well
"HBKU Press is committed to serving the greater community by providing opportunities for students and youth to connect with authors and engage in activities that help promote and establish a love of reading and literacy at a young age," explained Muneera Saad Al Romaihi, Community Outreach Officer at HBKU Press.
Min Fa'ir ila Maarid (The Mouse that Saved Me) tells the story of Hamad, a boy who is constantly bullied at school only to be taught, by none other than a mouse, that he needs to face his problems instead of avoiding confrontation. It is loosely based on Dr. Al Noaimi’s personal experiences growing up, infused with a touch of imagination to create a classic story for children.
"In addition to being a great book, the theme of overcoming bullying and confronting problems, which is explored by the author in Min Fa'ir ila Maarid (The Mouse that Saved Me), is a universal theme that children around the world can relate to,” Al Romaihi continued. “By choosing this particular story for World Book Day, HBKU Press aims to showcase the local Qatari narrative about a relatable topic worldwide, which allows us to contribute to cross-cultural communication, dialogue and understanding."
As an educator himself, Dr. Al Noaimi commends HBKU Press on their commitment to providing opportunities for students to connect with authors as a way to promote literacy.
“The work HBKU Press does within the community to promote literacy is essential in order to help raise a generation of readers and writers,” he explained. “By linking literacy to an international campaign like World Book Day, HBKU Press is showing our aspiring writers that their voice matters on a global stage.”
Min Fa'ir ila Maarid (The Mouse that Saved Me) is Dr. Al Noaimi’s second book to be published by HBKU Press. His first book, Ashgar Al Hawaa (Wind Tree), was published by HBKU Press in 2017 as a successful outcome of the ‘Books – Made in Qatar’ workshop held in collaboration with the Goethe-Institut Gulf Region and Qatar National Library (QNL) as part of the official Qatar-Germany 2017 Year of Culture program.
Dr. Al Noaimi has pursued a career as an author later in his life, proving that it is never too late to pursue your passions and follow your dreams. A storyteller at heart, some of his earliest memories are as a young boy being surrounded by his friends as he told them story after story while they listened, enraptured by the adventures of a protagonist that was no taller than his very own hand. His passion for storytelling grew when he took writing courses in school and had the same positive feedback from his teachers.
As a father, his children were enthralled by his storytelling and the mere threat of not hearing a bedtime story would have them on their best behavior. As they grew, they encouraged him to write down his stories so that they themselves could pass them along to their kids.
“So many people encouraged me to write and publish my stories,” he explained, “But it never really occurred to me to do so until I had the opportunity to work with HBKU Press in a writing workshop. Even though I’ve had a long career as an academic theoretical physicist, I believe that it’s never too late to follow your dreams and do what you love. I am honored to have established my career as a writer with HBKU Press and to have my book chosen as the 2019 World Book Day book.”
Janet Botha, Primary Librarian at Qatar Academy – Msheireb, expressed gratitude for the chance to host such an esteemed author and for receiving free copies of the book to distribute to all of the students at QA-M in celebration of 2019 World Book Day.
“We appreciate the opportunity that HBKU Press provided for our students to meet a Qatari author,” said Botha, “and to discuss matters so relevant to the society we live in today.”
World Book Day is an annual event that was launched by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in 1995.
HBKU Press’s catalog of works are available online on Amazon Kindle and in local bookstores.