HBKU Press Celebrates International Women’s Day

HBKU Press Celebrates International Women’s Day

Doha, March 9, 2024 – Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press) is taking this International Women’s Day as an opportunity to recognize and celebrate its many talented authors. International Women’s Day is a global celebration of women and their achievements regardless of nationality, cultural background, or economic status. It is also an inclusive occasion which HBKU Press is using to speak to some of  its award-winning female authors, highlighting their  international  achievements within the literary world as well as  their  thoughts on what International Women’s Day means to them. 

“This International Women’s Day, we are particularly proud of our many wonderfully talented and creative women authors,” says Rima Ismail, Outreach and Special Projects Manager at HBKU Press. “Women are as creative as they are empowering and inspiring. We’re thrilled that we’re able to help tell their stories and by extension, encourage women everywhere to do the same.”

HBKU Press has worked with and published the works of over 130 female writers, academics, and storytellers from diverse backgrounds and perspectives. One such writer is Qatari author Kummam Al-Maadeed,  author of the award-winning “Calling Magic” series, itself a story about a powerful young woman. “On Women’s Day, let’s honor the power in women’s stories. These tales, filled with courage and empathy, remind us that in the magic of their words, we find real strength. They teach us to care for our minds like enchanted gardens, facing challenges with bravery and heart,” she said. Her book Calling Magic is the 2021 Royal Dragonfly Book Award winner, while its sequel, Wielding Magic, won Gold in the 2023 Moonbeam Awards.

Balsem Amura, who hails from Libya, reflects on her position as a female author and the contribution she is therefore able to make in support of other women around the world through her works. “Being a female author empowers other women by providing them with unique and powerful yet enjoyable books. These stories, born from personal experiences, help us overcome today's challenges, particularly those affecting women,” she shared. Balsem mostly writes for children with HBKU Press,  include 2023 Best Book Awards Finalist The Worry Balloon, and the critically-acclaimed My Happy Language.

Qatari author, mother, and wife Muneera Al-Romaihi is a prolific writer, with a total of eight publications with HBKU Press. Her award-winning book A Fright Night has been translated from Arabic into both French and English. More recently, she has published The Brave Princess and the Dragon, a colorful children’s story about a courageous girl who faces her fears to save her kingdom. When asked her thoughts about International Women’s Day, she took the opportunity to redirect focus and remind the world about the plight of Palestinian women, the  various roles they play in society,  and the inspiring example they set for the world. “This International Women's Day, we must remember  Palestinian women and send them our love and prayers. They have  proven to be  resilient mothers, sisters, wives, and friends, able to confront the very worst with strength and faith,” she said. 

I Wish I Knew is a unique and critically-acclaimed book from the creative mind of Lebanese author Souha Abu Chakra, who conceptualized the story so cleverly that it was told entirely through illustration alone. She takes International Women’s Day as an opportunity to acknowledge the challenges that women around the world face every day, as well as their successes. “March 8 represents 365 days of the woman’s efforts and achievements. It is an opportunity to reflect on her reality and empower her ambitions,” she shared. Soha’s compassion and creativity shines through her writing, particularly her book Migrating Hoopoe, which was a Finalist in the 2021 National Indie Excellence Awards in the Children’s Inspirational/Motivation category.

Young author Dalal Al-Romaihi is an impressive talent that HBKU Press has worked with, publishing her popular children’s story Where is My Teacher? when she was just a teenager. This whimsically rhyming and vividly illustrated story takes place in fictional scenarios from the mind of a bright and imaginative student, much like Dalal herself who was gifted from a young age. When asked what International Women’s Day means to her, Dalal shares the spotlight with her fellow women, communicating her pride in them by saying, “On this International Women's Day, I'm proud of the Arabian Gulf women who have demonstrated great achievement and proven their abilities to the world while practicing authentic tradition and staying true to their cultures.”