Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press has released a new Qatar-themed young adult book in honor of Qatar National Day 2020, titled Hayakom, now available in English and forthcoming in Arabic
Students from Qatar Foundation’s Tariq Bin Ziad School and Qatar Academy – Sidra schools, as well as students from Doha British School were treated to a virtual story-telling session as a part of their Qatar National Day celebrations.
“HBKU Press is proud to launch Hayakom in schools across Qatar and in honor of Qatar National Day,” explains Ghenwa Yehia-Malaeb, Content Development Specialist at HBKU Press. “For readers here, the book is an opportunity to learn key facts about famous landmarks and landscapes around the country. And for readers around the world, this book takes them on a scenic tour of the country while teaching them about Qatar’s past and present history, culture, and lifestyle. It is a wonderful story and a thoughtful educational resource as well.”
HBKU Press produced this book to highlight the State of Qatar to local readers here and to readers around the world. The book is the result of collaborative efforts from various HBKU Press team members who volunteered their time and unique skills to contribute to different parts of the publication.
The meaning of Hayakom is ‘welcome’ and throughout the book the protagonist Faisal welcomes his visiting friends and guides them on a week-long visit to Qatar. From the sand dunes to the Pearl, from Doha to Zekreet, readers get a firsthand look at Qatar in all its glory as the three friends explore the natural and man-made magnificence of this small peninsula found on the shorelines of the Arabian Gulf and experience the famed hospitality that defines the country.
Beautifully photographed and skillfully illustrated, Hayakom also uses the popular new artistic style of mixed media. The mix of illustrations drawn by award-winning illustrator Nikos Yanopulos are overlaid on photographs of the landmarks and places highlighted which result in unique visuals on each page.
“I am very proud to have another opportunity to collaborate with HBKU Press on this project and in honor of Qatar National Day,” says Yanopulos. “It is inspiring to be able to constantly try new and creative ways to bring books to life and this project has been a unique experience using mixed media. It highlights a locally-themed story in an effort to engage readers and promote a love of reading and art overall.”
Hayakom is available to purchase at FNAC and Alif bookstores in Qatar and through the Snoonu, Rafeeq and Purple Box applications.