Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press) invites everyone to join in welcoming this year’s holy month of Ramadan with the opportunity for reflection, contemplation, and self-development. HBKU Press is a dynamic publishing house which strives to publish quality literature for all ages, starting from early learning content for the youngest of readers to professionals across a variety of academic disciplines. While HBKU Press has steadily been cultivating an expansive children’s catalog for a number of years, its Young Adult (YA) category is simultaneously seeing rapid and exciting growth. This Ramadan, readers are encouraged to make progress, no matter how small, and pursue personal goals for the joy of imagining, learning, and creating.
“Ramadan is, as always, a significant month for us,” says Bachar Chebaro, Executive Director of HBKU Press. “We enjoy this time as an opportunity to connect and engage with our community in thoughtful, intentional ways, using our platform to encourage readers to slow down and explore literature which inspires positive development and impact.”
Ramadan is the quintessential month for charity, gratitude, generosity, and community. These values are reflected in Ameera Al-Naemi’s award-winning book The Firefly, which tells the story of a curious little boy named Ibraheem. He is fortunate enough to live a very privileged life, and does not understand why his parents are often away from him to help others in need. Join Ibraheem as he learns about the importance of charity and good deeds, and how small but consistent acts of good can change the whole world. Kindness Makes Us Strong by Sophie Beer demonstrates all the different forms that kindness can take in our daily lives, whether these acts are quiet and small or bold and large. There are many situations in which one can choose to act with kindness, and this vivid, illustrated book for children shows them just how to take advantage of problem scenarios and turn them into an opportunity to do good and develop friendship and community.
Similarly, Values for a Better World by author Al-Maha Al-Delaimi is a brightly illustrated children’s book which takes on the question of how one individual can contribute to making the world a better, more livable place for everyone in it. The book follows Jana, a girl who learns a valuable life lesson every day of the week. These values revolve around personal and civic duties that fall on each member of society as each individual is encouraged to adopt small changes and slowly but surely build a greener world. Change Starts with Us, also by Sophie Beer, is a child-friendly guide to making the world a better place, with the author outlining the ways in which children and young people can contribute meaningful acts of service for the greater good of their communities. Minor, thoughtful changes such as reducing water and electricity consumption, sorting and recycling waste, and caring for plants and nature, are all avenues presented to younger people wondering how they can help care for the earth and all its people.
Ramadan is the season of examining personal values and being considerate to friends, family, and neighbors; of offering support to the vulnerable and those who need it most. My Perfect Home tells the story of Nona the snail, who faces a crisis when her house breaks down just ahead of winter. With no shelter to protect her from the cold and rain, she has no choice but to turn to a friend for help. This book is a heartwarming tale for children that explores the themes of friendship and being there for others, and extending warm welcomes to guests who might need just a little more help. Ramadan gently challenges us to examine our habits and identify areas of improvement. Stop Lying Lina! tells the story of a girl named Lina who tells little white lies that sometimes become big and complex ones. Lina soon learns that regardless of size, lying is simply a bad habit. This is a quirky illustrated book for children that encourages them to be honest and teaches the important value of truth.