Book based on first-time author’s experience with her own children
Educating and entertaining children through literature is no mean feat. While some are more than happy to bury their heads in books all day and every day, others become bored and frustrated very quickly. Balsem Amura knows only too well the challenges posed by youngsters who do not engage with language and literature. Her response is documented in her first book published by Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press) and showcased at Doha International Book Fair 2020.
My Happy Language tells the story of Ahmed, a young boy who is bored by his Arabic language books and what to him are their uninteresting stories. Ahmed’s mother soon picks up on this lack of enthusiasm and resolves to change her son’s mind. As the title of the book suggests, Ahmed is shown that Arabic is indeed a happy language that brings his mother immense joy. That is because each word and letter play musical tunes that bring her closer to her hopes and dreams.
Whether it is fiction or non-fiction, most books have a real-life backstory and My Happy Language is no exception. Like many parents, Ms. Amura found it difficult to foster a love of the Arabic language in her own children. However, she was not prepared to give up without a fight. Thanks to her steely determination, she was not only able to reignite her children’s interest in their mother tongue, but also join HBKU Press’ growing roster of homegrown and international authors in the process.
Ms. Amura was one of several writers to visit the HBKU Press booth at Doha International Book Fair 2020. On both occasions she read extracts and signed copies of her book for an eager audience. No doubt that some of those present were parents who readily identified with her struggles to maintain her children’s interest in the Arabic language.
“I had a great experience working with the Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press: they were constructive, professional and helpful in bringing my story to life. I look forward to collaborating with HBKU Press once again to publish other unique works that enrich reading for children and that cover topics that are relevant to today’s youth and parents in an innovative and imaginative way,” says Amura.
My Happy Language by Balsem Amura is published in Arabic and available from the Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press bookstore.