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Amazing Women of the Middle East

25 Stories from Ancient Times to Present Day

Published by Crocodile Books
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

A superb collection of stories about incredible women from the Middle East

Discover Sheherazade, the famous storyteller, dive into the musical world of the beautiful singer Fairuz and meet Amal Clooney, an outstanding international lawyer. Feel inspired by twenty-five amazing women from the Middle East, who have created a legacy through strength of vision, leadership, courage, and determination. Written by award-winning author and trailblazer, Wafa' Tarnowska, this stunning collection of life stories is illustrated by a team of internationally recognized artists. This book is an absolute must-have!

About The Author

Wafa' Tarnowska is an award-winning writer, translator and storyteller. She was born in Lebanon and has worked and lived in several countries. She holds dual Australian and UK nationalities and she sees herself as a cultural bridge between East and West. Wafa' began her career as an Arabic language broadcaster in Australia. Then she became the co-editor of women's quarterly Al Raida. She has translated numerous children's books from Arabic into English and worked on several documentaries, including one which won the Prix L'OEil d'Or for Best Documentary at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. She lives in the United Kingdom with her family.

About The Illustrators

Margarida Esteves is an illustrator and aspiring author based in London. She holds a Masters degree in Illustration from Camberwell College of Arts UAL and has been working as an illustrator/visual artist for many years now.

Hoda Hadadi is a children's books illustrator living and working in Tehran, Iran. She has illustrated more than forty books for children and has won numerous international prizes, including the New Horizons Bologna Ragazzi Award and the Grand Prix of Belgrade. Amazing Women of the Middle East is her first U.S. picture book.

Sahar Haghgoo is a freelance illustrator. She likes creativity and new shapes. She loves nature and it inspires her, but prefers to use it indirectly.

Christelle Halal is a freelance illustrator and storyboard artist based in Beirut, Lebanon

Estelí Meza is an illustrator originally from Mexico City, where she grew up surrounded by books. In 2018, Estelí was awarded ‘A la Orilla del Viento‘ the premier Picture Book Contest Award in Mexico sponsored by Fondo de Cultura Económica. In 2013, Estelí was awarded the XVIII Premio International del Libro Ilustrado Infantile y Juvenil de la FILIJ. Her artwork “My Aunt Blossoms” was featured for by Google for International Women’s Day 2018.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Crocodile Books (September 1, 2020)
  • Length: 112 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781623718701
  • Ages: 9 - 99

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Raves and Reviews

"[An] inspirational collection ... Tarnowska presents a range of extraordinary women, including queens, writers, scientists, activists, athletes, and artists from several countries ... A few (Nefertiti, Cleopatra, Amal Clooney) will be recognizable to American audiences, but most won't be, making this resource all the more valuable. Readers will be impressed ... this serves as a necessary spotlight on women from a region where they are particularly underestimated and as a testament to female achievement as a whole."

"Courageous leaders, activists, creators, and pioneers guaranteed to inspire ... A compilation of short biographies of 25 Middle Eastern women, all trailblazers in their fields, and their achievements, from ancient times to the modern day. Each chapter (about four pages long) introduces one woman, highlighting her achievements on the first page, which faces an illustration in a range of styles but with saturated colors that complement the page backgrounds. The second spread goes into further detail about each subject's life. Some of the women included from long ago include Empress Theodora, Queen Nefertiti, and poet Rabi'a al Adawiyya. Among the present-day women are Manahel Thabet from Yemen, a scientist, economist, and mathematician; Maha al Balushi, an Omani pilot and activist; May Ziadeh, an Egyptian writer and feminist; and Amal Clooney, a Lebanese British human rights lawyer. A variety of different accomplishments and careers are introduced, particularly for present-day women. Tarnowska defines terms, identifies present-day areas where some of these women live or lived, and writes about how each woman succeeded and what she has done to change the world. Many, ranging from Cleopatra to Zahra Lari, an ice skater from Abu Dhabi, followed their dreams, whether or not they were supported by family, friends, and community. These biographies will both inspire readers and correct misconceptions and stereotypes about women from the Middle East. There is a glossary but no bibliography or list of resources. A map serves to define the region. (Collective biography. 9-13)"

"Gr 5-8–[A]n entertaining reading experience … the conversational tone will engage readers. The colorful artwork enhances the text. Using distinctive styles and design elements, five different illustrators bring the women to life … VERDICT ­Recommended for upper elementary and middle school libraries looking to expand their collected biographies or women’s history nonfiction sections.”

"One of the most impressive biography books we've seen in ages, a truly fabulous collection of amazing women gathered together in one mighty tome."

"This is a book you will enjoy from cover to cover! Here in one unique volume are twenty-five outstanding women from the Middle East, who have created a legacy through strength of vision, leadership, courage and sheer determination ... The illustrations in the book are beautiful with an amazing use of color and different styles throughout ... If I could step outside my door today and buy one book, this is the one that I would choosesuch a good book."

“Writer, translator and storyteller Wafa’ Tarnowska’s portraits of 25 pioneering women date from the era of Egyptian Queen Nefertiti (1370–1330 BCE) to contemporary scientists, pilots, architects and astronauts, among others. Her book offers young readers long-overdue role models from the Middle East. Written in a charming, conversational style, Tarnowska’s profiles are educational and empowering … carefully chosen and beautifully illustrated profiles inspire and challenge stereotypes about women in the Middle East.”

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