Book Size: 7.5” x 9”

Pages: 112

Format: Hardback

ISBN: 9781623718701

Imprint: Crocodile Books

Edition: 1

Illustrated by: Margarida Esteves, Hoda Hadadi, Sahar Haghgoo, Christelle Halal, and Esteli Meza

Illustrations: Full Color Illustrations and Map

Ages: 9+

Release date: September 2020

Categories: ,

Amazing Women of the Middle East

25 Stories from Ancient Times to Present Day

By • Illustrated by Margarida Esteves, Hoda Hadadi, Sahar Haghgoo, Christelle Halal, and Esteli Meza

$ 19.95

“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 … These biographies will both inspire readers and correct misconceptions and stereotypes about women from the Middle East.” — Kirkus Reviews

About this 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!

This book features: 
• Scheherazade, Persia, narrator
• Nefertiti, Ancient Egypt, 1370 BCE, Queen of Egypt
• Queen of Sheba, 1050 BCE, modern-day Ethiopia
• Semiramis, ancient Iraq, 811 BCE, Queen of Babylon
• Cleopatra VII, Egypt, 69 BCE, last queen of Egypt
• Zenobia, Syria, 240 CE, Queen of Palmyra
• Theodora, 497 CE, Empress of Byzantium
• Rabiya al Adawiyya, Iraq, 714, poet
• Shajarat al Durr, Egypt, early 13th Century, Sultana of Egypt
• Hurrem Sultan, Ukraine, 1502, Sultana of Ottoman Empire
• May Ziadeh, Nazareth, Palestine, 1886, writer
• Nazik el Abid, Syria, 1887, activist
• Anbara Salam al Khalidi, Lebanon, 1897, activist and feminist
• Saloua Raouda Choucair, Lebanon, 1916, painter
• Fairuz, Lebanon, 1933, singer
• Zaha Hadid, Iraq, 1950, architect
• Anousheh Ansari, Iran/USA, 1966, astronaut
• Somayya Jabarti, Saudi Arabia, 1970, editor-in-chief
• Nadine Labaki, Lebanon, 1974, film maker and actress
• Amal Clooney, Lebanon/British, 1978, lawyer
• Manahel Thabet, Yemen, 1981, economist and mathematician
• Maha Al Baluchi, Oman, pilot
• Nadia Murad, Iraq, 1993, rights activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner
• Zahra Lari, UAE, 1995, ice skater
• Azza Fahmy, Egypt, jewellery designer

Brand:

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.

Reviews

“Tarnowska, a multilingual storyteller and translator, brings a brimming enthusiasm to this collection of short biographies of Middle Eastern women. With vivid illustrations by five female illustrators, the book’s profiles, arranged chronologically, present women who broke the mold, from Queen Nefertiti to Zahra Lari. The author strikes a casual tone, sprinkling her prose with “did you know?” queries and exclamation marks. Portraits of well-known ancient women such as Scheherazade and Cleopatra lack wider historical context, blending elements of fact and myth (many scholars discount the theory that Cleopatra died by cobra bite, as Tarnowska claims). However, the book introduces readers to lesser-known women rulers, such as Theodora, Empress of Byzantium, and hits its stride with narratives of modern women, including architect Zaha Hadid, astronaut Anousheh Ansari, and human rights lawyer Amal Clooney. Its upbeat, empowering message assures readers that ‘achieving our goals might be hard sometimes, but that’s why we need positive role models to guide us.’ The book includes a single uncontextualized historical map of the region. Ages 9–up.” —Publishers Weekly

“I love these biographical compilations, although every time I see one, I want to buy an extra to cut apart for bulletin boards. (But never actually do it!) This one is especially nice because I have never heard of most of the 25 women covered. The ones from ancient times, like Zenobia, were the only ones I knew. The illustrations and page colors are attractive, the women listed in chronological order, which I very much appreciated, and the information was intriguing and just long enough. When students are assigned biography projects, it’s nice to have this kind of book around to give them a starting point, and there are lots of intriguing choices … Definitely purchasing.” — Ms. Yingling Reads

“Gr 5-8–This collection describes 25 notable women who lived in the Middle East, from ancient times through the present. Many of the women are prominent political leaders and social activists; others are innovative artists, poets, astronauts, scientists, and athletes. Historical and public figures are highlighted, such as Nefertiti, Cleopatra, Lebanese British human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, and Nadia Murad, who is a Yazidi Iraqi and received the 2018 Nobel Peace Prize. Each profile begins with an introduction and illustrated portrait followed by two pages of text, ending with an inspirational quote. The sections about the Queen of Sheba and Sheherazade are stylized like folktales with character dialogue, providing an entertaining reading experience. The rest of the biographies are written as informational articles, but 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. The beginning of the text features a map of the Middle East, which includes Palestine. A glossary is included in the back matter. VERDICT ­Recommended for upper elementary and middle school libraries looking to expand their collected biographies or women’s ­history nonfiction sections.” — School Library Journal

“[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.” — Booklist

“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.” — ReadItDaddy

“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 choose—such a good book.” — The Book Monitor

“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)” — Kirkus Reviews

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