Bloomsbury Qatar to publish two books by Arab women writers
August 08 2015 01:28 AM
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Lilas Taha
Black Book of Arabia- cover page

Bloomsbury Qatar Foundation Publishing will soon publish two books by Arab women writers. Both the books, written in English, will be released on the 13th of this month.
The books are The Black Book of Arabia by Sheikha Hend al-Qassemi, an Emirati who lives in Sharjah and Doha and Bitter Alomonds, a novel by Lilas Taha, a Syrian Palestinian author.
The Black Book of Arabia is a collection of true stories from women across the region who live in and love the Middle East.Condensed versions of these real-life tales originally appeared in the True Stories column of Velvet Magazine, a fashion and lifestyle magazine of which Sheikha Hend is the editor-in-chief. Now, for the first time, she reveals each astonishing story in its entirety, shining a light on real experiences of men and women across the Arabian Gulf.
Al-Qassemi uncovers tales of love, betrayal, and heroism from around the Arabian Gulf. These stories offer a surprisingly frank look at the private lives of a range of men and women - everyone from princesses to paupers and from sheikhs to farmers.
Bitter Almonds is a heart-wrenching novel of exile and displacement, as experienced by its main protagonist, Omar, an orphaned boy born on the eve of the Naqba in Palestine. A mosaic of rich history, deep culture, religious undercurrents, political influences, and regional wars shape the events of the plot in the time period between 1948 and 1970. At the same time, the main themes of the novel have a universal appeal.
Bitter Almonds is about displacement and exile, family duty and honour, and the universal feelings of love and loss.
An artist, photographer, entrepreneur, and committed philanthropist, al-Qassemi is editor-in-chief of Velvet, which is known for championing up-and-coming talent in the Middle East. She also runs a fashion label, House of Hend, and was chosen as the World Fashion Organisation’s goodwill ambassador for Qatar.
Lilas Taha is an electrical engineer by training and an advocate for domestic abuse victims. She was born in Kuwait to a Syrian mother and a Palestinian father, and immigrated to the US following the Gulf War.  Bitter Almonds is Lilas Taha’s second novel. She lives in Texas.

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