The ‘Children’s Literature’ Award Winner

Huda Al-Shawwa Qadoumi has a BA in Economics & Political Science from The American University in Cairo. In 2002, she received her MA in Teaching English as a Second Language (TESL), College of New Jersey – U.S.A.

When all the birds of the world assemble and decide that they are in need of a King, the wise hoopoe bird steps forward and offers to lead them to a mighty monarch who lives in a marvelous mountain across seven valleys. The birds are initially excited at such an encounter, but upon realizing how long the journey will take, how uncertain the path, and how distant the destination, they begin, one by one, to make excuses for not going on the journey.
Encouraged by the hoopoe, only thirty birds have the courage to set out on a quest to reach Mount Qaf, where the Simurgh, the King of all birds, dwells. When they finally get there, the king they had hoped for may not be what they had expected. The Birds’ Journey to Qaf is based on “The Conference of the Birds”, the masterful Sufi poem by the twelfth-century Persian poet Farid ud din Attar. The accompanying illustrations, by Vanessa Hodgkinson, are painted on ceramic tiles echoing a medium that was typically used in medieval Persia and the Middle East.

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