Sheikh Zayed Book Award to Translate The Dinoraf by Hessa Al Muhairi into Three Languages

Abu Dhabi,

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award announced the signing of an agreement between Emirati publisher ‘Al Hudhud’ and Italian Publisher ‘Marcos y Marcos’ to translate The Dinoraf, by Emirati author Hessa Al Mehairi which won the Children's Literature Category Award in 2018. Under the agreement, the book will be translated into three languages: Italian, French and English.

The agreement follows a signing ceremony held in Abu Dhabi which was attended by Marco Zapparoli, Ali Al Shaali, holder of the Arabic version copyrights, and Hessa Al Mehairi, author of the winning title to be translated. 

Commenting on this occasion, HE Dr. Ali Bin Tamim, Secretary General of the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, said: “The Sheikh Zayed Book Award aims to encourage translations from Arabic into other languages through its translation fund initiative that was launched in 2018. The grant fund is an opportunity to highlight the active role of translation in fostering cultural communication and also promoting quality Arabic literature, internationally. He also added “The translation of “The Dinoraf” into Italian, French and English languages is an important milestone for the Award and for achieving our mandate in elevating the standard of children's literature and establishing it on common values.”

Italian publisher, Marco Zapparoli added: “I greatly enjoyed the unique character of the Dinoraf. As the first multilingual animal born in the desert, he is a brand new friend for the young readersin Italy. The authorhas crafted aninspiring story which engages children in meaningful conversations on universal values of tolerance and mutual coexistence. For that reason, Marcos y Marcos is proud to publish this book, and I believe it will be a great success.”

Ali Al Shaali said: “We are proud that Hessa Al Mehairi’s ‘The Dinoraf’ won the Sheikh Zayed Book Award, which holds the name of our Founding Father. This is a major opportunity to introduce Arabic titles into different markets and reach new readers; whether they are Arabs living in Europe or Europeans, as we offer titles in Italian, French and English”

The Dinoraf follows a dinosaur out on a mission to find his parallel among the rest of animals. Throughout his journey, he gets to know the differences between the animals, which finally leads him to find a connection with the giraffe, to become the ‘Dinoraf’. The story is a unique portrayal of a contemporary case of peaceful coexistence and mutual tolerance of cultural differences within global society. 

Al Muhairi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and a Double Masters in Education Management and Policy from Deakin University Australia. She has been working as a nursery teacher since her graduation and has participated in several children’s literature workshops as well as managing a number of training programmes. She has two published books for children; Whose Footprints are These? and The Dinoraf.

Founded in 2011, Al Hudhud Publishing and Distribution is widely considered to be one of the most promising up-and-coming publishers in the UAE. The publishing house has built a name for itself in the publishing industry, both locally and regionally.