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Children's Literature 2020

Ibtisam Barakat

Palestine/United States

Ibtisam Barakat is an award-winning, Palestinian-American author, poet, translator, artist and educator, based in the US. She publishes in both English and Arabic. Her memoirs, Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood (2007), and Balcony on the Moon: Coming of Age in Palestine (2016), received much critical acclaim, including the International Reading Association’s Best Book Award; the Arab-American Museum Best Book Award, and the Middle East Best Book Award. Her poems, essays and short stories have appeared in magazines including The Nation, Wasafiri, the Washington Post, and World Literature Today. She won a 2020 Sheikh Zayed Book Award for illustrated children’s book Al-Fatah Al-Laylakeyyah (The Lilac Girl), her sixth book for younger readers. Ibtisam is the founder of Write Your Life seminars to coach people from all ages to write their life stories. Her guiding dream is to contribute to building a human history that includes the stories of everyone, in their own voices. You can watch Ibtisam’s TEDx talk about her transformative and cross-cultural love for language on you tube ("Songs of my foreign accent"). And you can contact the author through her webpage

About The Book

Al-Fatat Al-Laylakeyyah (The Lilac Girl), published by Tamer Institute for Community Education (Palestine) in 2019. The beautifully illustrated story is about a young Palestinian girl who loves to paint but who has lost her home due to war. Through recreating her house in a rainbow of watercolours she finds freedom in the world of her imagination and creates beauty from pain.

Published: 2019

Interview with

Ibtisam Barakat

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