Walid Taher, Ossama Helmy Have Their Night at Al-Balsam

Taher andHelmy before the event.

Last night, award-winning author Walid Taher (shortlisted for the 1 million AED award for Arabic children’s literature) and celebrated origamist Ossama Helmy (the best in Egypt!)

I didn’t ask them anything—yes, I promise to interview Taher eventually—but I did gather that Taher is quite fond of النقطة السوداء, underlining the view that if an author enjoys *writing* a book, then you’ll be more likely to enjoy *reading* it.

We didn’t get to experience Taher himself reading, but Inas Sami read from Taher’s newest work, أحلام الحيوانات, in which a crocodile dreams of an electric tooth-brusher, a crow dreams of singing beautifully, and a monkey dreams of having a mobile phone, a watch, and shiny new shoes. Sami involved the children, and several of the younger ones (including a hilarious boy named Hamza) were very excited to talk about dreams, animals, and other things.

The book was charming and funny, although not as masterful as النقطة السوداء, which is hard to beat for its tremendous detail and sense of triumph.

A few photos from the event:

Storyteller Inas Sami showing off Walid Taher's new book.

A view from above, some of the kids working on their origami cats.

You just miss seeing Hamza in the picture. A good turn-out, though!

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2 Responses to Walid Taher, Ossama Helmy Have Their Night at Al-Balsam

  1. Bernadette says:

    I’m wondering why Mr. Taher himself didn’t read his book to the children…does he not enjoy reading aloud to kids, only writing? What did he speak to the children about?

    • mlynxqualey says:

      I’m not exactly sure why he didn’t read; maybe he felt he wouldn’t do a good job. He just spoke very, very briefly about his work (Balsam prompted him a few times) and a reporter (who was there with her son) asked a couple questions.

      I imagine Waleed, like me, feels that public-speaking is not his strong suit. Although I will tend to hide with the children instead of grown-ups. 🙂

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