Thursday, January 1, 2009

My picture Book--Raya's Globe. January 1, 2009

Raya's Globe is about a girl who doesn't know where she's from. She goes on a virtual journey using the globe in her room to help her come to a surprising discovery. Raya's Globe has been published here in Dubai by Jerboa Books (, a locally based publisher. I wrote Raya's Globe three years ago, but it was released in Dubai books stores in September. It is a book many expat children can relate to. It is actually based on my oldest son, Zayd, who came home from school one day to ask me, "Mom, where am I from? I was born in Lebanon, I have an American Passport, you are Palestinian, I live in Dubai and lived in Saudi Arabia till I was 5--where am I from?" He was truly perplexed! From that question, Raya's Globe was born.

That question continues to be one we often discuss in our family. Where are you from? Is this a question you wonder about?


  1. Nice to see you on Blogger, Maha! I look forward to reading your picture book.

  2. Hi Maha,

    Glad to see your blog is up. I didn't realize your son was your inspiration. Our children often are it seems.

    Growing up in Northeastern United States all my life I didn't struggle with the more immediate question of where to call home.

    For many of us here in the melting pot nation, myself included, we do search for where our ancestors came from though. So in this way, we all have the same need to belong somewhere. So your book has a theme we can all relate to. I look forward to reading it soon.

    Congrats on the blog!

  3. Thanks for your comments Paula and Annette!

  4. Hi Maha,
    Yes, we do wonder about it! I think it's good for children to be invested in their local community yet also have a connection with the whole world as their common home (if that makes any sense). Travel helps (actual or virtual, through books, movies, internet etc.) because it lets them see how people live in other places. I love the premise of your book. Is it available in the US?
    Happy New Year!

  5. Hi Maha,

    Congratulations on the release of Raya's Globe. I'd love to read it - is it available in the States or online? I guess I'll have to go and do some searching.

    And how lovely to know that your son was your inspiration. It makes the story that much closer to our hearts.

    We have the opposite situation here. Now that my daughter is a bit older I am making an effort to travel outside the States so that she experiences many different cultures and realizes that we are all not so different and that the world is a very small place indeed.

    Hope to see you over in UA again sometime.


  6. Maha, I didn't know you had a blog ! Welcome to the blogosphere. As you know, the theme of you book totally resonates with me. This is one of the main themes of my life and also the inspiration for a lot of my own writing. My own children were born in the US, their mother is Franco-Spanish, their father is Haitian, and Kora has lived in Nigeria and India, the little one in India only, but we'll be moving elsehwere, sooner or later... Their own answer to the questions "where am I from?' varies. Mostly, they say they're French, because that's the language we speak at home, and the place where we have a house, but they are very aware of their Haitian and Spanish origins, and they know they were born in New York. Ideally, I would like them to feel that they're citizens of the world.
    I hope I can find you book somehow. I'm very curious to read it. Congratulations !!! :)