Emirates Lit Fest 2017: Emirati author Ahmed Al Shoaibi inspires the next generation

By Hala Khalaf

Ahmed Al Shoaibi’s success as an author was not shared by all those close to him.

The Emirati, whose work is published in English, recalls that his 9-year-old niece criticised him for not writing a story featuring a female protagonist.

“The initial success of the Hamad stories was so heartwarming,” says Al Shoaibi, whose six instalments of his The Tales of Hamad children’s books last year follow an Emirati boy sharing his nation’s cultures and traditions.

“[But] my niece was right: the UAE is a land where women are respected and hold the highest positions, whether a minister or a mother, or both. Creating a leading, adventurous female character made sense.”

As a result, he wrote four more books about Hamad’s sister, Ayesha.

As an engineer and associate professor of chemical engineering and the dean of academic affairs at the Petroleum Institute (PI) in Abu Dhabi, Al Shoaibi didn’t envisage a side-career as an author.

The inspiration came from one of the UAE’s saddest experiences as a nation. “When we lost 45 martyrs in October 2015 in Yemen, it came as a shock to us as Emiratis,” says Al Shoaibi. Read more
Source: The National

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