Published Sunday, December 05, 2010

Sharjah-based Kalimat Publishing House announced that the recently published young adult novel Faten, written by award-winning author Fatima Sharafeddine, has been named ‘Best Book’ at the 54th Arab Beirut Book Fair.

Faten is Fatima’s first young adult novel that traces the metamorphosis of young and hardworking Faten from an immature inward looking young teenager to an outward looking mature adult who works tirelessly to improve her position in life.

The announcement was made on the first day of the Fair – the oldest, most established and most prestigious book fair in the Arab region – which is being held from December 3-16. Sharafeddine received the award on behalf of Kalimat.

Set against the backdrop of the Lebanese civil war in Beirut, Faten tells the story of a young teenager set on excelling at school but who has her normal life disrupted by the war. Forced to leave her village to work as a maid in the city, Faten confronts several difficult situations that she manages to overcome with her wit, ambition and the aid of a few supportive friends. This compelling story is the saga of her ultimate escape from these bonds to achieve the life she always dreamt of.

Fatima Sharafeddine is one of the most prominent contemporary authors of Arabic children’s literature. Born in Beirut in 1966, over the last five years, Sharafeddine has written and published more than 45 books, mainly for children under 12 years old, and translated several others from English and French into Arabic.

She has also won a number of awards, including the National Committee of the Lebanese Child’s best book award for Mountain Rooster in 2007, and in 2009 her book There is War in my City was included on the honour list of the Anna Lindh Foundation. Sharafeddine was also shortlisted both this year and last year for the most prestigious prize in children’s literature – the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.

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