Barnboksveckans gäster 2018: Flora Majdalawi Saadi

Flora Majdalawi Saadi är författare, förläggare och kritiker med fokus på arabisk barnlitteratur. Hon är verksam både i Sverige och i Jordanien där hon driver en barnbokhandel och förlaget Majdalawi Masterpieces. Flora har nyligen inlett ett samarbete med Bonnierförlagen kring deras nya förlag Fenix som ger ut barnlitteratur på arabiska i Sverige. Hon har även översatt ett 30-tal titlar till arabiska och bloggar och forskar om litteratur. 2010 tilldelades hon Gourmand World Cookbooks Best in the World Award för sin book Green Food Fun och 2011 blev hennes bilderbok Al Bab La Yanfatih utsedd till Best fiction for children in special need av Anna Linds stiftelse.

IB: Why did you become a children’s books author and publisher?

Flora: I did not plan to become a children’s author or publisher. My academic training was in a very different field. However, I found myself in the middle of it, working in a children’s bookstore, reading for my children, and always in search for children’s books.

IB: Do you believe that children’s books should be read by grown-ups as well?

Flora: Definitely, a good children’s book could be read at different levels. Grown-ups should appreciate and enjoy the ingenuity of introducing many life themes in a simpler and clearer way wrapped in a high level of aesthetics.

IB: What do you like most – being a grown-up or a child?

Flora: A child - a carefree child!

IB: Where does your commitment to children’s literature come from?

Flora: There are two dimensions here. It hurts me personally when I see someone who cannot read or reads with difficulty. Therefore, I am committed to literacy. Furthermore, my commitment also stems from the powerful and wonderful experiences which children’s literature has to offer helping us understand ourselves and the world around us.

IB: What do you want to tell with your books? - Do you have a specific theme or mission with them?

Flora: I want to say that we are weak and strong, we are good and bad, we are humans.

IB: Do you have a favorite among your books?

Flora: I am so much attached to the Hind and Saif series, a contemporary realistic chapter book series dedicated for tweens.

IB: What are you working on right now?

Flora: At the moment, I am working on an exciting project with Fenix, the new Arabic publishing house by Bonnierförlagen. My work involves setting up and introducing Fenix into the Swedish market, making editorial choices, as well as translating a collection of the Bonnier Carlsen titles into Arabic.