Publisher and Pioneering Children’s Book Author Samah Idriss Dies in Beirut

Publisher and Pioneering Children’s Book Author Samah Idriss Dies in Beirut November 26, 2021 by mlynxqualey Author, critic, translator, publisher, and editor-in-chief of Al-Adab magazine Samah Idriss died yesterday in Beirut after recently learning he had cancer. Rest in Peace Samah Idriss— Susanne Abou Ghaida/سوزان أبو غيدا (@SuzeTheObscure) November 26, 2021 Share this:TwitterFacebookEmailPrintLinkedInRedditTumblrWhatsAppPinterestTelegramPocketSkypeLike this:Like Loading… He was 60. The son of the late founder of the Dar Al-Adab, Idriss wrote a number of books, including two works of literary criticism, four novels for young people, and nearly a dozen picture books. According to a 2003 interview in the Daily Star Lebanon, the impetus for writing books for children was that his own children didn’t enjoy reading. As children’s-book author Fatima Sharafeddine said in a 2015 interview, Idriss “was one of the first who revolutionized the language with which you address children. His Qissat al-Koussa has made many best-of lists, including this list of librarians’ favorites. Re-read the books.’ And then it became clear to me, that he was writing fosha (standardized Arabic) in a very, very simple way.” From Facebook. From the author’s Twitter account A well-known editor and supporter of Palestinian rights, Idriss was also a celebrated author of vibrant, child-centered picture books and young-adult novels that played with language and told fun, relatable stories. And the first time I wanted to publish, I called him and I said I would like to write in Lebanese like you did, and he answered, ‘But I didn’t write in Lebanese. Idriss published Qissat Al-Koussa (The Story of the Zucchini) from his Boy from Beirut series in 2004, and in 2005, he published his first novel for adolescents, Al-Maljaa (The Shelter). Such an incredible loss to Arabic and Lebanese children's and adolescent literature.

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