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Ahlan Wa Sahlan!

My name is Manar Hazzaa

Ahlan Wa Sahlan (أهلا وسهلا) is an Arabic greeting; it is short for a sentence that I like to think of as "You are family to me; welcoming you is a piece of cake!"

Look for the (أهلا وسهلا) signs inside my picture books; let me know if you can find them!

I am an Egyptian mother, an award-winning children's book author, and a researcher. 

I love exclamation marks, giggling around kitchen tables with friends, and helping others get through life!

In 2018, I founded The Frog T-shirt, a storytelling program for families with children, to promote storytelling and story-reading. Around the same time, I started writing for children. My dream is to support families to find joy in reading.

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My Books

My dream goal is to write books in a language that motivates parents to read to children. Bridging Standard Arabic to Spoken Arabic is my preferred style. Making Standard Arabic appeal to children. I write my books using the shared vocabulary and structures between Standard Arabic and Spoken Egyptian. I intentionally leverage the common structures present in an Egyptian child’s language. I do this to promote reading to children. Based on feedback, parents favor my books because, unlike other picture books, they are easy to read from cover to cover without needing to change or accommodate any unfamiliar Standard Arabic words.




Proud that two of my books were selected to be read for the Arabic edition of the #SavewithStories campaign organized by Save the Children Egypt and the Hadi Badi Initiative. 

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What They Think of My Books?

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Her artwork is the best!

Giggles! A universal language! 


After reading Ahk! to her dolls for a bedtime story, this sleeping beauty dozed off hugging the book! "Bonding through reading" mission accomplished! 

Families are showing up on zoom to enjoy story-reading by the author.   


Media and News

A new dream... and the nightmare of writing Arabic children’s literature” Op-Ed published in Arabic, Shorouk Newspaper

"Is the "hero" role the most appropriate for our children in times of crisis?" Op-Ed published in Arabic, Jadaliyya

Ahram-online is featuring The Frog T-shirt as one of the leading projects promoting storytelling for children in Egypt. 

Imparting wisdom in the iPad era...and Salma’s lost treasure!” Op-Ed published in Arabic, Nooun Magazine

Sharjah TV interview (starts at 37:58), discussing my winning title for the Etisalat Best Picture Book Award 2022

The Storytelling Project

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The ETISALAT Award 2022

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