The First Arabic YA Imprint?

Kalimat Group founder Sheikha Bodour bint Sultan Al Qasimi announced that, within the next few weeks, the organization will launch Riwayat, perhaps the first Arabic imprint dedicated to Young Adult literature:

40Q5zA0b_400x400The announcement was made at an employee-appreciation lunch, and the imprint’s official launch is expected in early April.

Kalimat has previously published novels for readers who are 13+, such as Fatima Sharafeddine’s Faten and Reem Ghazal’s Maskoon, and indeed the charming Faten was a crossover novel in Arabic, with adults also buying the title for themselves. It has since been adapted into English by Sharafeddine and published as The Servant by Groundwood Books.

There are other publishers who bring out notable YA and YA crossover titles: Tamer Institute in Palestine, Al Salwa Publishers in Jordan, Nahdet Misr in Egypt, and many others. Since the Etisalat Award created a category specificall for YA, publications have been booming. But Riwayat may be the first YA imprint.

Since it was launched in 2007, the Emirates-based Kalimat has brought out more than 160 books, and also launched a digital imprint, Horouf.

According to a news release, Riwayat — which shares a name with the Egyptian magazines for young people, Rowayat —  “will be dedicated to publishing novels and short stories for young adults and adults through a portfolio of celebrated and award-winning Arab and international authors.”