Professor Sonia Nimer wins Translation Award at 2021 Palestine Book Awards

Dr. Sonia Nimer, one of Palestine’s leading authors of children’s literature and an associate professor of philosophy and cultural studies at Birzeit University, has recently won the Translation Award at the 2021 Palestine Book Awards for her novel “Wondrous Journeys in Strange Lands.”

Written by Nimer and translated by Marcia Lynx Qualey, the novel revolves around Qamar (Moon in Arabic), who travels the world to fulfill her dead parents’ wishes, relying only on a book of tales called “Wondrous Journeys in Strange Lands.” In her travels, Qamar visits Gaza, Egypt, Tangier, Andalusia and Genoa, Abyssinia, among other areas, and has her fair share of adventures as she outwits foes and makes new friends along the way.

The book, chosen along with three other works out of dozens of submissions, is a reminder of how will and determination can break societal chains and enable everyone to be everything they can be.

Nimer’s works include 16 children’s books, such as “Wonder Travels in Mysterious Lands,” which was the winner of the 2014 Etisalat Award for the Young Adult category. Her novel, “A Little Piece of Ground,” co-written with children’s fiction author Elizabeth Laird, has received international praise and admiration. She has drawn extensively from Palestinian folklore and cultural heritage in works such as “Ghaddar the Ghoul and Other Palestinian Stories,” to which she adds her special touch of humor and comedy.

Nimer is the winner of the 2018 Arabic Young Adult Book Award for her young adult novel, “Thunderbird.” The book has also been nominated for the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature, one of the Arab world’s biggest and most prestigious awards in children’s literature.

The Palestine Book Awards is an annual event, held in the United Kingdom, that celebrates the  very best of English-language books discussing Palestinian culture, heritage, history, and everything in between.