University Professor Nominated for Two Global Literature Awards

The Assistant Professor in the Department of Philosophy and Cultural Studies at Birzeit University, Dr. Sonia Nimer, has been nominated for the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature shortlist for her book “Thunderbird.” The award, now in its ninth edition, is one of the Arab world’s biggest and most prestigious awards in children’s literature.

Dr. Nimer has also been nominated for the annual Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the world’s largest children’s literature award. The award, established in the year 2002 by the Swedish government to honor the memory of the late author Astrid Lindgren, honors the best illustrated or written work in children’s literature, taking into account not only the creativity that the work exhibits, but also its scope and effect on children and future generations.

Dr. Nimer, who is the only Arab nominee for the Lindgren Award, is a Palestinian novelist and children’s literature author. She began her writing career while being held in an Israeli occupation prison, and kept writing and authoring books after she was released, in addition to her work as a museum education officer in London.

Her works, of which 16 are children’s books, have garnered attention far and wide. “Wonder Travels in Mysterious Lands,” for example, was the winner of the 2014 Etisalat Award for the Young Adult category, and her novel, “A Little Piece of Ground,” co-written with famed children’s fiction author Elizabeth Laird, has received international praise and admiration. She has drawn extensively from the 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.