Sharjah: Sixteen-year-old Emirati Aysha Al Naqbi is launching her third book at the Sharjah International Book Fair on Thursday, while her 10-year-old sister Fatima Al Naqbi is releasing her first children’s book at the event.
Aysha’s novel, titled Terlamane is the first in a young adult series. It follows a young assassin trying to provide for her family following the death of her father, set aagainst a backdrop of a politically chaotic kingdom.
“I write what I have always wanted to read”, Aysha explains.
Aysha expresses her gratitude towards her family for their immense support. Her writing ventures began from her youth and her parents nurtured that passion and often took her to bookstores.
Upon the completion of her first book at the young age of 13, her parents encouraged her to publish her first novel, Blue Moon, that hit the bookshelves in 2017. “They didn’t want me to be afraid of the limelight”, she said.
Fatima, Aysha’s younger sister, will also debut her new children’s book at the Sharjah International Book Fair.
“Being Friends” is a children’s book featuring a young girl navigating her way through a new school and her journey of finding friends.
“I got this idea when I first moved schools and learnt about making new friends,” said Fatima. Growing up, Fatima aspires to be a writer and loves the fact that her older sister is an author, “I read the first few pages of Aysha’s book, but it was too big!”
Fatima and Aysha’s parents have been a major support in their publishing journeys. Aysha urges the parents of young writers to encourage those talents, “If you see that they are passionate, it brings them joy and they’re doing everything to achieve it, you should realise how important it must be for them.”
Those young prospective writers have inspired Aysha from the beginning. She reminisces about being a scared 13-year-old at book fairs after being approached by many parents who were talking about their own children’s writings.
“I’m writing for those people. I want them to see themselves in my books.”
Fatima’s first-time attendance at the book fair on Thursday has brought the same nerves that her sister has experienced in 2017, “Aysha has helped me be more excited and less nervous about the book fair.”
Aysha advises young writers to not perceive school as a negative place. “Take advantage of your school. Take advantage of your libraries. Take advantage of your teacher’s guidance,” she urges.
Although her books are typically set in fictitious places, Aysha does plan to write a book based in the UAE. “It would be a great homage to the country I am from.”