Abu Dhabi: An eight-year-old Emirati girl in Al Ain has set a Guinness World Record as the youngest female (when she was seven years old) to publish a bilingual book.
AlDhabi Rashed AlMheiri received the official certificate from the Guinness Book of World Records on Sunday, her mother Mouza AlDarmaki, told Gulf News.
Famous as a young entrepreneur, who launched the online platform Rainbow Chimney, AlDhabi had published the book on July 7, 2022.
Born on July 13, 2014, AlDhabi claims to have read 1,200 books by the age of six. She was seven years and 360 days-old when her book was published, the Guinness certificate cited.
According to the website of the Guinness Book of World Records, the youngest person (male) to write a bilingual book was achieved by Saarth Khanna Sohum (India), whose book ‘Giant Twoe and 100 Beanstalks’ was published in English and Hindi on November 2, 2017, in Singapore, when he was 6 years and 60 days.
‘I had an idea’
AlDhabi’s book titled ‘I had an idea’ was written in English and Arabic. It summarised her idea and journey of establishing the children-focused online platform that sells everything from children’s books to toys. There are 22 pages in the books published by her own firm.
However, nobody helped her in writing the book either in English or Arabic, said Mouza.
“That was one of the strict conditions set by the Guinness. It was all her work except for some spelling corrections at the end. Other than that, it was all her words and her imagination. There was no changing the grammar or tweaking the words or anything,” she explained.
Love books, not gadgets
A Year 4 student at Al Ain Academy, AlDhabi said she was excited when she heard the news about the Guinness Record.
“I couldn’t believe what happened. I was proud of myself and the people who helped me make this dream come true,” she told Gulf News.
The young author said her book dwells into the relationships between a mother, a daughter and the family.
“I wrote about how engaging with the family helps you [children] more than when you use iPads and computers. It is not good for your eyes to use those gadgets all the time. I would rather engage with my family, visit my grandma, read books, play with cars and share my toys or play reading games.
“I would like all the children in the world to write a book and tell other people how they live and how they feel and build up their mind, writing and talking rather than wasting time in front of different screens,” Al Dhabi said.
1,000 copies sold
To be eligible for the Guinness title, the book must be published by a commercial publishing house and at least 1,000 copies must be printed and sold.
AlDhabi’s Guinness attempt was coupled with a sale event that was held at the headquarters of Etihad Airways from August 22.
“She had four days to sell 1,000 books. But she sold them in just two days. The books were sold through e-commerce websites and also directly to people who came over there,” said Mouza.
AlDhabi said she was excited to present the signed copies of her book to those who supported her.
Freedom to explore
Her mother is proud that it was the freedom that she gave her daughter to explore her world and think more that has helped develop her abilities at this young age.
Passionate in seeking knowledge, AlDhabi “thinks all the time”, said Mouza.
“Now she is searching by herself through books or search engines and she finds out [the answers to her doubts] by herself. She is doing a lot more to improve her knowledge.
“Her school teachers are also encouraging her to talk to students. She inspires them to think out of the box and think of having their own businesses. That kind of an encouragement from the school also makes her feel that she is a role model and she should do more to be as perfect as she can,” added Mouza.