This little Emirati girl stands out from the crowd. She is already establishing a name in the town and throughout the country at four. She aims to break the Guinness World Record (GWR) for becoming the youngest (female) person to publish a book.
Alfai Al Marzooqi, an Abu Dhabi resident, has released her first picture book, The Lost Rabbit, earning her the Department of Culture and Tourism’s youngest Emirati illustrator and publisher (female) worldwide.
Alfai’s accomplishments reflect her love of art and storytelling. ‘The Lost Rabbit,’ a narrative of friendship and goodwill, has struck a chord with the community, as the book signing session at the ongoing Abu Dhabi International Book Fair drew a large crowd.
“I showed her a picture of a girl who was the youngest author in the United Kingdom.” Her illustrations resembled Alfai’s in some ways. She was inspired and wanted to participate as well. As a mother, it was my responsibility to encourage her. She then spent the following three days sketching the characters for her fiction book. “She loves animals, so she decided to include one in the story,” Teeb says.
Incorporating her faithful companion, Salma, into her story, the pair begins a quest to find the missing rabbit. The protagonist eventually triumphantly discovers the bunny, bringing enormous joy to her dear buddy.
“Later in the day, Alfai told her friend Salma about it.” So her friend’s mother became pretty interested and began questioning my daughter about the lost rabbit and what happened in the story. This piqued her attention even more. So, after returning from school, she began drawing the remaining pages of the story every day. Then I began asking her questions about the artwork and described them in two sentences. “Then I started writing down whatever she said as a story,” recounts the mother of the Brighton College Abu Dhabi FS2 student.
Although the book was available in Arabic and English, Alfai’s parents needed help finding a publisher prepared to take on the project without sacrificing the original content.
“We had a difficult time getting the book published.” That’s because large and small brands claimed they had to edit our daughter’s illustrations. I refused since we were going for the Guinness. If we changed the original graphics, my daughter would be ineligible to seek the records. This is a Guinness regulation. So I stayed on topic. However, we eventually discovered a publisher specializing in children’s books. Following this, all paperwork was completed, and Alfai was named the youngest publisher at the Abu Dhabi International Book Fair by the Department of Culture and Tourism (DCT).”
The book, priced between Dh35 and Dh45, will be available on her website, www.fayoonah.ae, and will soon be available on e-commerce sites such as Amazon.
Her website, Fayoonah, also sells educational toys. In her modest way, my daughter assists me in my entrepreneurial endeavors. The Emirati mother also emphasizes that age is not the only predictor of success. As a result, she was exposed to events, businesses, suppliers, books, and periodicals at a young age. Most people have also been encouraging Alfai and us to reach new heights for the community and the country, which is quite uplifting.