If I were a bird

| Law kuntu ta’iran
Author: Fatima Sharafeddine
Illustrator: Amal Karzai
Kalimat, UAE, 2010, 20 pages



“If I were a bird, I would have flown above these walls to get to our house, our house which is beyond these walls”.

“If I were a bird”, is a book which lends a voice to a young Palestinian boy. The title is the most eloquent expression of both the feelings of injustice and hope that characterize this story.

“I remember the garden in which I used to play over there. I remember my room, my bed and my toys”. The book, in its illustrations and its narrative is divided between the sad, colorless ‘here’, and the dreamlike, wide and green ‘over there’.

“Today we all live here, in a small part of our big town. A high wall encloses us, it separates us from our home… over there on the other side”.

Frustration and a naive sense of injustice transpires from this young boy’s narration, as he fails to understand why their house was taken away from his family.

“Why do they get to live in beautiful houses and we live in houses made of cement?” A question to which the father replies “We shall go back to our house one day son. Look! This is key to our door”.

“I always believe what my father says” is the hopeful ending to this story.

With the realistic tale of the Palestinian tragedy, Fatima Sharafeddine, describes the injustice from which suffers this people. Through the voice of a young boy, she evokes simple and concrete situations to which every child in the territories is confronted, the painfulness and unfairness of which is unescapable. Although a sad story, ‘If I were a bird’ is an important testimony and a message of hope.

Amal Karzai’s classical watercolor illustrations are an expression of the story’s gravity. Each spread is scarred by the long, high and grey wall. Each drawing shows a different way in which the wall prevents the boy from living a normal and happy life. Only at the very end, where his father reassures him, is the hopeful boy found playing in the orange groves.

Other represented titles

Other represented titles by this publisher

Ibn Battuta | Ibn Battuta, Fatima Sharafeddine & Intilaq Mohammad Ali



RAYA has the world rights to this title.
World rights available.

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