About Halla

“Beautiful educational art, inspiring for children I’m sure, as I am inspired.”

HRH Prince Sultan bin Salman, President of the Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage

“In contrast to the didactic and formulaic books mostly from Lebanon and Egypt, there is a children’s book writer and artist working independently. Halla has the voice of a real children’s book writer, and as an artist, she is distinctive .Her books have charm and lure.” New York,2005.

Mrs. Eden Ross Lipson, Children's Book Editor & Reviewer and Editor of The New York Times

” Your work is not haphazard, but rather well studied. It is based on enlightened vision, and skill in translating mature ideas through art. As I regard your books, I can’t decide if the story overpowers the illustrations, or the reverse . This means that they complete each other .I am proud of you .I

His Excellency Dr.AbdulAziz Al Khowaiter, Minister of State. Former Minister of Education

“Halla’s work is well researched and exceptional.”

Professor Abdul Aziz Abu Znadah, First Director of the Saudi Wildlife Authority

“People who belittle the importance of illustrations are greatly mistaken. The artwork is a vital part of the book. Here, our author is herself the illustrator and designer. The latter is something generally amiss in the world of Arabic books. The illustration must work side by side with the text. Too many Arabic books leave

Mr.Adbeltawab Yousef, Multiple international prize winner for children's literature

 

Once upon a time, in a city named Riyadh, in a Kingdom called Saudi Arabia, a little girl was born.

Although her parents gave her almost everything money could buy, she was not happy. She hated school, and felt the world was brimming with mean grown-ups and scary dark holes for her to fall into.

Being an only child, she had to learn how to entertain herself. She found many ways to do this, despite the non-existence of IPads : mainly by reading, colouring, playing with the fabulous Miss Piggy, and watching cartoons… excluding Alice in Wonderland.

At school she was told that Saudi girls could either become doctors, teachers or seamstresses. But ‘Home Economics Class’ proved that holding a needle and thread could result in disastrous consequences. Her teachers proved that their profession could turn you into an ogre, and doctors were never allowed to say “ooops”! In short, the future looked hopeless.

Then, one bright and sunny day, instead of saying “Girls, pull out your oil pastels and draw something,” the art teacher said, “Let’s go out into the school courtyard and draw something.” Halla drew the only thing that wan’t grey; the tiny patch of sunflowers. For the very first time, Abla Qamar said: “You have a talent.”

The ten year old ran home to her father: “Baba, may I please borrow your paint box?”

From that moment on, the world started to look beautiful. Over the span of two years, Ms Liz Thompson visited every Wednesday and taught Halla about art and writing. When it was time for university, her parents did not allow her to study in an Art Academy abroad, and since Saudi Arabia still doesn’t have one, she resigned herself to studying brain-numbing business administration at King Saud University.

After graduating she got married, and after the birth of her first two out of five children, she began writing and illustrating for children, and launched her own publishing house ‘Dar Jerboa’ (Later known as: ‘Halla’s Books’) in 1997.

On April 23rd 2017 in Barcelona, Comanegra publishing house launched her book titled ‘One Hundred’ in both Catalan and Spanish. This is the first Saudi children’s book to be published outside the Arab-speaking world.

October 4th 2017 marks the launch of ‘Halla’s Designs.’ It involves designs inspired by Saudi culture and heritage. They range from the funny and quirky to the classic and educational. This is what Halla’s eldest daughter dubbed as her “Pop Art” period.

“Some people have encouraged me to never stop painting, it’s like asking me to never stop breathing” - HK

 

 

Why Jerboas?

Inspired by the resilience, courage and toughness of the cute and unusual, bouncy desert animal, Halla represents herself with the symbol of twin jerboa to represent her writing in two languages.