Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press’ (HBKU Press) latest children’s title Spring Bloom was named winner under the Children’s Educational category at this year’s edition of the International Book Awards (IBA).

Co-authored by Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar’s (VCUarts Qatar) Sadia Mir and Summer Al Jarrah Bateiha and illustrated by award-winning artist Inna Ogando, the book was also recently named winner at the 2020 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards.

Finalists from HBKU Press included: Where Is My Teacher? by Dalal Ghanim Al Romaihi, illustrations by Nicos Yanopulos under the Children’s Picture Book: Hardcover Fiction category; A Beautiful Balance: A Wellness Guide to Healthy Eating and Feeling Great by Zoë Palmer-Wright, available in English and in Arabic, under Health: Women’s Health category; and Journeys on a Football Carpet by Matthias Krug under Sports category.

HBKU Press Executive Director Bachar Chebaro said they are extremely proud of all the authors recognised at this year’s International Book Awards. He said that the recognition of HBKU Press books on the international stage further validates their commitment to publishing quality books that highlight literary talents from the region.

He said that the four books were specifically written with a distinct focus on history, concepts, ideas, and values from the region, making their wins doubly important: not only do they highlight talented authors, but also important stories and narratives to the global literary community which is key in furthering cross cultural knowledge and understanding, something that HBKU Press consistently endeavours to do.

This year marks the award’s 11th year, with over 2,000 entries from all over the world in over 90 categories. The IBA is sponsored by the American Book Fest and highlights a wide variety of outstanding literary fiction and non-fiction works that are the best in their categories.

A distinguished panel of industry judges, who brought to the table their extensive editorial, PR, marketing, and design expertise, narrowed down the 2,000 entries to winners and finalists.

Jeffrey Keen, President and CEO of American Book Fest, said that the 2020 results represent a phenomenal mix of books from a wide array of publishers throughout the world. With a full publicity and marketing campaign promoting the results of IBA, this year’s winners and finalists will gain additional media coverage for the second half of 2020.

All four winning books can be found online as eBooks on Amazon Kindle. Hard copies of the books, and other HBKU Press publications, can now be purchased and delivered in Qatar from the Rafeeq and Snoonu applications (available to download from Apple Store and Google Play).

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