Sea PrayerHamad Bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press) acquired the rights to translate Khalid Hosseini’s book ‘Sea Prayer’ in Arabic. It will be released this week at the 2018 Doha International Book Fair. The book was translated by Fakhri Saleh

HBKU Press has also previously translated all of Hosseini’s past work into Arabic, which can be found in bookstores all over Qatar.

Sea Prayer is a story about Aylan Kurdi, who unwillingly became the face of the refugee crisis when, on 5 September 2015, a picture of his lifeless three-year-old body washed up on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea, circulated around the world.

In the media storm that followed, it was revealed that he and his family were Syrian refugees trying to reach Europe amid the European refugee crisis. Photographs of his body were taken by Turkish journalist Nilüfer Demir and quickly spread around the world, prompting international responses.

Among such international responses was that of famed Afghani-American best-selling author Khaled Hosseini. The award-winning author’s three published books – The Kite Runner, A Thousand Splendid Suns, and And the Mountains Echoed, all deal with the effects of conflict in and around the region of Afghanistan.

Impelled by the haunting image of young Kurdi and hoping to bring focus to the tragedy and the wider refugee crisis, Hosseini penned Sea Prayer, a short and powerfully illustrated book in the form of a letter, from a father to his son, on the eve of their journey.

From his piece in The Guardian on 17 August this year, Hosseini mused about the pain of the boy’s father.

I have two children of my own. When I first saw the photo of Aylan’s lifeless body lying face down at water’s edge, I struggled and failed to imagine the anguish of his father, who also lost his wife and another son on that same day. How does a person endure a thing like this? How does one wake up the next morning, live out the hours of that day, then those of another, and another?’

Hosseini has more than fifty-five million copies of his novels sold worldwide in more than seventy countries. He is a Goodwill Envoy to the UNHCR, and the founder of The Khaled Hosseini Foundation, a non-profit that provides humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan.

Hosseini will donate proceeds from this book to the UNHCR and The Khaled Hosseini Foundation to help fund lifesaving relief efforts to help refugees around the globe.

For a list of new HBKU Press titles, visit their website at