The latest title from Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press), Missing Colours, written and illustrated by Gulnar Hajo, imaginatively and symbolically explores the hardships faced by child labourers in cities around the world.

The powerful and evocative narrative takes the reader on a journey to how child labourers survive in cities far away from home. Despite adversity, represented by bleak and colourless surroundings, these children remain optimistic about their future and see the few glimpses of colour around them as representative of a better life.

HBKU Press Arabic Editor Jameela Sultan Almass Aljassem said that the subject of child labourers is difficult to discuss with children. However, the author approaches the topic in a way which is intriguing and thought-provoking.

Missing Colors cover

The author/illustrator, Gulnar Hajo, was born in Damascus, Syria, and graduated from the College of Fine Arts at the University of Damascus. She has a passion for writing and illustrating for children, and has done so since 2005. She has 20 titles to date under her name, including the 2016 World Book Day title, Manal’s World by Qatari author Muneera Saad Al-Rumaihi.

I think a lot about these children that the majority of population has seemingly forgotten. I’d like to highlight the plight of child labourers and show other children that they are just like them, and therefore deserve to play, to live, and to learn, just like them. I hope that with this book, these forgotten voices will get a chance to be heard.’

By publishing a variety of titles aimed at different audiences, HBKU Press aims to promote the love of reading and writing. They hope to help establish a vibrant scholarly and literary culture in Qatar and the Middle East.

Since 2010, HBKU Press has been dedicated to publishing a variety of peer reviewed journals, monographs, reference books, fiction and non-fiction titles for adults and for children. Copies of Missing Colours are now available at local bookstores.

Visit the HBKU Press website for more information about their latest titles.