Bint Ibrahim: The daughter of Abraham
I started writing this book in the late spring of 2013, with the intention of finishing it within that year. But as many writers know, a book is often a years-long journey with ups and downs, writes and re-writes… scratching it all and starting from new. This is especially true for a first book, and in my case, a book in which I had to make new meanings to events that flipped my world upside down.
The book is inspired by autobiographical accounts of both my father and myself… fictionalised into a kind of ‘double-memoir.’ The events of the book take place in Mecca, Palestine/Israel, and Jordan. It is written in English, but is sprinkled with Arabic words and definitions (those of you who are familiar with my stage-work know about my obsession with the dictionary.)
By the end of 2019, I finally felt that the book was done…. or at least, I had gotten as far as I could without an editor. Since then, I have had a few people read it and give me feedback… again, a bit of more edits resulted. And now… to find the publisher or agent … or to publish it myself. I have made so many announcements about the book being out in this or that year… but I have learnt my lesson and will keep my mouth shut till it’s for certain. Stay tuned. For now… here’s the first page:
Bint:Arabic for girl or daughter
Ibrahim:a man’s name
The Arabic version of Abram or Avram/Hebrew-Aramaic
Founder of monotheism
Aalleged father of Arabs and Jews
A messenger whose offspring have multiplied as promised
Defiled the earth, and disturbed the sacred balance.
Bint Ibrahim:Daughter of Abraham
A woman who goes by the name of her father
Shabby en de Regenboogjongen
My fabel in Dutch… Een kinderverhaal voor grote mensen. A novella.
I started writing it under the title of Kat op een Venloos dak: ‘cat on a Venloos roof, as comic relief while I was working on Bint Ibrahim. I was beginning to learn Dutch, and instead of practicing grammar, I made up stories. I’d be sitting in my zolderkamer looking outside to the tops of the buildings and to the Maas river… listening to the bird’s and to the sounds of people on the streets. I felt like a cat. Not a regular cat, of course, but a cat from another dimsion… the imaginal realm. The cat didn’t stay on the roof… and thus, she started meeting Characters, and each had their own set of problems.
One story led to another and I ended up with a book. I began to write it for myself, so I did not decide if it was a children’s or adult book. My language grew as I continued to write it. It thus begins younger than how it ends. This kind of approach is a No-No in the writing world… you have to first decide your audience and your genre… but not everything goes by the books, and sometimes you just have to go with it. Actually, always – if it’s fun! Throughout the process, my husband continued to patiently correct my various drafts and try to get some grammar lessons in there.
Skip to autumn, 2019. The manuscript is here, now to make it into a book, which calls for a team. And to my great joy… the team is now formed, with Annemarie Staaks as editor, and the illustrations by Isabella El-Hasan and for the layout design we have Studio Denk on board.
I could have not dreamed of better team.
Together, we have begun the process of raising the funds to make it happen. I have no doubt that it will come.
The Kat is alive… now to give it clothes. The Crowdfunding campaign will begin late summer and the book will be out before the end of the year.
You’ll hear more about this soon….