As part of our on-going coverage of Arab genre fiction, here is a fascinating article in the National Newspaper from the United Arab Emirates on The Search for a New Chapter in Arabic Youth Fiction, by Kareem Shaheen:
According to publishers and others involved in literature, even if children are reading Arabic books at a young age, there is a severe lack of fiction available when they hit their teenage years.
The evidence, they say, can be seen in the best-sellers for teenagers at Abu Dhabi bookstores – a list dominated by Western titles such as the Twilight vampire series by Stephenie Meyer and J K Rowling’s Harry Potter novels.
The genre of Arabic young adult fiction “doesn’t exist,” said Dareen Charafeddine, a publisher. “If you find any [such books], they are very traditional. Nobody knows how to write for this age group.
“Children’s literature in general isn’t very developed in the Arab world.” – read the rest of the article.