Nour’s Escape

By Abir Ali, illustrated by Gulnar Hajo, translated by Ruth Ahmedzai Kemp
Darf Publishing, 2019

If you’re a character in a book and your story is a sad one, can you escape from it? And what about people in real life who live in danger and poverty – can they escape that existence to find a better life?

A poignant and thought-provoking picture book about imagination and hope, and about the challenge of leaving behind your past to seek refuge in a safer, happier place.

What Adil didn’t realise was that when we read with love, something magical happens. 


Nour’s Escape is a book that can provoke all sorts of interesting discussions, about happiness and sadness, determination and cowardice, books and stories. Yes, stories and the characters that live in them! Should these characters be able to escape their story for a better, happier life? I think so. In fact, I’m tempted to take up author Abir Ali’s suggestion to write a new story for Nour.’

– Laura Taylor, Planet Picture Book
‘Ali conveys the power of stories and imagination in this clever and unusual picture book.’

– Outside in World

About the author

Abir Ali KalbaniAbir Ali (full name Abeer Ali al-Kalbani / عبير علي الكلباني), is an Omani writer.




About the illustrator

gulnar hajoSyrian illustrator and artist Gulnar Hajo (جلنار حاجو) has published over 20 books for children. She is also the co-founder with partner Samer Kadri of Bright Fingers Publishing House and Arabic-language bookseller, Pages Bookshop, in Amsterdam and Istanbul. Hajo appeared on two panels at Edinburgh Festival in 2019.