Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press) is proud to announce that the critically-acclaimed novel, Bitter Almonds written by Lilas Taha, has been announced Winner in the “Fiction: Multicultural” category of the 2017 International Book Awards(IBA).
There were over 1,500 entries this year in the various categories of the award, which is in its 8th annual year. The IBA, which is sponsored by the American Book Fest, highlights a wide variety of outstanding literary fiction and non-fiction works that are the best in their categories.
“I'm honored and thankful for this prestigious award,” explains author and award-winner, Lilas Taha. “The trials of the Palestinian diaspora provided motivation for my story, Bitter Almonds. I wrote the novel hoping to touch readers' hearts and convey a message of respect. With this international recognition, it gives me great pleasure to learn that I helped shine a needed light on the struggles of innocent refugees, and bring a measure of attention to the plight of Palestinians.”
“Lilas Taha is an extremely talented author, whose work we are proud to publish at HBKU Press,” explains Rodolphe A Boughaba, Acting Executive Director of Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press. “This book has successfully brought a contemporary crisis to the forefront of the literary world, in a way that humanizes the refugee crisis and makes it tangible to anyone around the world. Taha’s gift in developing characters with compassion and very real emotions appeals to both young and adult readers.”
A love story rooted in history and Palestinian culture, BITTER ALMONDS is inspired by tremulous events in the Middle East and author Lilas Taha’s family history. Born in Kuwait to Syrian and Palestinian parents, Taha had to leave the country when it was invaded by Iraq in 1990. Given the current Syrian refugee crisis, Omar and Nadia’s stories are extremely pertinent, as they encapsulate common struggles of refugees and humanize these victims of political turmoil and violence for readers from all backgrounds. At the core of this novel is the dauntless human spirit and the complex struggles of ordinary people trying to overcome extraordinary circumstances.
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