Stories Just Sprout Inside You

An Interview with Maria Dadouch, who won the Sheikh Zayed Book Award for Children’s Literature this year. Dadouch’s book The Mystery of the Glass ball features two children becoming friends, fighting villains and protecting nature on a train ride in the near future. We talked about the need for more Arabic YA books; contemporary sci-fi; literary prizes; digital publishing and why writing for teenagers is the hardest thing to do.  

This episode is produced in collaboration with the Sheikh Zayed Book Award.

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award is one of the Arab world’s most prestigious literary prizes, showcasing the stimulating and ambitious work of writers, translators, researchers, academics and publishers advancing Arab literature and culture around the globe.

Today’s guest, Maria Dadouch, was awarded the Sheikh Zayed Book Award in 2022 in the category of Children’s Literature, for her novel لغز الكورة الزجاجية or “The Mystery of the Glass Ball.” Dadouche is a screenwriter and children’s author from Syria who has published over 50 books. 

The Sheikh Zayed Book Award Translation Grant is open all year round, with funding available for titles that have won or been shortlisted for an award in the Children’s Literature and Literature categories. Publishers outside the Arab world are eligible to apply – find out more on the Sheikh Zayed Book Award website at:

You can find some of Dadouch’s many childrens’ books in Arabic here.  

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