The story behind “Grandma Nafeesa”

The story of a special and different Grandma was in my “ideas” file for a long time. I would go back to it every now and then, tweak it here, tweak it there and then would leave it to move to something else. The book came to life again when we were moving to our new office.

As the publisher and General Manager of Al Salwa Publishing House, Salwa took charge of overlooking the design of the office.  When it came to the furniture, she did not want the run of the mill office furniture found in stores. She was looking for unique pieces that would reflect her style. She decided to go downtown to the Flea market to find special pieces for the office and maybe a desk.

I shuddered wondering what she could possibly find there

She came back with some great stuff, one of which was her desk and a matching chair which she found in a different shop.

After minor repairs and a polish, both turned out to be works of art.

This was the spark I needed to develop Grandma Nafeesa’s  character and put the story together.

Weaving in some of the events that were happening with us, the story quickly unfolded and flowed and Grandma Nafeesa was born.

The story of Grandma Nafeesa is a story of all Grandmas who are still passionate about what they do, who are active and giving and who continue to challenge themselves and their grand children.

Initially I was planning to call the story ‘My Grandma is not like other Grandmas” but then I thought as a title it would be too direct and telling so I decided to call the story by the name of the Grandma.

The minute I started thinking of a name for Majed’s special Grandmother, “ Nafeesa” just presented itself in my mind and no other name would please me.

I did not know anybody with that name and as an old name, it gave the impression that it belonged to a traditional Grandmother.

As the story is read the surprise is the realization that Grandma Nafeesa is no ordinary traditional Grandma.

Maya Fidawi, the artist was a delight to work with. From the first sketches she sent us we knew that she had captured the spirit of the story.

We loved the humor her illustrations reflected and the minute details of Grandma’s surroundings

I hope you will all enjoy reading Grandma Nafeesa’s story just as much as I enjoyed writing it.

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