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Hooda Shawa was born in the UK in 1964 to a Palestinian father and British mother. Hooda grew up in Riyadh and Gaza and then received her degree in Economics and Political Science from the American University in Cairo after which she briefly worked as a journalist for Jordan TV. After marrying and moving to Kuwait, she obtained a degree in Teaching English as a Second Language and taught both children and adults at the British Council and at Kuwait University. Hooda has published three Arabic collections of stories inspired by fables and legends of the Arab and Islamic world. Her book, The Birds’ Journey to Mount Qaf, based on a Sufi poem of self-discovery, won the Sheikh Zayed Book Award for Children’s Literature in 2008.