Thursday, June 3, 2010

SuSu In The Souk

“In April 2010, a writing competition was held for the youth in North Lebanon as part of Beirut World Book Capital. Around 40 persons have participated in this project and the best stories were picked, collected, edited and constituted this book…”

That’s right; I finally got a hardcopy of “قصتي”. It’s a brilliant book, and it’s even more brilliant how fast it’s been put together and published! Here are the front and back covers:

But I have to admit, I was a little disappointed to see that instead of my illustrations, there were someone else’s. I asked why. And apparently, the printing press had asked for the book a little earlier than had been scheduled, so that by the time I had sent in my illustrations, the book was already in print :-|.

Here were supposed to be my illustrations (+ cover page):

Oh well, I guess it’s a sign I’m a better writer than I am an illustrator. Here’s the full text version of “Susu in the Souk” (Comments Welcome!):

SuSu in the Souk

Once upon a time, in a city by the sea,
That many know as Tripoli,
There lived an orange in an orange tree…
One day the orange was picked by a girl named Susu
Who bent down to tie her shoe
When all of a sudden, a gust of wind blew…

It rolled the orange down the street,
So Susu chased after it, under the summer heat
Till it rolled between an old man’s feet…
All around her, Susu saw shoes
But where had the orange gone? She needed clues
So she asked the old man, had he any news?

He said, “This is ‘Souk Al Kindarjieh’ my dear,
Shoes are all we’ve ever had here.
But keep on looking, your orange must be near”
So Susu walked on, till she saw a young man
“Can you help me?” she asked him, he said “Yes, I sure can”
“I’m looking for my orange; it’s of a yellowish tan”

He said, “Well it can’t be here in ‘Souk Al Siyaghin’
We only have gold, fit for a queen
Look, isn’t it the finest you’ve ever seen?”
Susu walked on, till she saw soaps of every shape and size,
Towering up towards the skies
She almost couldn’t believe her eyes…

She turned around to look at a sign
It read ‘Khan Al Saboun’ in a nice design
But Susu had to go make sure that her orange was still fine…
So Susu walked on, to the next path she chose
Where a scent began to fill her nose
And the smell of herbs and spices rose…

“Welcome to ‘Souk Al Atareen’” said a young boy,
Who stopped playing with his car toy
And he asked Susu, “Want some herbs? I’m sure you’ll enjoy!”
Susu walked on, till she reached a pool filled with water
She needed a drink, as the weather was getting hotter
When she heard a lady say “come sit with me, my daughter”

“Where am I?” asked Susu, the lady said, “‘Al Mallaha Pool’”
And she turned to join the old lady sitting on a stool
She was eating a plate of hummus and fool…
Susu asked “where oh where could my orange be?”
“Its right there,” said the lady, “can’t you see?”
And she pointed towards an orange tree

“Where we end is where we begin” she said,
Then she patted Susu’s head,
But there’s much more of Tripoli left for you to discover, so go ahead!


  1. Noouuurrr! I love ur story...its amazing :)
    You're the most talented writer ever! :) :)

  2. Nouurr.. i'm gonna cry... Bet3a2ed bet3a2ed bet3a2ed i'm so so soooo proud of you. I swear it's such a nice story. I can't believe u prepared this a day before :) by the way ur just as good as an illustrations as u are a writer. They are way nicer, it was just a timing issue.

  3. I love how you linked the souks together in 1 journey. It reminded me of The we love tripoli shoot as you walk journey :)

    It all seemed harmonious & I really loved the rhymes but the spelling of "fool" da77akni & the fact that she wanted to drink from Mallaha pool while in reality it's empty :P

    Yalla,nshalla this is just the beginning, a preview of the great writer's work who thought her first published book would be at the age of 30 :)

  4. Nour 3anjad bravo 3layki !!! walla its soo soo soo nice , Dr.Suess Jr. baddi 3aye6lek from now onn ;) 3anjad well done, its so nice on so many levels ! you should do more !

  5. really fascinated..Noor...u r such a talented writer.....u made me feel a deep nostalgia to lebanon and especially to tripoli...
    go girl goooooooo .... congrats..
    N.B. i liked ur illustrations...wala i swear.. :D

  6. wow..i am really fascinated ...noor...u r such an excellent writer...u made me feel a deep nostalgia to lebanon and especially to tripoli..go girl gooooooooooo !!! congrats...
    N.B. i liked ur illustrations wala i swear ;)

  7. WOW, THANK YOU SOOO MUCH EVERYONE, it really made my day to wake up to all your lovely comments! :-)

  8. I absolutely love love love it.. the municipality should push to get it published in children's books, to teach about tripoli!! well done, mabrouk.; keep it there, for my children (when they come), i'll use it to teach them about my home town!

  9. That is amazing.. The illustrations are not bad either.. ;)

    good work.. keep it up! :)

  10. great stuff...i aint a kidd but i was like "I WANT TO KNOW IF SHE GONA FIND THE DAMN ORANGE??WHERE THE HELL DID IT GO????"
    hehe good job keepin me on my toes like that:P
    great job hope to see more from ya out there...

  11. hehehe isn't it craaazy?! Thanks Hadi! :-)