Book Review: “Reemiyat Series-A Special Visit To Qasr Al Husn” by Dr. Reem El Mutwalli

By now you know I love to support homegrown talent. There is nothing I appreciate more than buying something that has been created by the hands of someone right here in UAE. This new series called “Reemiyat” is just phenomenal. The kids and I are hooked! And I highly recommend all parents to go out there and pick up a copy to read to your children. It is educational and fun, and we are supporting a wonderful local author.

Literally every night Ruby is asking me (since Nate can’t talk) to read her one of the books from the series (there are a total of 4).

“I believe in the beauty of all cultures. Children are a blank canvas upon which we can paint a better future, where tolerance, understanding and compassion are key. Fun, colorful, and informative books that introduce children to others and show similarities despite differences will help create many bridges that will one day lead to a better world.”

Both my kids were born, and are being raised right here in our home away from home we call UAE (like many of you expat parents). I think it is so essential for them to learn the culture around them and appreciate the beauty of being an expat in this wonderful country.

The first book published, is titled “A Special Visit To Qasr Al Husn” which is the one I am reviewing in this blog post. In this book the author Dr. Reem El Mutwalli shares her knowledge of the oldest stone building in the city of Abu Dhabi. In 1984 she began working at the Cultural Foundation in Abu Dhabi, under the the chairmanship of Ahmed Al Suwaidi, followed by his son Mohammed Ahmed Al Suwaidi. She has a master’s degree in Islamic art, architecture and archaeology from the School of Oriental and African Studies at the University of London (plus a ton of other things). In 1995 she published the first EVER book on Qasr Al Husn! Just amazing isn’t it? Girl power all the way! With all that said, there would be no better person in this world to share the tale of this magical beauty than Dr. Reem El Mutwalli herself! She pretty muchs knows everything about EVERYTHING and more! She is a superwoman! I am so proud of her achievements and this outstanding collection of Children’s books I get goosebumps! Read all about her triumphs and success {here}.

Within this children’s book, Dr. Reem takes us on an enchanted journey through Abu Dhabi’s most prominent landmark. We are led on a superb tour of the famous site, enough to make me feel like I have been there. She introduces us to her main character’s who are so sweet and charming. They are illustrated in such a cute way you can’t help but fall in love with them. Now that Ruby has learnt more about Emarati people and their culture, she has a new tendency of wanting to go up and talk to them! She often asks me…”Is that Shamma? Can I talk to her?” “That looks like Baba Saif!”. She told me her latest wish is to have a pet camel like “Emar”. Whenever we see a stray camel she cries and cries for me to take it home!

Did you know that these characters below are based on real life people? The Royal Family! “Hazza” is based on Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammad bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Crown Prince of Dubai (Fazza). “Sheema” is based on his niece Sheema. And “Shamma” on Sheikha Shamma bint Sultan bin Khalifa Al Nahyan, granddaughter of President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Shaikha Shamma co-published the series through her Royal Publishing House together with Universal Publishers! Two of the pets are based on Shaikh Hamdan’s pets: his camel Emar and his falcon Matrooch.

Here are these sweeties we adore!

Meet Shama, Sheema’s sister. Shama is a sweet, sensitive, shy 6 year old girl. She loves furry animals, especially her kitten Queen Zayroona. She loves dressing them up and playing pretend. She loves music, drawing, and coloring. She wants to be a designer just like her mother Mama Hamda when she grows up.
Meet Sheema and Shama’s brother, Hazza! Hazza is and 8 year old boy who is wild and daring. He is very sporty and inquisitive. His role model is Felix Baumgartner, for he loves space, flying, and jumping from high places. He wants to grow up to be an astronaut.
Sheema is a young, Arab girl. She loves to learn new things and meet new people. She is clever and very inquisitive. Her favorite color is green because green is the color of grass, plants, palm trees and meadows. She wants to grow up to be a writer so she can record all the lovely things she sees and experiences. 
One of the neatest features in her books, is that they are written in Arabic and English in the SAME novel. So below you will see in the picture that one line will be in Arabic, and the next in English. Great for children learning to read Arabic as a second language at school, and wonderful for Arabic speakers too! What a truly fantastic gifting option to bring back home! Could be a souvenir for someone you know, or if you are heading home and saying goodbye to the UAE forever. It would be a really special keepsake for your little one’s so they will remember where they grew up for the rest of their lives.
Reading her novels to my kids has already taught me so much. I can’t wait to share with you the rest of the collection. If you want to purchase a copy and live in Abu Dhabi you can get them here:
If you are outside of AD, no need to fret you can order online too right {here} OR by email

I highly recommend this book to all parents, especially if you are raising your kids in the UAE! I will treasure and keep this collection for my children and pass them on to my grandchildren for years to come.

Check out Reemiyat on Facebook {here}


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