Meya Ibrahim Abed
Meya Ibrahim Abed was born and raised in Beirut, Lebanon during the civil war. Growing up in a country that puts a big emphasis on family ties has shaped her childhood and identity. With motherhood and raising children, she realized that she took for granted many things that defined the Arabic culture, which she holds very close to her heart, ‘I very much wanted to pass all of that to my children’ (Meya).

From the beginning, Meya’s priority was for her daughter and later on for her son to speak Arabic and understand their heritage. She started creating and weaving tales in everyday spoken Arabic narrative. At first, the stories were about growing up in Lebanon. Then, she found herself making up stories depending on situations her kids were experiencing day to day. The kids absolutely loved them and kept on asking her to repeat them over and over again.
Now, every time she wants to teach her kids something, she does it in a story format.

That gets them to listen intensely and always puts smiles on their faces. ‘I am very happy and proud to share my stories with all your kids as well because I know the challenges parents face in this regard. I hope everyone will enjoy the stories as much as my kids do!’ (Meya).

Emma La Zeina
Emma La Zeina is ‘Zeina’s mum’.
To Emma La Zeina, Motherhood often meant the desire to provide her daughter with a childhood filled with fun, art and play all amply derived from a long stream of creativity that began in her college years through her studies in the art field and her engagement in theater.
Her appreciation for the Arabic language was discovered with her very first job, when she started teaching it as a second language. She was always enthused by those who took interest in learning such a rich and beautiful language. To make learning a joy, she naturally transferred her acting abilities into the classroom, engaging her students and herself in role-plays and short-story scenarios, which she created as reinforcement techniques for teaching.
Her storytelling skills were later enriched by her experience of working in the world of television production, where her visual and narrative creativity were challenged at every opportunity.
Emma La Zeina was raised in a multicultural background – between the Middle East (Beirut), Africa (Congo), and the Arabian Gulf (Kuwait). Her love for people, travel, language and diversity has situated her amidst a large social mosaic from around the world, who serve as a continuous source of inspiration and motivation in her parallel universe of make believe; a universe she always enjoys sharing with others.
Leslie Ann Haller
Leslie Ann Haller is an artist working out of New York City. Before earning her BFA in Illustration at the School of Visual Arts, she studied writing with the Institute of Children’s Literature. She enjoys drawing, children’s books, and a good cup of coffee.