THE DREAMERS BEHIND THE BOOK
Learn more about the creators of The Adventures of Laila and Ahmed in Syria
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Nushin Alloo is a global strategist, writer, and former U.S. diplomat. Born in California, she has lived abroad in Egypt, Lebanon, India, Ghana, the United Arab Emirates, and Syria. She was inspired to write The Adventures of Laila and Ahmed in Syria after the start of the Syrian civil war, while working with the country's displaced refugees in Jordan and Greece.
Nushin wrote this book as part of Beauty Beneath the Rubble, a project to help change the narrative of places associated with conflict through the power of storytelling and art. She wants her child and others to learn about and appreciate the beautiful cultures and historical monuments that are vanishing in many conflict areas. Nushin holds master’s degrees in Arabic from the University of Maryland and University of Damascus, as well as an MBA from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Shadia Kassem is an accomplished illustrator, painter, and artist. Born and raised in Syria, Shadia graduated with a degree in art from the University of Damascus and currently lives in Kuwait with her husband and two children. Shadia's paintings have been exhibited in both Syria and Germany. Her enchanting and detailed illustrations fill the pages of The Adventures of Laila and Ahmed in Syria. Despite her passion for her heritage and culture, Shadia's own children have not had the opportunity to see their homeland due to the civil war. Shadia hopes that through her illustrations, her children and many others can share her love and appreciation for Syria's beauty and culture.