Former US diplomat and Syrian artist launch empowering children’s book

The Adventures of Laila and Ahmed series to change the narrative on Syria and other countries associated with conflict

Los Angeles, CA. June 20, 2018 – Writer and former diplomat Nushin Alloo and Syrian artist Shadia Kassem have announced the launch of the children’s book The Adventures of Laila and Ahmed in Syria. It is the first book in an ongoing series that will highlight the rich heritage and unique people of countries facing war and conflict. 

The Adventures of Laila and Ahmed in Syria follows the colorful journey of two children through the landmarks and cities of pre-war Syria. Written by Alloo and illustrated with Kassem’s intricate oil paintings of pre-war, it provides an informative and historical view of the country that can benefit adults and children alike. 

Laila and Ahmed’s story will contribute to a growing paradigm shift about Syria and other countries in conflict. “I think it is important for the world to know that there is a beautiful side to Syria, that it has a long history and real people who are affected by the daily destruction of war.” says Kassem. 

Alloo was inspired to start writing the series when she returned to the US after living in Syria and across the Middle East and Africa. “With the outbreak of the civil war in 2011, I witnessed many negative attitudes about Syria and its people – especially refugees,” says Alloo. “I wanted to show people the beautiful, welcoming, and historic country that I had come to know and love. What if this knowledge could inspire more people to make a positive impact? I truly believe that changing the world starts with changing the story. That’s what we are doing.”

The book, published under the non-profit Beauty Beneath the Rubble, is currently available for pre-order on the organizations Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign. All proceeds will go toward future educational projects and providing support for displaced people. 

In addition to authoring a book, Alloo is making sure that a new narrative about conflict-stricken countries is shared widely. The public is encouraged to submit their own stories and experiences regarding countries facing war and conflict for publication on the Beauty Beneath the Rubble’s website. 

Supporters are encouraged to share help change the narrative on Syria by learning from the book, sharing it with friends, and donating to Beauty Beneath the Rubble’s campaign to place 1,000 copies of The Adventures of Laila and Ahmed in Syria in 1,000 libraries. 

For more information about the book or to support the project, please contact Beauty Beneath the Rubble. The project successfully ran a Kickstarter campaign with more information about the author and project.

Additional information can also be found on the project website:


Contact Information

Nushin Alloo

Founder and Author, Beauty Beneath the Rubble