UAE: 4-year-old Emirati boy sets Guinness World Record as youngest person to publish a book

Saeed Rashed AlMheiri's book has already sold over 1,000 copies

by

Nasreen Abdulla

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Published: Fri 31 Mar 2023, 7:57 PM

Last updated: Fri 31 Mar 2023, 10:21 PM

A four-year-old Emirati boy has set the Guinness World Record (GWR) for being the youngest person (male) to publish a book.

Saeed Rashed AlMheiri’s book titled ‘The Elephant Saeed and the bear’ tells the story of kindness winning over anger and the unexpected friendship between two animals.


“When he told us the story, we were shocked,” said his mother Mouza Al Darmaki. “He had a clear idea of how the storyline would be and what message he wanted to convey.”

Saeed not only wrote the book, but also illustrated it. “I wrote the book, and it was very easy,” he said, speaking to Khaleej Times.


“My sister helped me.”

According to Mouza, Saeed wrote the story in simple words and as customary, the adjudicators of GWR checked his work thoroughly to ensure that he had written it himself. His record title was verified earlier this month

His biggest supporter and mentor has been his 8-year-old elder sister AlDhabi, who holds the record for being the youngest person to publish a bilingual book series (female).

Prior to this, she also set the record of being the youngest person to publish a bilingual book (female). A thinker and innovator, AlDhabi is one of the youngest entrepreneurs in the country and runs the local publishing house Rainbow Chimney Educational Aids .

Publishing kids’ books

Saeed’s book has already sold over 1,000 copies, with big support from the children’s school AlDar Education - AlAin Academy. The children hosted a special event where their friends and schoolmates could purchase the book. “One day we sat there till 10pm until all the books were finished,” said AlDhabi. “Afterwards, we had a little celebration in school. That was very special to me.”

Several of their classmates who bought the book expressed their wish to write a book as well. For AlDhabi, that is the biggest win. “That is the message that I am trying to spread,” she said. “I believe every child can write. All it takes is a bit of practice. Whether you are a person of determination, or you feel like you are not a good writer, it doesn’t matter. Everyone can write and set world records too. I want to inspire more children so that that we can help raise a new generation who is passionate about books.”

Her venture Rainbow Chimney, which helps children between the ages of 4 and 10 to write, has already published three books and is on the way to publishing 13 more. According to Mouza, the publishing house doesn’t edit the kids’ work and retains the spelling and grammatical errors by children. “The most important thing is that we want to showcase the work of children,” she said. “If it has errors, the kids will have the drive to fix it in their next book.”

Starting young

Despite having limited knowledge about children and education, Mouza began reading to AlDhabi when she was just six months old. “At the time, her grandparents used to tell me that kids wouldn’t understand if I read to them that young,” she said. “But I kept at it. I wanted to do my best to expand her horizons.”

The result was that AlDhabi grew to be a keen reader and problem-solver. When she found that her cousins were glued to their devices during the time they spent at their grandmother’s house, she took along a box of toys and books for them on the condition that they put away screens. This paved the way to establishing Rainbow Chimney, and then the idea of writing her own book.

A chance encounter with Sheikha Bodour Al Qasimi and her inspirational words fired AlDhabi even more to keep writing and publishing. The 8-year-old didn’t feel it was enough to spread knowledge locally. So, she recently travelled to Saudi Arabia where she visited the King Abdulaziz Centre for World Culture - Ithra to sign her book and inspire children.

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