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Maya Abu Al-Hayyat

Influential Palestinian Poet and Novelist

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Date of Birth:



Beirut, Lebanon

Place of Birth:

Why Featured?

Maya Abu Al-Hayyat is a prominent Palestinian poet and novelist, renowned for her contributions to Palestinian literature. Her work, which includes poetry, novels, and children’s stories, has been recognized for its artistic merit and cultural significance.

Brief bio

Maya Abu Al-Hayyat, born in Beirut and residing in Jerusalem, is an esteemed Palestinian novelist and poet. She has authored four poetry collections, four novels, and numerous children’s stories. Her literary works reflect the Palestinian experience and culture, making significant contributions to the field.

Major Milestones


  • Publication of First Novel (2004): Maya's literary journey began with the publication of her first novel, marking the start of a significant career in Palestinian literature...See More

  • Director of the Palestine Writing Workshop Maya took on the role of director at this institution, which plays a crucial role in promoting reading and writing in Palestinian communities​​​​.

  • Award for Children's Literature :Her children's book, "The Blue Pool of Questions," won the Best Illustration award at the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature.

  • Release of "You Can Be the Last Leaf" This poetry collection, translated by Fady Joudah, marked a significant milestone in her career as a poet.

  • Editor of "The Book of Ramallah": As the editor of this collection of short fiction, Maya contributed to showcasing Palestinian city life and culture.

  1. Poetry Collections: Maya's poetry, including collections like "You Can Be the Last Leaf," offer deep insights into Palestinian life and experiences.

  2. Novels: Her novels, such as "No One Knows His Blood Type," explore various facets of Palestinian society and personal identity​​.

  3. Children’s Stories: Stories like "The Blue Pool of Questions" provide a unique perspective on Palestinian childhood and culture.

  4. Palestine Writing Workshop: As the director, Maya has significantly influenced literacy and creative expression in Palestinian communities.

  5. Literary Editorship: Her role in editing "The Book of Ramallah" showcases the diversity and richness of Palestinian urban life.

Date of Last Update: 
December 31, 2023

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