The Birds’ Journey to Mount Qaf

The Birds’ Journey to Mount Qaf


9780863564437 February 2007 Hardback 48pp

About the Book

When all the birds of the world assemble and decide that they are in need of a king, the wise hoopoe bird steps forward and offers to lead them to a mighty monarch who lives in a marvellous mountain across seven valleys. The birds are initially excited at such an encounter, but upon realizing how long the journey will take, how uncertain the path, and how distant the destination, they begin, one by one, to make excuses for not going on the journey.

Encouraged by the hoopoe, only thirty birds have the courage to set out on a quest to reach Mount Qaf, where the Simurgh, king of all birds dwells. When they finally get there, the king they had hoped for may not be what they had expected, but you must take the journey to find out.

The Bird’s Journey to Mount Qaf is based on The Conference of the Birds, the masterful Sufi poem by the twelfth-century Persian poet Farid ud din Attar. The accompanying illustrations painted on ceramic tiles echo a medium that was typically used in medieval Persia and the Middle East.

About the Author

Hooda Shawa Qaddumi was born in the UK to a Palestinian father and English mother. She now lives in Kuwait with her husband and two children, and teaches English as a Second Language at Kuwait University. She has a BA in Economics and an MA in Teaching English as a Second Language. She is currently pursuing a degree in Comparative Literature. Her publications include The Bird's Journey to Mount Qaf and Anbar, a children's book based on the character of Antar bin Shaddad, a legendary warrior from pre-Islamic epic poetry.

About the Artist

Vanessa Hodgkinson has a BA in History of Art from Cambridge. She received a scholarship to study Classical Arabic at Kuwait University in 2003. During this year she spent time in Iran and began to make work addressing the experience of living in the Middle East. She is currently on sabbatical from an MA at the Prince's School of Traditional Art and is the Levy-Plumb Artist in Residence at Christ's College, Cambridge.