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Yasmine Motawy

  • Position: Senior Instructor II
  • Department: Department of Rhetoric and Composition
  • Email: ymotawy@aucegypt.edu
Brief Biography

Yasmine Motawy teaches rhetoric and composition at the American University in Cairo (AUC) and is a scholar, critic, translator, editor, consultant, and writing mentor in the field of children's literature. She also prioritizes making information about children’s literature accessible, and has produced journalism, organized events, and worked with the Egyptian Board on Books for Young People (2012-2018) and other Non-Governmental Organisations towards this goal. She has served on the 2021 Bologna Ragazzi Award Jury, the 2016 and 2018 Hans Christian Andersen Award Jury, the 2017 Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature jury, and on the Arabic books selection committee of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals Book Club (2019-2020). In 2018, she was the recipient of the Mellon Foundation postdoctoral grant where she supported interdisciplinary Arabic language knowledge production. In 2021, her book on ideology in picturebooks written in Egypt in the last twenty years Silence Between the Waves: Children’s Picturebooks and Contemporary Egyptian Society was published in Arabic.

Research Interest
  • Children’s literature 
  • Children in the media
  • Arab YA and picture books
  • Education
  • Writing for social justice
  • Life narratives
  • The creative writing process
  • Migrant narratives and literature
  • Service-learning, publishing
  • Critical discourse analysis
  • Teaching writing for children
  • Postdoctoral Fellow, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation (2018), HUSSLab Program, The American University in Cairo.
  • Co-PI (2018), “Research Network: Children’s Literature in Critical Contexts of Displacement: Exploring how story and arts-based practices create ‘safe spaces’ for displaced children and young people.” Funding from the UK Arts and Humanities Research Council for the lead organization: U of Glasgow
  • Co-PI (2013), Translation of four AUC Press nature guide foldouts into Arabic, Funding from US Forestry Services. 


  • Stillness between the waves. Egyptian Children’s Picturebooks and Contemporary Egyptian Society. Cairo, Dar El Balsam, 2021. (Arabic)


  • Motawy, Yasmine & Susanne Abou Ghaida. “Educational Concerns in Arabic Picturebooks.” International Encyclopedia of Education (4th ed), Elsevier. Forthcoming 2022.

Co-editor of Book

Critical book chapters

  • Normal Grief”: Death in Children’s Picturebooks.” Alif 42 (2022): pp. 298-323. (Arabic)

  • "The wisdom of getting involved: activism in contemporary Egyptian children's literature."Twenty-First Century Literary Cultures and the Child ed. Nathalie op de Beeck, Palgrave, 2020: 41-55.

  • “Old/ new media for Muslim children in English and Arabic: The forest, the trees and the mushrooms.” The Routledge Companion to International Children’s Literature, Routledge Literature Companions, 2018: 219-227.

Articles in Peer-Reviewed Journals

Arabic to English Book Translations

  • Mohamed ElMahdy. “Semiotics: The Other Dimension of Letters and Words.” in Khatt: Egypt’s Calligraphic Landscape. Photography by Noha Zayed, edited by Basma Hamdy. London: Saqi Books, 2018: 119-121.
  • Amal Farah. Very Very... Definitely Definitely... Never Ever. Illustrated by Mohamed Taha, Shagara Publishing, Cairo, 2017.
  • Amal Farah. A Girl’s Diary. Illustrated by Magdy ElKafrawy, Shagara Publishing, Cairo, 2017.
  • ​​​​​​​Amal Farah. I want to be a turtle. Illustrated by Osama Abu Al Ola, Shagara Publishing, Cairo, 2017.
  • Amal Farah. The Monster. illustrated by Walid Taher. Cairo: Shagara Publishing, 2017.
  • ​​​​​​​Amal Farah. I Want to Cry. illustrated by Walid Taher. Cairo: Shagara Publishing, 2017.
  • Al-Romaihi, Muneera Saad. Khayal Manal Doha: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015.
  • ​​​​​​​Feminist and Islamic Perspectives: New Horizons of Knowledge and Reform. Ed. Omaima Abou-Bakr. Cairo: The Women and Memory Forum, 2013.
  • Tobbala, Afaf. The Eye. Cairo: Nahdet Misr, 2012.
  • ​​​​​​​Tobbala, Afaf. Trak …Tata…Trak. Cairo: Nahdet Misr, 2010.
  • Hawass, Zahi. The Builders of the Pyramids. Cairo: Nahdet Misr, 2009.
  • ​​​​​​​Farah, Amal. I am a Human. Cairo: Nahdet Misr, 2008.
  • Farah, Amal. Water and the Wise. Cairo: Nahdet Misr, 2008.
  • ​​​​​​​Rezk Allah, Adly. The Beautiful City. Cairo: Nahdet Misr, 2008.
  • Shafik, Samira. The Sun and the Moon. Cairo: Nahdet Misr, 2008.
  • ​​​​​​​Soweilam, Ahmad. The Prince and the Thieves. Cairo: Nahdet Misr, 2008.

English to Arabic Book Translation

  • Emily MacKenzie. Wanted: Ralfy Rabbit, Book Burglar! Doha: Bloomsbury Publishing, 2015.
  • ​​​​​​​Dominique Navarro. Egypt’s Prehistoric Fauna. Cairo: AUC P, 2013.
  • Dominique Navarro. Wildlife of Ancient Egypt. Cairo: AUC P, 2013.
  • ​​​​​​​Dominique Navarro. Flora and Fauna of Egypt. Cairo: AUC P, 2013.
  • Dominique Navarro. Birds of the Nile Valley. Cairo: AUC P, 2013.
  • ​​​​​​​HRH Prince Charles of Wales. Harmony. Cairo: Nahdet Misr, 2012.
  • CORE Seminar 1010 and RHET 1010: On Friendship
  • CORE Seminar 1010 and RHET 1010: Imagined Worlds: Utopias and Dystopias
  • CORE Seminar 1010 and RHET 1010: Heroes and Demons
  • CORE Seminar 1010 and RHET 1010: Imagining Exile 
  • CORE Seminar 1010 and RHET 1010: A Beautiful Mind: 21st Century Learning
  • RHET 1020: Research Writing
  • RHET 3140: Writing for Children
  • ARIC 1099: Children's Literature and Representation
  • ECLT 123: Creativity and the Imagination
  • RHET 3310: Discourse and Power