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Zahreddine, Hassan


A story from Lebanon

Translated from Arabic by Leila Chammaa
© 2022 Baobab Books
Original edition
32 pages, hardcover, 20,5 x 25,5 cm
CHF 26.00 / € [D] 20,00 / € [A] 20,60
ISBN 978-3-907277-12-6
Ages 6 and up

The day Zineddine starts working as an assistance in a print shop, he can not yet read nor write. His name is too long, says the printer on the first day, reaches into the type case, puts three letters together and colors the pad. When he pulls the sheet out of the press, it says: Zin. This paper is the beginning of a great fascination. Even before Zin understands what he's setting, he knows where each letter in the box has its place. He enjoys his daily tasks at the printing press, fills in ink, prepares the rollers, carries printed sheets to the packing table – and quietly learns the alphabet, letter by letter. And word by word he begins to understand what power words can have.
The Lebanese artist Hassan Zahreddine tells this story from his father's childhood in images that are as precise as they are poetic. He produced the illustrations using the elaborate mezzotint printing process. They show, line by line, the awakening of a child who finds its way under difficult conditions.

The author and illustrator

Hassan Zahreddine was born in Lebanon in 1969. He studied painting at the Art School in Beirut and printmaking in Montreal, Canada. He has already received numerous awards for his illustrations in the Arab world. Zin is the first book by Hassan Zahreddine to be published in German – and it is the first work for which the artist wrote the text himself. In 2021 Hassan Zahreddine migrated from Beirut to Canada, where he lives as a freelance print artist.

Media reports

Deutschlandfunk Büchermarkt (16.07.2022)