As a child, Zahra Marwan left the only home she’d ever known in Kuwait for a strange and unfamiliar land named New Mexico. Her father – and as such, her siblings and herself – were deemed stateless citizens of Kuwait, unable to obtain an education, healthcare or even get married. Leaving behind the familiar turquoise of the sea and the faded greens and yellows of the desert, Zahra is surprised to find similarities in the magical vistas of her new home. Although she misses the comfort of her aunties and the beauty of Kuwait’s butterfly-filled skies, New Mexico surprises with its own wondrous landscapes, and new friends who help Zahra feel like she belongs. 


Zahra Marwan was born in Kuwait, and moved to Albuquerque with her family when she was a child. She studied visual arts in France and works primarily in Illustration. She currently lives in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and works in her studio at the Harwood Art Center. Her watercolor-and-ink illustrations incorporate Kuwaiti tendencies into her daily life. Beyond the Book is a library literacy program that supports developing readers aged 5-8 to become successful and joyful readers. 


Beyond the Book is made possible by the generous support of the DC Public Library Foundation. More information about Beyond the Book can be found here:


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129 W Palace Ave
Santa Fe, NM 87501
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