At the age of 4 years 218 days, little Saeed Rashed AlMheiri from Abu Dhabi, UAE, is the world’s youngest person to publish a book.
His record was verified on 9 March 2023, after he sold over 1,000 copies of his children’s book The Elephant Saeed and the Bear.
It is a story is about kindness and an unexpected friendship between the two animals.
But Saeed is not the only record breaker in the family; in fact, he was inspired to write his book by his older sister AlDhabi.
AlDhabi used to hold the record title for the world’s youngest person to publish a bilingual book (female) and, less than one year later, she broke the record for youngest person to publish a bilingual book series (female) at the age of 8 years and 239 days old.
What is more, AlDhabi launched a unique initiative, named Books from Children to Children. This initiative aims to encourage children from 4-10 years old to write either in Arabic or in English, making it so that the writer, the illustrator, the publisher, and also the readers of a book are all children!
Saeed said: “I love my sister so much and I enjoy playing with her all the time,” he told us cheerfully. “We read, write, draw and do so many activities together. I wrote my book [inspired by her] as I felt that I could have my own book too.”
Saeed then went on to explain the plot of his book: “It is about the elephant Saeed and a polar bear. The elephant had a picnic and he saw a polar bear. He thought the bear was going to eat him but, in the end, the elephant showed kindness and said ‘let’s have a picnic together’! Then they became friends and showed kindness to each other.”
With his mother and sister’s guidance, Saeed learned how to write and soon started coming up with original stories. He loved describing the characters of his book, as well as drawing them. “The drawing was tricky and the polar bear looked scary at first, but it’s always fun to draw,” he said.
What he enjoyed the most, however, was getting to read his story out loud to his parents and friends at school.
When we asked him how he feels about his achievement, he said: “I’m happy and proud that I did something nice like my sister AlDhabi! I love when my friends feel happy for me too.”
Saeed revealed that this is just the beginning of his writing journey and that he is already working on a second book. He loves reading, writing and telling stories that, in his own words, “build people’s minds”.
The 4-year-old is also a fan of mathematics and loves to solve maths problems with his mother.
When asked if he’d consider breaking any other records in the future, he said “YES!” without any hesitation. “It’s so exciting and I was really having fun on this one. I would love to have another record and I believe I can do it.”
These days, the two siblings Saeed and AlDhabi are working on writing more books, hoping to show others that nothing is impossible and that age is not a limit.
Their proud parents commented: “AlDhabi is an inspirational young lady and Saeed followed her footsteps. He is the proof that everybody is born with a talent and that talent cannot be known unless they discover it by trying things out.”
We can’t wait to see what comes next!