Arabic is my first language, I was surrounded by Palestinian amiyyeh and fusha every day, at home and at school. I always knew that I would speak Arabic with my own children. Our daughter Sheherazade was 20 months old when we moved from Jerusalem to New York, and I didn’t want her to lose her Arabic. It was her first language at that age, but I knew that was likely to change because she would be surrounded by English at school and among her friends. I read Arabic books to her every day, but as a parent I found it as frustrating to read these fusha books as I had found it reading them myself as a child. My daughter didn’t relate to the formal language, and I found it exhausting – at the end of a long day as a working mother – to read them out in Amiyyeh, translating them in my head from fussha. It broke the flow of the narrative, and I could see her losing interest. One night I decided that we needed to do something about it: that night the idea of writing our own children’s books in amiyyeh was born. It was March 2014. A year and a half later, we published our first book.