Featured Story I – Mirror Images

Mirror Images

Be careful what you wish for as sometimes the consequences will bring you somewhere you don’t want to be.

Perhaps it is human nature to argue on different things or not be satisfied over the things that they have. People who know what they want have obviously have so much passion in their life’s work as well as mix in great amount of endeavours to everything they are involved with. However, for somebody who is far from reaching their point of interest, you can see that they are willing to do just everything in their power to get it. This is their means of achieving their dreams.

This story reminds us that some wishes may cost us everything. Instead of getting everything we wish for, we might actually end up with nothing. We hope you are with us as you read this. Here it is.

Mirror Images

Author: Shamma Humaid Obaid Humaid Al Mansoori

Illustrator: Noora Abdulrahman Abdulla Abdulrahman Al Shaikh

Mirror Images

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About the Author

In order to give us more insight, and get to know the writer, we have interviewed the author Shamma Humaid Obaid Humaid Al Mansoori in regards to her story. It goes here:

1. How long have you been writing stories?
I started writing a few months before this project began.


2. If this is your first story, has the success of your first effort encouraged you to continue writing?
Yes these are my first stories.  I wrote “Mirror Images and Hamda’s Nightmare” for this edition of the Story Mile. Yes the publication of these stories has encouraged me to keep writing.


3. How did you come up with your story idea?
It all started with me sitting with my cousin and making up scary stories.


4. What was your objective as you plotted your story?
My goal was to recreate our “Emirati” traditional stories.


5. How do you think your stories can relate in today’s society?
“Mirror Images” is based on a true story.  This story and the other Story Mile tales were created to share important life lessons, not just to simply entertain.  I’ve found that some parents have a tendency to play favourites with their children and as a result jealousy grows and plays a big role in their lives. Parents shouldn’t divide their children, but guide them to do the right things in life, and understand that external beauty is not the answer to everything. 
My second story, Hamda’s Nightmare is designed to show the reader how toxic fear can be when we allow it to take over our lives.  I also wanted to promote the importance of mutual respect between life partners. 


6. How does it feel to be featured in a publication?
Exciting yet terrifying.


7. What is your message to your readers?
I go by the saying “Never judge a book by its cover.” It also talks about family, siblings and how the most love and support each other.


8. Why do you think the Story Mile or similar projects like this are important for the community?
The Story Mile helps us to spread our words and as I mentioned previously, it allows us to share life lessons passed down to us through the generations using these ancient characters from our past.


9. How does your family feel about your participation in the project?
They are very supportive and proud of my success.


10. Do you plan on making more heritage stories in the future?
I might think about it. 




 About the Illustrator

Every story can spark an imagination, especially when an illustration is included. It takes the ability to relate and the skills to come up with a creative output. Here’s Noora Abdulrahman Abdulla Abdulrahman Al Shaikh, the illustrator for Mirror Images.

1. How long have you been drawing?
I do not recall the exact date I started drawing, but I do believe I started drawing sometime in 2005.


2. Which mediums do you work in?
I work in traditional mediums as well as digital. For traditional mediums, I work with pencils, pens, markers, and sometimes watercolors. For digital Illustrations, I use my trusty Wacom Tablet Intous 4 and Adobe Photoshop. On occasion, I do experimental sculptures with wires and different types of clay.


3. If this is your first illustration in a book?
No, I have published a few illustrations in an illustration book prior to the Story Mile called Garden of Pearls, which was released for the Middle East Comic Con 2013.


4. If so, has the success of your first effort encouraged you to continue illustrating professionally?
Regardless of any success or failures for previous and coming publications, I will continue to draw and illustrate as it is my passion to do so.


5. How did you approach the illustration process?
First research, then look for as many references as I could possibly find then went about planning my layout, composition and designing the characters involved.


6. What was your objective as you sketched your illustration?
My approach for the illustration ‘Mirror images’ was to try to portray the story in one single image. Mahra was the twin adored by her parents and Mariam was the jealous twin, and of course, there was the wicked Um Al Heilan, I wanted to show Mahra’s calm expression, oblivious to her sisters plan, Mariam’s face twisted in jealousy and hatred, and finally Um Heilan’s evil eyes gazing upon them.


7. How important was it to match the narrative that was written?
In my opinion, if the illustration does not match the story, then the illustrations weren’t a success. The purpose of illustrations are to draw the readers’ attention to the story, make them curious as to what the story may be about and as to who are the characters that are shown.


8. How do you think your visual story can relate in today’s society?
In the case of Mirror Images, it is common for individuals to be blinded by their jealousy towards their kin and friends. But the importance lies in knowing to be thankful for what they have rather than causing harm to others, because who knows? If one harms the other, the mistreatment will eventually return to the doer.


9. How does it feel to be featured in a publication?
I feel happy to see my illustrations in print, there is something special in knowing that the work I’ve put into the illustrations has paid off and has a purpose.


10. What is your message to your readers?
I would like for the readers to get inspired and to enjoy doing what they like to do most whether it is reading, writing drawing or anything! 


11. Why do you think the Story Mile or similar projects like this are important for the community?
Projects that are like the Story Mile are important not only as a way to conserve heritage in a special way, but also as a source of entertainment to let individuals have fun in reading about the characters that make up the cultures almost forgotten folklore, and also come to love and remember them as well.


12. How does your family feel about your participation in the project?
I am thankful for my family’s constant support in what I like to do most, and I hope that they are proud of me. 


13. Do you plan on making more heritage art in the future?
I do not plan to stop at heritage art. I would like to explore other themes as well, whatever proves to be fun and challenging.


14. How would you like to see your art develop professionally?
Art changes constantly, therefore styles continue to develop and improve with constant practice. For the future, I plan to create more illustrative books and other works of art and further develop my style.



This is The Story Mile and Middle East Talents Awards first featured story. What do you think of the story? Is it something the younger generation can relate into? Let us know on comments and find out the next featured story soon!

The Story Mile Project and Abu Dhabi International Book Fair

The Story Mile Project is an initiative by Zayed University and the members of Al Kharareef Storytelling Club to uphold the Emirati storytelling heritage. It resulted into many tales and illustrations featuring the arts and skills of Zayed University students, wanting to express simple lessons through the characters they are able to bring to life.

On April 30th to May 5th, 2014, Abu Dhabi held its annual Abu Dhabi International Book Fair where The Story Mile has gotten the chance to be featured and luckily, the community has responded with warm and positive vibes.

The Story Mile expanded its partnership with Sheikha Alyazia bint Sultan bint Khalifa Al Nayhan’s ZOWD Foundation as the latter expressed the interest of co-distributing and publishing the Story Mile and expand its audience.

With the Sharjah International Book Fair coming in, The Story Mile shares its exciting news as the fair is keen to add the project in their Cultural Program and workshops, allowing them to create the Story Mile’s very own gallery.

So, are you ready to jump with us? Make sure to support The Story Mile!