Author of 40 Children’s books, Margriet Ruurs’ latest work has been an inspiration to many children across the world. “Stepping Stones” which was inspired by the stone artwork of Syrian artist, Nizar Ali Badr, showcases the story of a refugee family. The book, which has already been translated to 10 languages, is now widely spread all over the world. We were honored to have arranged a visit for Mrs. Ruurs to meet ES students here at CAC.

Having always been an avid reader herself, Ruurs was into reading and writing at an early age. Her first ever written poem and story were during first grade when she first learned to write. Encouragement from her teachers and her parents over the years inspired her to continue writing. It wasn’t until she got married and had her kids, that she started submitting her short stories to publishing houses. Eventually, they got published!


“I prefer short stories because even though they are much harder, I love the format of picture books. It takes a great deal of editing, but that just seems like the right length for me to tell stories,” explains Ruurs.

Margriet Ruus
Having been watching the news daily, and seeing all the horrible events taking place around the world, much of them in Syria, she was very moved by the wars around the world. It wasn’t long after that, that she came across Syrian Illustrator, Nizar Ali Badr’s work on Facebook. Nizar uses stones to illustrate stories. Being such an innovative and different method to tell stories, Ruurs decided to contact him. She felt she had finally come across someone who could help her in conveying the story of refugees, which she did, so profoundly in “Stepping Stones”.

When asked how the Syrian refugee crisis had resonated with her personally, she explained; “I am personally proud that in Canada we were able to integrate many refugees, because it’s a universal issue. My parents had to flee the Netherlands in WWII. Their houses were bombed, and my dad had to live in hiding. I realized later that this is not just a Syrian issue. I’m afraid this can happen to anyone anywhere.”


The joint work of Nizar Ali Badr and Mrs Ruurs has actually made a huge difference in Badr’s life as well. He is now receiving royalties which has had a great economic impact on his life, and Margriet has donated all of her royalties to refugee causes in Canada. The book has now raised approximately one hundred thousand dollars. “To me this is incredible for a children’s book. That it isn’t just a story but it’s actually making a difference too,” added Ruurs.

After having received an invitation to come to Egypt by CAC, Margriet immensely enjoyed her visit in Cairo and to CAC in specific. The students were more than delighted to meet with the author face to face and they have all been attentive and excited to learn more about her stories. Some of the students also took part in a skype call with Badr where he shared with them his rock art. Margriet’s visit has been very exciting for ES students, some of whom have ended up creating their own rock art projects, and have started writing their own short story books themselves- all inspired by Margriet Ruurs!

For more info on author, Margriet Ruurs, or on Stepping Stones, please visit: https://www.margrietruurs.com

1 Midan Digla, Maadi, Cairo, Egypt | Phone: +2-02-27555555