The Team

Sally Mallam, Founder and Executive Director of Books for Refugees, has been director of our parent nonprofit, the Institute for the Study of Human Knowledge (ISHK), since 1991, initiating and overseeing ISHK’s publishing imprints, Malor Books and Hoopoe Books, and Share Literacy.


Our Teacher’s Guides were developed by Denise Nessel, Ph.D. Dr. Nessel is Director of Early Education for ISHK and senior editor of the Hoopoe Books curriculum. She is an associate of the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education, where she focuses on teaching reading and writing as thinking processes in grades K-12.

Dr. Nessel has written several books and classroom resources for teachers and a number of articles that have appeared in professional journals. Her most recent publications include the co-authored Thinking Strategies for Student Achievement (Corwin, 2007) and the co-authored Using the Language Experience Approach with English Language Learners (Corwin, 2008). She is currently collaborating on a theory-into-practice book on comprehension.

Dr. Nessel received her B.A. degree in English from Illinois State University, her M.Ed. degree in Reading from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, and her Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction (Reading) from the University of Delaware.


Dr. Hafeez Diwan was born in Karachi, Pakistan. He has translated Hoopoe books from English into Urdu and has recently written a delightful chapter book for  children 10 and older: Victor Moody the Mosquito-Boy and Faploom-Japloom, described by Kirkus Reviews as Joyful…magical spell-casting and genetic code breaking with…elements of technology like…high voltage fields and massive glass classrooms…a young boy fighting a super genius…sure to entertain. A skin pathologist in Houston, TX, he is co-author of a textbook on skin pathology, Dermatopathology: A volume in the high-yield pathology series, and the author of How to Have Instant Will Power Right Away.


Dr. Farid Bazger is President of Khatiz Organization for Rehabilitation (KOR), where he and the KOR staff are Books for Afghanistan’s implementing partners in Kabul, Afghanistan. He and his translation team oversee the Dari and Pashto translations of Hoopoe Books.

Palwasha Salam, a teacher and storyteller, is the author of two Hoopoe titles: The Wisdom of Ahmad Shah and The Stranger’s Farewell. She has translated our Teacher Guides from English into both Dari and Pashto.


We are grateful to the team at Chamas Printing and Publishing in Mazraa, Colombia Center, Beirut, Lebanon for their pro-bono Arabic translations of Fatima the Spinner and The Tent, The Magic Horse, and The Man and the Fox, all by Idries Shah.


The six other Books for Refugees titles by Idries Shah were translated into Arabic by Rasha Al-Aqeedi (see www.fpri.org and www.nytimes.com)