Hadeer Elsbai is an Egyptian-American writer and librarian who grew up being shuffled between Cairo and Queens.  In addition to writing, Hadeer enjoys cats, television, eldritch abominations, and calling herself a Cairene. Like any proper diaspora kid, she’s obsessed with mangoes.  Find her on Twitter @HadeerElsbai.


That’s the short of it. Here’s a lengthier, first-person version.

What’s on this blog?

This isn’t strictly a book blog, but that’s definitely going to make up the crux of the content. I also like television a lot, probably more than is healthy, so I often will do reviews of TV shows I enjoyed.  Book-wise I would say 98% of what I read is fantasy/scifi/YA, with a healthy smattering of non-fiction.  Television-wise, my tastes run the gamut, though I will admit I am, for some reason, partial to The CW.

Origin Story?

My name’s Hadeer. That’s ha-DEER.  Literally, just, read it phonetically and we’ll be good to go. It’s Arabic, it means “roar of the ocean,” and it was the bane of my existence for a long time, but now I love it.

Both my parents are Egyptian, though family rumors will tell you that my father’s ancestors were horse-riding warriors from the Levant, Syria in particular.  I choose to believe that; my mom chooses to roll her eyes and sigh heavily.

I was born in Queens, NY, but even before I was one year old my parents had moved to Cairo, and then back to Queens, and so on. I went to twelve different schools before I graduated high school, and altogether I spent seven years in Cairo (not consecutively).


My English is better than my Arabic, and I’m definitely a native speaker, though, interestingly, I learned Arabic first. My Arabic is decent – I’m a native speaker of Egyptian Arabic, since that’s what my family speaks, but only passably fluent when it comes to reading and writing Modern Standard Arabic.


I have a BA in History and am working towards an MA in Higher Education and Student affairs as well as Masters in Library Science. I currently work in a library too, which is pretty great.