Yomad was founded end 1998. It is a small publishing house specialising in books for young people. Its means are tiny but its ambition is huge, stemming from the dearth of local creation witnessed in literature for young people. It is true that the children’s departments in bookstores are crammed with books from elsewhere, books filled with references which are completely foreign to the culture and environment of Moroccan children. Whereas children need to set down roots in order to forge their identity and live in harmony with society. This is what underpins Yomad.
An initial collection, “mini Yemma”, of three books by Driss Chraïbi and a second collection, entitled “Yemma”, comprising two books by Habib Mazini were published in March 1999. With Driss Chraïbi as the star author in the catalogue, Yomad was able to get noticed quickly. Next came Zaïna et le fils du vent which proved highly popular among young readers. It received the high-school children’s Grand Atlas 2001 award. Further to requests from young readers, a second volume was published: Le défi de Zaïna.
The Yomad catalogue now features 10 collections comprising 40 books. The collections “Hikayat”, “Mini-Yemma”, “Mini-Yemma novels”, “Yemma”, “Contes du Maroc” (Moroccan folk tales), “Rêves d’enfants” (Children’s dreams), “Yemma junior”, “Raconte-moi l’Histoire” (Tell me a story), “Mini-plume” and “Nostalgie”.
Heavyweights in Moroccan and Algerian literature have contributed several of their own writings, including Driss Chraïbi, Fouad Laroui, Abdellatif Laâbi, Abdelhak Serhane, Zakya Daoud, Mohamed Dib and other less well-known authors such as Jocelyne Laâbi, Habib Mazini, Mehdi Degraincourt, Ouadia Bennis, Charlotte Bousquet, Véronique Abt, Dominique Logié, Françoise Chémaô, Christian Devèze, Zidrou, Samia Benatya, Keltoum Mosdik, Majid Al Amiri and Florence Deville-Patte. The illustrators who have provided pretty decorations for the texts are Nathalie Logié, Alexis Logié, Virginie Soumagnac, Abdellatif Mitari, Moshine Drissi, Saïd Boucetta, Karim Yahia, Noureddine Lahrech, Tasneem Allouch, Carole Gourat, Saïd Oumouloud, Jean-Paul Favreau, Pierre Léger and Orélie Gouel.
Je suis partie de « nomade » car pour moi, l’éditeur, l’écrivain, le lecteur, le livre sont tous des nomades. Le nom n’a pas été accepté, car il existait déjà. J’ai juste retiré le N et je l’ai remplacé par Y. Je trouve que Yomad a une belle sonorité.