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Yassmin Abdel-Magied is a Sudanese-Australian writer, broadcaster and social advocate with a background in mechanical engineering. Yassmin founded her first organization, Youth Without Borders, at the age of sixteen, published her debut memoir, Yassmin's Story, with Penguin Random House at age twenty-four, and followed up with her first fiction book for younger readers, You Must Be Layla, in 2019. An advocate for the empowerment of women, youth and people of colour, Yassmin has been awarded numerous awards for her advocacy, including the 2018 Young Voltaire Award for Free Speech. Yassmin has travelled to over twenty countries speaking to governments, NGOs and multinational companies on a range of topics including unconscious bias, resilience, and the impact of technology on society. Her TED talk, 'What Does My Headscarf Mean to You?', has been viewed over two million times and was chosen as one of TED's top ten ideas of 2015. Yassmin's critically acclaimed essays have been published in numerous anthologies, including the Griffith Review, the bestselling It's Not About the Burqa and The New Daughters of Africa. Her words can also be found in publications like the Guardian, Teen Vogue, The New York Times, The Independent and Glamour. Yassmin's broadcasting portfolio is diverse: she presented the national TV show Australia Wide, a podcast on becoming an F1 driver and created Hijabistas, a series looking at the modest fashion scene in Australia. Yassmin is a regular contributor to the BBC, Monocle 24 and is a co-host of The Guilty Feminist. Outside advocacy, she worked as a drilling engineer on oil and gas rigs for four years and is an internationally accredited F1 journalist.
'If you want to invent something nobody has ever thought of before, you need to read the things that others don't read, look in the spaces other people are not in...' Layla believes she was right to stand up for herself against a bully, but it's landed her a suspension - not the way she (or her parents) would have wished to begin her time at her fancy new school! This is just a setback though, and she's determined to prove that she does deserve her scholarship by making new friends and setting her sights on inventing something that could win the big robotics competition. But where to begin? You Must Be Layla introduces Sudanese-born author, broadcaster, social advocate and mechanical engineer Yassmin Abdel-Magied as an exciting new voice in children's writing.