As two Lebanese moms living in Paris, Maria and Lara share one key value, that of fostering their Lebanese heritage to their children growing up away from home.
They naturally directed their attention to books in Arabic, hoping to travel down memory lane, where their grandmothers would tell them all about « Aami bou Massoud » the big man with a bottomless appetite, and where Fairouz would sing about little chicks playing under the protection of mother hen.
Most of all, they were hoping to find musical books which had the incredible ability to captivate their younger ones’ attention, so they could impregnate them with the oriental sounds that rocked their childhoods. But barring a few exceptions, all they found were translations of western classics, and neither of them played music. So their personal wish turned into an impulse to help all Arab parents away from home give roots to their children.
They flew to Lebanon and embarked on a quest to find Lebanese children’s favorite stories, songs and illustrations, to bring them together in a series of musical books. So far, they have published 2 books featuring iconic nursery rhymes, and a book capturing the sounds of the most traditional oriental instruments. The stories, the voices and the illustrations are all Lebanese, and as times started to get hard in this war-torn country, it became a core mission for Dolola to keep supporting local artists.
And for those of you who are wondering, « Dolola » is « Chocolat » as pronounced by Maria’s 2 year-old... a part from being cute, Maria and Lara thought there was a nice musical consonance to it.