My Akamas Mandala

The very well received publication entitled ‘My Nicosia Mandala’ Colouring Book, released last year and which introduced the 11 bastions of Nicosia, is followed by a second book in the series of local mandalas entitled ‘My Akamas Mandala’ colouring book.

The book is part of the series ‘My Cyprus Mandala’ (https://www.facebook.com/mycyprusmandala) and is signed by journalist, author and photographer Melissa Hekkers.

‘My Akamas Mandala’ Colouring Book depicts 11 hand-drawn “mandalas” by Melissa Hekkers and inspired by the shapes and forms of a variety of Akamas endemic local flowers.

Besides the creative entertainment provided through colouring in, for both children and adults, the publication seeks to inform in an interactive and enjoyable manner. The objective is to raise awareness and promote the concept of endemic wildlife as well as the importance of preserving the natural heritage of Akamas.

With the collaboration of the Project and Research Center AKTI and the Forestry Department, the book hosts information, fun facts and characteristics of the local flowers presented as well as fun facts regarding the littering of the sea, a great environmental threat that applies to the Akamas too. Zara Der Arakelian took on the layout and design of the book.

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About Melissa Hekkers

I am freelance journalist and author, who has frequently been featured in mainstream news outlets and other publications in Cyprus. Recently, I've been focusing on developing my writing, promoting my own books and teaching creative writing to children and adults. My most recent publication (2020) - Amir's Blue Elephant- pushes the boundaries of creative non-fiction, and recreates the moments that marked me the most, whilst volunteering in refugee camps in Lesvos, Greece, and during her ongoing involvement with the refugee community in Cyprus. In 2018 I published My Capre Greco Mandala which is the third in a series, an interactive colouring book about the biodiversity of the Cape Greco peninsula in Cyprus. My Akamas Mandala, the second in the series, is a colouring book inspired by the variety of endemic plants found on the Akamas Peninsula. In 2016, I published My Nicosia Mandala, the first of the above series, an innovative, interactive colouring book about the historic fortifications of the old town of Nicosia. I also focuses on silenced communities in Cyprus: I writes about migrants and refugees, both as a reporter and a features writer; I profile them and teach them creative writing skills. In 2007, soon after graduating with a Communications degree, I published my first children’s book in both English and Greek entitled Crocodile, which won the Cyprus State Illustration Award. In 2012, I launched my second children’s book Flying across Red Skies (in English and Greek), using an experimental approach to literature, for which I was nominated for the Cyprus State Literary award. My third, similarly well-received children’s book was Pupa (Greek and English), published in 2014. In between the last two books, I published my first free-verse poetry book entitled Come-forth. In 2019 she was contributing author to the anthology Nicosia Beyond Barriers: Voices from a Divided City, published by Saqi Books, London