Mathilde is a French thirty-something woman who has lived a life filled with faith and spirituality since a young age.
From the moment she embraced Islam in her last year of high school in Muscat, Sultanate of Oman, at the age of 18, she realised this was only the beginning - not the destination. When moving back to France to pursue her Master’s diploma in Communications and Public Relations in Paris, she was the only convert she knew. Coping with the adaptation of her new Muslim lifestyle as a fresh university student in a non-Muslim environment was challenging.
Mathilde started working in Marketing shortly after graduating and found herself once again moving to a Muslim country - the United Arab Emirates - where she was over-joyed to meet other women just like herself. Since the beginning of her spiritual journey, she has met many women from all walks of life and witnessed their similar issues. Only the story differs.
With the bid to help her Muslim community, she wants to help women who want to learn about Islam, from one sister to another. Although Mathilde is still on her quest for spiritual knowledge, as we all are, the idea of writing a book with a feminine tone of voice which women can relate to is taking shape and leading her through a fantastic journey.
Illustrations by Hatty Pedder
Hatty Pedder is a British illustrator/artist based in Dubai.
She trained at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, where she gained a BA degree in Graphic Design specialising in illustration in 1994. In London she illustrated for various publications including Tatler before arriving in Dubai in 1995, where she commenced her creative career in Dubai working as a fashion stylist and photographer, before she returned to her roots as a full-time illustrator/ artist.
With her strong spontaneous use of black linear work and electric vibrant palette – she has brought Mathilde's personal stories to life in a creative and unique way. Her live drawing method brought them together over two days, as Mathilde and her family reenacted scenes described in Big Little Steps.
Hatty is also a renowned artist who exhibits in Dubai with The Mojo Gallery and in European galleries. She travels to different cities around the world creating vibrant collections inspired by her observations, experiences and perceptions.