The Olive Tree Wins Best Fiction Award

Mariam El Houli
Mariam El Houli

The debut novel by Melbourne author Mariam El Houli, The Olive Tree, has won the Fiction Book of the Year award at the Authors Book Launch and Expo (ABLE) Awards 2022.

The Olive Tree is a heartbreaking and gripping tale of friendship, strength and loss, and the fatal consequences that systematic prejudice can have on a country’s people.

It follows the story of 16-year-old Nisma, an Islamic Palestinian in Israel, and her new friend Hannah, a Zionist.

The main message of the book is that children pay the price of war, but the novel also serves as Mariam’s love letter to the people of Palestine.

The ABLE Awards 2022 recognise books that make a difference in the world.

They were presented across 19 categories at the ABLE Gala Dinner and Awards held at Melbourne’s Crown Casino on Saturday, October 7.

The Olive Tree won Best Fiction Book ahead of more than 45 other nominations.

The Olive Tree
The Olive Tree

“I have been told that this book is becoming a conversation starter around fascinating human nature, and how we can learn to make our life better during adversity through the story,” Mariam says. “I am honoured that The Olive Tree has received this prestigious award.”


Mariam El Houli, 33, obtained a Bachelor of Literature and Composition from Griffith University and aims to save the world “one book at a time”.

Mariam is of Lebanese background and grew up in Australia. She married at the age of 16 and lived in Lebanon, but fled back to Australia when war broke out. She is now a mum of five and lives in Melbourne’s western suburbs.

Mariam also an entrepreneur, launching her organic skin care range, Eve’s Skin, during Covid and more recently co-founded the organic mineral makeup brand Mica Minerals. She juggles her business with coaching other female migrant entrepreneurs, public speaking and writing.

Author Mariam El Houli is available for interview.