Eissa Albinali: Accomplished Young Author, Scientist | SoundVision.com

Eissa Albinali: Accomplished Young Author, Scientist

Eissa Albinali, 17, attends Whitney High School in Southern California. His father is half Egyptian and half Saudi, and his mother, a dear friend of mine, was born in the U.S., while both of her parents immigrated from India. On the outside, Eissa looks like any other teenage boy we might see at the local masjid, or in our child’s friend group. But this young man truly stands out among his peers in his accomplishments as well as his outlook on life, mashaAllah.


The summer of 2023 was extremely busy for Eissa. He spent his days working as a research assistant in computational biology at Caltech. “I work in a lab where I am the only high school student,” he says. “Everyone there already has a doctorate or is on their way to getting one. My work there involves using computational programs to search for novel genetic mutations in RNA sequencing data in mouse and human tissue,” he says. “In November I will be presenting our research that will be published to a conference in Cal State Fullerton. I'm very excited and proud to be listed as a co-author.”


As if that was not enough, Eissa also found time last summer to write a book, The Not So Special Fish. It was the #1 New Release across three categories in children’s books and a bestseller on Amazon. Eissa describes The Not So Special Fish as “a captivating children's nonfiction book that follows the adventures of a colorless fish in a vibrant coral reef, teaching fundamental biology concepts in an engaging way.”

Eissa was interviewed on Fox 11 Los Angeles’s morning news program, Good Day L.A., where he spoke about his book. He was also a Visiting Author at Gonsalves Elementary School.


Few teenagers can claim so many accomplishments at such a young age. When asked where he gets his inspiration, Eissa says:

“A significant source of inspiration for the book is my maternal grandmother, a beloved pediatrician practicing in an underserved community in the Southern California area for over 40 years. [When I was] growing up in Massachusetts, my mom would take me and my sisters every summer to stay with her. I would often tag along with my grandmother to her clinic as a young 6-year-old kid. I have memories of wearing her oversized lab coat, playing with the stethoscope, and watching her handle the clinic duties. When I moved to Southern California in 10th grade, I went to volunteer in her clinic as a Spanish translator for her patients, that’s when the idea came to me that I wanted to help this community as well. They had high rates of childhood obesity and little knowledge of nutrition. I was trying to come up with different projects and such, but in my Junior year, I had the idea to write a children’s book.”

Eissa shares, “My mother was also a great inspiration for me as she always told me and my sisters we can live our dreams now, we don’t have to wait to be an adult. My mom didn’t think it was strange when I told her I wanted to write a book. She loved the idea and encouraged me to publish it on my own. She got me out of the traditional thinking that someone else has to publish it, or I have to wait for someone else to do it. She kept challenging me to find ways to do it on my own, even hiring an illustrator that I found myself.”

Islamic Outlook

When asked what keeps him grounded in his deen, Eissa says,

“The one thing that has stayed consistent and my parents always encouraged was reading the Quran and praying on time. Until today I take Quran lessons twice a week and have memorized over half of the Quran. I’ve prayed in Disneyland and parking lots. I try my best to keep those two things in my faith. My parents stuck to making sure the foundation was there and that no matter what, we could always turn to those two things, Quran and prayer. I think a lot of parents worry that their kids are not getting enough Islam and so they give them too much. They try to give them all the deen at once and that becomes overwhelming. Kids have so much else to carry on their plate with school and extracurriculars, it would be helpful if parents can just focus on a couple things and then add on from there slowly.”

Advice for Other Young Muslims

Eissa says, “Waiting to ‘grow up,’ whenever that arbitrary time happens, doesn’t mean we can’t do great things now. Find someone who believes in your dreams and they will become your biggest support. I didn’t tell anyone I was writing a book, except my mom. I knew she wanted it for me as much as I did and I didn’t want others telling me I couldn't do it or it was too hard.”

He adds, “Practicing Islam does not have to be separate from anything you do, in fact, it should be the first thing and everything will fall into place. No matter how busy my schedule got, how many classes I was taking, how much work I was putting in, I still attended those two Quran classes a week.”

Future Goals

Eissa says, “My first goal is getting into college, and I’m currently working on my applications. I hope to pursue a career in medicine but also stay involved in research as I am passionate to be part of innovations that improve the quality of lives of others. I would also like to write more children’s books on science.”

You can follow Eissa on social media at @eissaauthor.

May Allah bless Eissa with continued success and enable him to keep being a credit to our ummah. May Allah also bless his parents who raised such an ambitious, sincere, and hardworking young man. Ameen. 

Laura El Alam is a freelance writer and editor and the author of the book Made From the Same Dough, as well as over 100 published articles. A wife and mother of five, Laura lives with her family in Massachusetts. You can visit her online at www.seaglasswritingandediting.com.

Add new comment