Hijri Islamic Calendar 2019/1440-1441 {Printable}

Next Tuesday the western world will start a new year: 2019.

However, 1.75 billion Muslims worldwide are still in 1440 AH and the Islamic New Year doesn’t start until September 2019.

The first Islamic year began in 622 AD with the emigration of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) from Mecca to Medina, known as the Hijra. Thus the Islamic new year is sometimes called Hijri New Year, written in Arabic like this رأس السنة الهجرية‎ and pronounced as Raʼs al-Sanah al-Hijrīyah.

The first day of the year is observed on the first day of Muharram, the first month in the Islamic calendar. The other months are:

  1. Muharram
  2. Safar
  3. Rabi’ al-awwal
  4. Rabi’ al-Thani
  5. Jumada al-awwal
  6. Jumada al-Thani
  7. Rajab
  8. Sha’ban
  9. Ramadan
  10. Shawwal
  11. Dhu al-Qidah
  12. Dhu al-Hijjah

A few years ago, I found this wonderful way to explain the two calendars to my children.

I am so pleased that the author, Latifah Ibrahi,  has created a new one, free for download here.

Don’t forget to support this wonderful business who is offering this service.

Christmas in the Arab World {Resource}

The Christmas spirit is alive in the Arab world, and we have made a number of Arabic craft tutorials to teach about it. Christmas is even an official national holiday in a few of the 22 countries in the Middle East and North Africa.

Contrary to what is being shown in the media, there are multiple locations in the Middle East where nativity scenes are even seen in public places. There are also many visual Santa Claus imagery, who is known as his more universal name Papa or Baba Noël.

While it is common to think of the Arab world as only being Islamic, there are many Christians that live in the area. This is John of Damascus an Arab monk and presbyter from the 7th-century.

In Morocco, if you walk into a regular big city bakery, you may find buche de Nôel, a French Christmas cake. Rabat, due to it’s large population of foreign workers there, is often seen decorated with glitter, lights, Santas and other Christmas decor this time of year.

In Mauritania, Tunisia, Libya, Somalia, and Sudan, Christmas is not as common, however, a Christmas market recently opened in the capital of Algeria.

Egypt makes a big deal about Christmas since 10% of it’s population is Christian. People conduct a Nativity Fast for 43 days before Christmas, which occurs on January 6th within the Armenian community and January 7th for the Orthodox Copts. Families gather for celebrations at home and in midnight mass at church. Kahk el Eid is a common treat to share with loved ones.

Many would be surprised to learn that in Comoros, which typically celebrates Islamic celebrations that follow the lunar calendar, Christmas Day is observed by the Roman Catholic minority, with festive gatherings of friends and families.

Christmas in the Arabian Peninsula, consisting of the countries Bahrain, Yemen, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, is possible to find, if you know where to look. It’s true that in more conservative Islamic countries, it is not as visual, however, Christmas time in the UAE makes it’s residents feel like they are in a Christian country. While in Bahrain, many hotels offer Christmas brunch.

The Iraqi Cabinet added Christmas as a national holiday in 2018. However, the Syriac community has been in the Iraq since the Middle Ages. Here, Christians from the Syriac Orthodox Christian hold a celebration in Mosul, Iraq.

The Levant region of the Arab world has more Christmas activity, due to it’s location to the birthplace of Christianity, Bethlehem in Palestine. A parade is held through town on Christmas Eve, leading to the Church of the Nativity, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. Christians traditionally believe the church is built over the place that Jesus (Peace Be Upon Him) was born.

Very similar to their Christian brothers and sisters in the south, the Orthodox and Armenian Churches don’t celebrate Christmas on December 25th, but rather January 6th & 7th, respectfully. This leaves more time to see Christmas specials on TV or in the theaters that are in Arabic.

In Lebanon, Maronite Catholic are 35% of the population. Seen in more homes than a Christmas tree are Nativity Crib scenes. They consists of a landscape of a cave, rather than a barn or stable. There will also be spouts of chickpeas, broad-beans, lentils, oats and wheat that were grown from seeds placed on wet cotton/wool two weeks before Christmas.

Syria is slowly building itself back from the war. The Christians there that make up about 10% of the population are rebuilding their community’s Christmas spirit, celebrated on January 6th. Instead of Santa Claus, the Smallest Camel of the Wise Men is who brings gifts for the kids on the Eve of Christmas. Legend says that the Wise Men traveled in a caravan with many camels to Bethlehem. The smallest camel was exhausted, but determined. For his loyalty and will, he got the blessing of immortality and hence, on every January 5th night, the little camel brings gifts.

The country of Jordan also has a number of churches, most of whom use the liturgical year calendar, also known as the church year. This consists of the cycle of liturgical seasons in Christian churches that determine when feast days, including celebrations of saints, are to be observed.   Most hotels, shops and businesses in Jordan, especially the larger cities, will have some form of decorations and brunch specials.

Check out these A Crafty Arab Christmas s tutorial

Arabic Christmas Pallet {Tutorial}

Arabic Christmas Card {Printable}

Arabic Christmas Ornament

Be sure to visit A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more tutorials that teach about the Arab world.

Arabic Christmas Pallet {Tutorial}

This Arabic Christmas pallet decor was so easy and took so little time to construct.

Eid Milad Majid {عيد ميلاد مجيد} is how to say Merry Christmas in Arabic. Eid means holiday, Milad means birthday & Majid means glorious, loosely translated to stand for Festival of the Glorious Birth. Christmas is celebrated by roughly 64% of Arab Americans in the US who are Christian.

I took advantage of this Plaid Enterprises, Inc. pallet’s wood sign having four boards to stack the words, adding a star to the top, to create the shape of a Christmas tree.

I made this sign today and gave my daughters a day off to catch up on tests.  If you want your kids to get involved in the sign construction, you can Xacto out the words from the paper to turn them into stencils. This frames the letters nicely for them to sponge paint, rather than hand stencil.

I cut and paste عيد ميلاد مجيد into a Word document & played around with sizes so that the Majid at the bottom was much larger in size than the Eid at the top.


Wood pallet

Paintbrush – Large for cover, small for writing

Tracing stylus

Paint – aqua, cardinal red, daffodil yellow, wicker white

Blue tape

Carbon paper

عيد ميلاد مجيد – printed & cut

The first step is to paint the background colors. I picked the aqua and cardinal red as complimentary colors, alternating them.

After waiting a few hours for everything to dry, I taped my word down, placing the carbon paper under it, before tracing the letters.

Then I removed the word and the carbon paper, to start painting with the white.

For the final touch, I added a star to the top. I just cut out an eight point star, called a khatam in Arabic, from a piece of paper. I cut out the bottom longer, then traced it with the carbon paper, before painting it yellow.

Once everything was painted, I left everything flat for a few hours to dry.

That is it.  Super easy, correct?  I will want to add a cover of Mod Podge to help seal in the colors, but tomorrow to make sure everything is dry for 24 hours.

To see other ways we have discussed Christmas, please visit:

Arabic Christmas Card {Printable}

Arabic Christmas Ornament {Tutorial}

Stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to check out other tutorials that teach about the Arab world.