Keffiyeh Paper Topper {Tutorial} plus Farah Rocks Fifth Grade {Review}

We made these keffiyeh paper toppers after we recently received the book Farah Rocks Fifth Grade by Susan Muaddi Darraj from the publisher Capstone to review for Multicultural Children’s Book Day.

This book is the start of a series that will be about a Palestinian girl named Farah Hajjar, who will be starting a different school the following year as she enters sixth grade. She hopes to enter a new academy with her best friend, but she starts to think twice about leaving her special needs younger brother behind on his own, in their old school. A bully situation has come up and without giving too much away, Farah, who had only one goal: to get into the academy, starts to have bad grades. On purpose!

What I loved most about this book is that Farah and her family are Christian, and she discusses her family commissioning a stained glass window in their church in Chapter 1. It is such a big misconception that all Arabs are Muslim, when more Arab Americans celebrate Christmas than celebrate Eid. I am happy to finally see that the publishing industry is shining some lights on books from the Middle East & North Africa (MENA) region that are not Muslim focused.

My daughter wanted to share the book with some friends, who always had questions about her faith. She wanted to show them that there were different types of Arabs, just like there were different types of Americans. I suggested we share the link with their mothers so that they could buy it also and we could host a book club at our home. She loved the idea and made sure to invite friends from all three major faiths, Christians, Jewish, and Islam, to join us.

To celebrate the unity of religions in Palestine, we decided to make straw toppers for our book club drinks. We hoped they would be a great start to our conversation.

To make them, we went back to a map of Palestine from 1917, before it was divided up by the British. Diversity was celebrated and there were a number of factories that made keffiyeahs, the traditional head scarf worn in the MENA region. Now, outside of China, there is only one factory making this headscarf in Palestine.

Traditionally thought of as only black & white, keffiyeahs actually come in many colors.

To get started on our paper toppers, we printed ours at about 3 inches.

We colored in the Palestine country outline first. This way, we do not have to worry about staying in the lines, as we’ll be cutting it out anyway.

After cutting out the country outlines, the final step is to tape the back of the colored map to the straw.

We made a few of them in different colors, just like the ones above.

This also will help keep everyone’s drinks apart.

Now our paper toppers are ready for our Farah Rocks Fifth Grade book club.

If you enjoyed this craft tutorial, please visit these others that educate about Palestine

Palestine Landscape Notebook {Tutorial}


Arab World Teachers Pay Teachers {Resource}

Due to some encouragement, I have decided to start selling my Arab world educational resources on Teachers Pay Teachers.

My first selling product I decided to make was a set of 12 quotes by Arab American women, many of them listed on my 99 Arab American Women Resource post.

These include:

  • Manal Al-Sharif is a women’s rights activist.
  • Cherien Dabis is an actress, director, producer, and screenwriter.
  • Mona Eltahawy is a freelance journalist, and social commentator.
  • Deana Haggag is an arts administrator.
  • Suheir Hammad is a poet, author, performer, and political activist.
  • Hoda Kotb is a broadcast journalist, television personality, and author.
  • Christa McAuliffe was a teacher and astronaut.
  • Naomi Shihab Nye is a poet, songwriter, and novelist
  • Ilhan Omar is a politician and social activist.
  • Marlo Thomas is an actress, producer, author, and social activist.
  • Helen Thomas was a reporter and author.
  • Maysoon Zayid is an actress and comedian.

A sample of one of the quotes:

I hope to have a few more Arab world educational resources up before April’s Arab Heritage Month.

My shop previously only held one free product, my Ramadan countdown lantern:

Please be sure to Follow my “new” ACraftyArab Teachers Pay Teachers Shop as it starts to get some attention from me.

2020 Arab Muslim Children Books {Resource}

Welcome 2020 and all these stunning children books by Arab and/or Muslim authors, or about Arab and/or Muslim kids, to enjoy!

Now that January has arrived, it means that Multicultural Children’s Book Day is right around the corner.

I am so excited to be co-Hosting another year and will be sharing a review of a book about a Palestinian little girl on January 31st, 2020.

To recap, I was sent a Persian book in 2017, and a Sudanese book in 2018, both great additions to diverse kidlit book shelves around the world. I was fortune enough to receive three books for my 2019 Multicultural Children’s Book Day reviews, which can be found here, here and here.

As I await by my mailbox for this year’s special delivery, I thought I’d compile a list of 20+ upcoming PB (picture books), MG (middle grade) and YA (young adult) books coming out of the Arab & Muslim diaspora in 2020. I will updated them with links to buy as they are available.

Please visit A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to check out the Arab & Muslim children books board. Also, be sure to visit the educational resource page.


Silverwood by Diana Abu-Jaber

Mad, Bad & Dangerous to Know by Samira Ahmed

Once Upon an Eid by SK Ali and Aisha Saeed

Santuary by Marina Budhos

The Empire Of Gold By S.A. Chakraborty

Farah Rocks Fifth Grade by Susan Muaddi Darraj

Farah Rocks Summer Break by Susan Muaddi Darraj

Boy, Everywhere by A.M. Dassu

Baba, What Does My Name Mean?: A Journey to Palestine by Rifk Ebeid

We Free the Stars (Sands of Arawiya) by Hafsah Faizal         

Yasmin the Friend by Saadia Faruqi

Yasmin the Gardener by Saadia Faruqi

Yasmin the Soccer Star by Saadia Faruqi

Yasmin the Writer by Saadia Faruqi

Alya and the Three Cats by Amina Hachimi Alaoui

Henna Wars by Adiba Jaigirdar

Arabic Quilt: An Immigrant Story by Aya Khali

Like the Moon Loves the Sky by Hena Khan

Zara Hossain Is Here by Sabrina Khan

Thorn by Intisar Khanani

Darius the Great Deserves Better by Adib Khorram

No True Believers by Rabiah York Lumbard

More Than Just a Pretty Face by Syed M. Masood

Everything Sad Is Untrue by Daniel Nayeri

Salma the Syrian Chef by Danny Ramadan

I Went for Hajj by Na’ima B. Robert

Yes No Maybe So by Aisha Saeed and Becky Albertalli

Hafsa’s Kisses by Tayyaba Syed

Noor Inayat Khan (Choose Your Own Adventure Spies) by Rana Tahir

Your Name Is a Song by Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow

Satoko and Nada Vol. 3 by Yupechika

Satoko and Nada Vol. 4 by Yupechika

2020 Arab & Muslim Adult
Book Releases

The Thirty Names of Night by Zeyn Joukhadar

The Beauty of Your Face by Sahar Mustafah


Please bookmark this page for updates. On January 1, 2019 I compiled a book list that was 20+ books but when December 31, 2019 had arrived, the list had close to 90 books.

To see more books lists for children & teens that teach about the Arab world or Muslim culture, visit the education page, that has hundreds like these

9 Books to Celebrate Arab American Heritage Month {Resource}

27 Teen Books and Graphic Novels with a Muslimah Protagonist {Resource}

Be sure to stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more.