Arabic English Handy Review Book {Tutorial} Plus Hands Around the Library {Review}


We made these hand(y) review books for Hands Around the Library by Karen Leggett Abouraya with beautiful collage illustrations by Susan L. Roth, as part of Multicultural Children’s Book Day.

The story is about former children librarian Shaimaa Saad and library director, Ismail Serageldin, in February 2011, during the Egyptian upraising.

They both worked at the Bibliotheca Alexandrina, a major library and cultural center located on the shore of the Mediterranean Sea in Alexandria, Egypt. The Bibliotheca Alexandrina is trilingual, containing books in Classical Arabic, English, and French.

At the time, people were very unhappy with the Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak. They held rallies, demonstrations and parades to voice their concerns.

The library staff was worried, since the library has been destroyed before. But on this day, people from within the parade broke out of the demonstrations and linked hands on the steps to protect the building.

The pages are stunning, showcasing different aspects of Egyptian style, including colorful quilts, hijbas and the clothing of the Muslims & Christians who held hands.

The back of the book contains a double-page photo spread with more information of the uprising and the library itself. There is a resource page, which I loved, since it included the Arabic words shown on the protest signs.

My favorite page was hands holding the Egyptian flag that was opened on the library steps.

This gave my daughter and I the inspiration to make these handy review books, to write down what we think about a book.

Supplies

  • Various colored card stock
  • Corner punch
  • Glue stick
  • Pen
  • Scissors
  • Stapler

My daughter started to make the review book by drawing an outline of her hand

She added a rectangular tab, for the staples later.

Next, my daughter cut out the hand. She used this hand to cut out as a template to make several others from different colors.

After all the hands were cut, she cut out all the tags for inside the review book. I typed them both up for her, in Arabic and English:

  • TITLE OF BOOK / عنوان الكتاب
  • THEME / موضوع الكتاب
  • AUTHOR / مؤلف
  • SETTING / إعداد
  • FAVORITE EVENT / حدث المفضل
  • RATING / تقييم

She made all the corners round on the slips of paper to make it look nicer.

To add them to the hands, my daughter added glue to the back of the pieces of paper and centered them on the hands.

The final step is to staple all the hands to each other.

We made a review book in English.

We also made a review book in Arabic. We made sure to start the book in the opposite direction and added our staples accordingly.

If you want to save some time, you can make the English and Arabic into one review book. Just start the English from one side and the Arabic from the other.

If you enjoyed making this handy craft, check out these others:

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

Arabic Interleaved Napkin Rings {Tutorial}

These simple Arabic, paper, interleaved napkin rings were made for our recent dinner party, to help our multilingual friends know where to sit.

Our guests included visitors from Jordon, Syria, Libya and America, so we wanted to make everyone feel welcome.

I came up with this simple interleaved solution that allowed everyone’s Arabic name to be written on one side and the English on another, of two arabesque cut outs. They only took moments to create and our guests loved them so much, they all took theirs home.

Supplies

Measure around your napkins to get an idea of how long you want your ring to be. Ours were around five inches, so I cut stripes of paper that length. The width was only a few inches, you can play around with this as well.

With the left over paper, I punched out some decorative shapes. I needed two for each napkin ring.

Next I took the scissors and cut the shapes half way down the middle.

To assemble the two pieces, add double sided tape to the end of the stripe of paper. Then write the name of the person and place the shape over the double sided tape, but only up to the cut line. To the same to the other side.

Now when the two ends are brought togehter, they will interleave into each other, creating a continuous circle to hold the napkin.

We made 10 of them in a few minutes. I can’t wait to try different shapes!

This is what our dinner table looked like, with the napkin rings & kofta ring.

If you enjoyed making these napkin rings, check out these other ways we decorated our dinner table

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


ACraftyArab Booth at Eat with Muslims {Outing}

I created an educational booth, of Islamic craft tutorials, last night for a new organization, Eat with Muslims. that was held at St. Therese Church in Seattle.

I was so honored to be taking part is such an informative evening and send my heartfelt gratitude to EWM, for allowing me the space to showcase –

It was held at St. Therese Parish, with dinner provided by EWM, free of charge. This organization was started in 2017 as a way to build bridges:

We believe that eating together and sharing an experience is what will strengthen and enrich our country and values so let’s sit together.

Founders Ilays Aden & Fathia Absie
Eat wtih Muslims co-Founder Ilays Aden and ACraftyArab Founder Koloud 'Kay' Tarapolsi
Eat wtih Muslims co-Founder Ilays Aden and ACraftyArab Owner Koloud ‘Kay’ Tarapolsi

The food was delirious, a blend of sub-Sahara and North African flavors. There was goat, chicken, vegetables, hummus, bread, salad, and yummy desserts, including dates.

Attendees were encouraged to sit with someone they did not know, to open dialog. There was a Muslim member from EWM at each table. There were also 10 questions about Islam on the table, to help facilitate the conversation.

Our own table took on the issue of race in religion. Our EWM representative had converted to Islam in the 1970s. These are his words “I went to a religious class here at St. Therese and my priest could not explain to me why my Jesus (pbuh) was white on the walls but described differently in my Bible.” Once he started to look into Islam, he realized that Mohammed (pbuh) did not have any images of what He looked like nor was there a Christmas in His honor, he liked that the religion was not about Him but about the personal & communal direction in life. Our representative repeated several times that this was his own path, as a black man in America, on how he had arrived to Islam and others have different stories. But this lead our conversation to race & religion.

I’m sure that this conversation would make many uncomfortable, but I was excited it was happening because race is an issue that is not discussed enough. America has a vast history with slaves and one that is not as well known, Muslim slaves. Yet, we do not discuss enough how white & black & yellow & red & every other races were brought together in our history, in movies, books or TV, unless we are shown it disproportionately tied with violence.

Once dinner was over, a panel of Muslims were asked public questions from the audience to wrap up the evening. The range of questions varied from how women were treated in pre-Islamic times to what is a burka.

I was so indebted to EWM for allowing me to join in the conversation to help improve how Muslims are seen, in contrast to what is being shown in the media.

If you are having an event in Seattle and would like to have a table of educational items for children that showcase the Arab world or Islamic culture, please use my contact form to reach me. I also teach Islamic art lessons to children and provide items for longer term rentals, such as library displays.

Be sure to also check out A Crafty Arab Pinterest for printables, for example an Our Islamic World word search, available for free download, to have at events.