Arabesque Paneled Fish {Tutorial} plus Arabic Stories {Book Review}

I recently received the book Arabic Stories for Language Learners: Traditional Middle Eastern Tales In Arabic and English, that includes an audio CD, from Tuttle Publishing.

This book is a collection of sixty-six traditional Middle Eastern tales. Each one is written in both in Arabic and English, on parallel pages, so anyone can follow along for easy learning of the language.

Some of the stories have a moral outcome, while others make light of a situation. The tales are full of narratives that include everyday people and also ones specific to Islamic culture.

What I found most helpful was the CD that was included with the book. I discovered myself listening to it mostly in the car, since I did not need the book to follow along.

My daughter was with me while we listened to the story of Fish Is Sold Herd and we both thought it was very funny how the fish seller was trying to post his fish sign. Everyone had their opinion to share with him about how it was done, so he just eventually ended up with no sign at all.

My daughter thought that maybe he needed a sign with no words, so she and I created a fish sign for the seller to use.

Supplies

  • Card stock
  • Double sided tape
  • Xacto
  • Pen
  • Ruler
  • Beige card stock

My daughter started by drawing a fish silhouette. Since it was to be used as a sign, she tried to use up the entire page for the body.

She set aside her fish and started cutting the arabesque paper into one inch stripes.

After she had a number of pieces cut, she decided on a color scheme.

My daughter then cut the panels of paper to fit the outline of the fish with the Xacto.

Once the panels were cut out, she used the double sided tape to add them to the beige card stock.

This is what our completed fish looked like.

We placed into a frame to enjoy it longer.

Be sure to check out Arabic Stories for Language Learners: Traditional Middle Eastern Tales In Arabic and English to enjoy more Arab stories. Also, check out the Saudi Arabia Creamy Tomato and Chickpea Soup {Recipe} we made from another favorite book from Tuttle Publishing: The Arabian Nights Cookbook: From Lamb Kebabs to Baba Ghanouj, Delicious Homestyle Middle Eastern Cooking

Visit A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more tutorials that were inspired by books we love to read in our home.

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.