15+ MG/YA Arab World Children Books {Resource}

This post was written as part of the second annual Middle Eastern and North African Heritage Month series from Multicultural Kid Blogs!  More information can be found at the end about the series.

One of my daughters will be entering a new school this year.

When that happens, I always make an excuse to wander into the new school library and see what they have as far as reading material about the culture and history of the Arab world.

There is so much confusion facts coming from the media, I want to be sure that my daughter and her peers read first hand from diverse voices directly in this region of the world.

So next week, I’ll be taking my list below of recommendations to the school librarian when I introduce myself.  It’s always good to be proactive in your children’s education and environment.

I hope others may befit from this list. Feel free to visit the Crafty Arab Authors Pinterest page for adult Arab books recommendations. Book writes ups are from Amazon.

Algeria


The Compassionate Warrior: Abd el-Kader of Algeria by Elsa Marston

A brilliant military strategist, superb horseman, statesman, philosopher, Muslim hero . . . Emir Abdel Kader (1808-1883) was an international celebrity in his own time, known for his generosity and kindness even towards enemies. Today he is recognized as one of the noblest leaders of the 19th century and a pioneer in interfaith dialogue. This fascinating biography of the heroic Arab who led the resistance to the French conquest of Algeria, endured betrayal and imprisonment, and in 1860, in Syria, saved thousands of innocent people from mob violence brings a vital message for our times.

Egypt

Mara, Daughter of the Nile by Eloise Jarvis McGraw

Mara is a proud and beautiful slave girl who yearns for freedom. In order to gain it, she finds herself playing the dangerous role of double spy for two arch enemies – each of whom supports a contender for the throne of Egypt.

Iraq

Children of War: Voices of Iraqi Refugees by Deborah Ellis

The United States and its allies invaded Iraq seven years ago. Today the country is still at war, and no one can claim that true democracy has come. Four million Iraqis have been displaced, and about half of them, unable to flee the country, are now living in remote tent camps without access to schools, health care, or often even food and clean water. In Children of War, a companion title to Off to War: Voices of Soldiers’ Children, Deborah Ellis turns her attention to the most tragic victims of the Iraq war — Iraqi children. She interviews two dozen young people, mostly refugees living in Jordan, but also a few who are trying to build new lives in North America. Their frank and harrowing stories reveal inspiring resilience as the children try to survive the consequences of a war in which they play no part.

Jordan

Queen Noor: American-Born Queen of Jordan

A biography profiling the life of Queen Noor, the American-born queen of Jordan. Includes source notes and timeline.

Kuwait

Summer 1990

On August 2nd, Danah is ready to embark on the most fantastic vacation of her life–a visit to Disney World, when Iraq invades her country Kuwait. Overnight, her status changes from a spoiled wealthy girl to a homeless refugee. Stranded in New York with her uncle, Danah loses contact with her family in Kuwait. Would she ever see them again? Could she ever say, I’m sorry to her loving parents? Too anxious to wait for an international resolution to free her country, Danah stealthily returns to Kuwait and witnesses the horrors of war and destruction.

Lebanon


The Servant

Faten’s happy life in her village comes to an abrupt end when her father arranges for her to work as a maid for a wealthy Beirut family with two spoiled daughters. What does a bright, ambitious 17-year-old do when she is suddenly deprived of her friends, family, education, and freedom? Enlisting the help of Marwan, the mysterious, wealthy young man who lives in the next apartment building, Faten finally figures out how to pursue her studies in secret. Even against the uncertain backdrop of the civil war, their romance develops, as Marwan and Faten conspire to exchange notes and meet at an idyllic seaside café. But in Lebanese society the differences in religion, class, and wealth are stacked against them, and their parents have very different ideas about what their futures should be. An engaging and lucidly written coming-of-age novel.

Libya

The Shadows of Ghadames

In the Libyan city of Ghadames, Malika watches her merchant father depart on one of his caravan expeditions. She too yearns to travel to distant cities, and longs to learn to read like her younger brother. But nearly 12 years old, and soon to be of marriagable age, Malika knows that—like all Muslim women—she must be content with a more secluded, more limited life. Then one night a stranger enters her home . . . someone who disrupts the traditional order of things—and who affects Malika in unexpected ways.

Oman

The Turtle of Oman

Praised by the Horn Book as “both quiet and exhilarating,” this novel by the acclaimed poet and National Book Award Finalist Naomi Shihab Nye follows Aref Al-Amri as he says goodbye to everything and everyone he loves in his hometown of Muscat, Oman, as his family prepares to move to Ann Arbor, Michigan. This book was awarded a 2015 Middle East Book Award, was named a Notable Book by the American Library Association, and includes extra material by the author.

Aref does not want to leave Oman. He does not want to leave his elementary school, his friends, or his beloved grandfather, Sidi. He does not want to live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where his parents will go to graduate school. His mother is desperate for him to pack his suitcase—but he refuses. Finally, she calls Sidi for help. But rather than pack, Aref and Sidi go on a series of adventures. They visit the camp of a thousand stars deep in the desert, they sleep on Sidi’s roof, they fish in the Gulf of Oman and dream about going to India, they travel to the nature reserve to watch the sea turtles. At each stop, Sidi finds a small stone that he later slips into Aref’s suitcase—mementos of home.

This accessible, exquisite novel shines with gentle humor and explores themes of moving, family, nature, and immigration. Naomi Shihab Nye has created what Kirkus called “a warm and humorous peek at the profound and mundane details of moving from one country to another—a perfect pick for kids on the move.” Features black-and-white spot art and decorations by Betsy Peterschmidt.

Palestine

Code Name: Butterfly

With irony and poignant teenage idealism, Butterfly draws us into her world of adult hypocrisy, sibling rivalries, girlfriends’ power plays, unrequited love…not to mention the political tension of life under occupation. As she observes her fragile environment with all its conflicts, Butterfly is compelled to question everything around her. Is her father a collaborator for the occupiers? Will Nizar ever give her the sign she’s waiting for? How will her friendship with the activist Mays and the airhead Haya survive the unpredictable storms ahead? And why is ‘honour’ such a dangerous word, anyway?

Saudi Arabia

The Green Bicycle

Spunky eleven-year-old Wadjda lives in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia with her parents. She desperately wants a bicycle so that she can race her friend Abdullah, even though it is considered improper for girls to ride bikes. Wadjda earns money for her dream bike by selling homemade bracelets and mixtapes of banned music to her classmates. But after she’s caught, she’s forced to turn over a new leaf (sort of), or risk expulsion from school. Still, Wadjda keeps scheming, and with the bicycle so closely in her sights, she will stop at nothing to get what she wants.

Set against the shifting social attitudes of the Middle East, The Green Bicycle explores gender roles, conformity, and the importance of family, all with wit and irresistible heart.

Somalia

Through My Eyes

After being caught in Somalia’s horrific civil war, Zamzam escapes with her mother, sister, and brothers to America. But when she arrives, she learns that she has to deal with biases and stereotyping she isn’t prepared to handle. Zamzam dreams of making a difference in this world, and she wants to be seen as a person who has value.

Through My Eyes is a story of compassion, empathy, and the importance of eliminating stereotypes to promote social justice. Join eleven-year-old Zamzam as she navigates her way through her new country while embracing her Somali values.

Syria

A Hand Full of Stars

Amid the turmoil of modern Damascus, one teenage boy finds his political voice in a message of rebellion that echoes throughout Syria and as far away as Western Europe. Inspired by his dearest friend, old Uncle Salim, he begins a journal to record his thoughts and impressions of family, friends, life at school, and his growing feelings for his girlfriend, Nadia. Soon the hidden diary becomes more than just a way to remember his daily adventures; on its pages he explores his frustration with the government injustices he witnesses. His courage and ingenuity finally find an outlet when he and his friends begin a subversive underground newspaper. Warmed by a fine sense of humor, this novel is at once a moving love story and a passionate testimony to the difficult and committed actions being taken by young people around the world.

Tunisia

Benny and Omar

A comic novel in which hurling fanatic Benny is suddenly landed in Tunisia, where life becomes hectic when he meets Omar. The two boys beat the language problem in their own unique way.

Arab World

The Arab World Thought of It: Inventions, Innovations, and Amazing Facts

Ink-filled pens, mattresses, and bars of soap—these are only some of the inventions and innovations that have been passed down through the millennia from the peoples of Arab lands. Readers may be surprised to learn that they have also given us • the scalpel • planetariums • three-course meals As in the other titles in this series, The Arab World Thought of It uses stunning photos and well-researched information to provide an overview of contributions made in the fields of medicine, architecture, food, and education. Also included is a look at accomplishments in the areas of engineering, transportation, and oil production. Complete with maps, timeline, index, and a list of further reading, this book is an excellent starting point for the exploration of a thriving culture.

Feel free to visit my affiliate shop for list of more children and adult Arab books.  You can also find me on Goodreads.

Middle Eastern and North African Heritage Month | Multicultural Kid Blogs

Welcome to the second annual Middle Eastern and North African Heritage Month series from Multicultural Kid Blogs! Follow along all month long for great resources on teaching children about the heritage of this region, and link up your own posts below. You can also find even more resources on our North Africa and the Middle East Pinterest board:

August 8
A Crafty Arab on Multicultural Kid Blogs

August 12
Tara’s Multicultural Table on Multicultural Kid Blogs

August 15
Crafty Moms Share

August 22
All Done Monkey

August 31
A Crafty Arab

Link Up Your Posts!

Link up your posts on teaching kids about North African and Middle Eastern heritage!

 1. North-African-influenced aubergine salad 
 2. 5 Arab Olympic Winners – Multicultural Kid Blogs 
 3. Discover Libya – Multicultural Kid Blogs 
 4. Joy Sun Bear Celebrates Ramadan in Iran 
 5. Morocco for Kids: Gnawa Music 
 6. Morocco: 20 Facts for Kids 
 7. 5 Tips to De-Mystify Iran with Kids 
 8. A Weeknight Persian Picnic 
 9. A Child-Friendly Introduction to Iran 
 10. Books to help you explore the Middle East 
 11. 5 Kid-Friendly Dishes from Lebanon 
 12. A Child-Friendly Introduction to Lebanon 
 13. Moroccan Fall Recipes 
 14. Persian-Inspired Summer Treats 
 15. Egypt: Spiced Oranges 
 16. Egypt: Raspberry Lemon Cooler 
 17. Folktales from Iran 
 18. Children’s Books About Iran – All Done Monkey 
 19. Geology Activity: Iran’s Tectonic Plates 
 20. Children’s Books Middle East & North Africa 
 21. The Golden Age of Islam/Baghdad 
 22. Exploring Lebanon 
 23. Lebanese Music and Food 
 24. Exploring Iran with Food 
 25. Exploring Iran with Books & Music 
 26. The Story of Queen Esther — Exploring Iran 
 27. Al Kabsa — Exploring Saudi Arabia with Food 
 28. Exploring Egypt Date & Pyramids 
 29. Exploring Egypt 
 30. Qulugh Terkan Khatun of Kirman 
 31. Hatshepsut of Egypt 
 32. Kid Friendly Look at the Stories of Arabian Nights 
 33. Crafty Moms Share: Math from the Middle East 
 34. Persian Cinderella 
 35. The Golden Sandal 
 36. Exploring Morocco 
 37. Egyptian Cinderella 
 38. Egyptian Snow White 
 39. Moroccan Snow White 
 40. Algerian Snow White 
 41. Crafty Moms Share: Exploring Libya 
 42. Middle Eastern & North African Heritage Month-Soph 
 43. Read Around The Continents: The African Library Pr 
 44. Extension Activities for Mama Panya’s Pancakes: A 
 45. Discovering The World Through My Son’s Eyes: Disco 
 46. 5 Feel-Good Books About AfricaPragmaticMom : Pragm 
 47. Children’s Africana Book Awards and Kid Lit Blog H 
 48. Middle East Outreach Council Book AwardPragmaticMo 
 49. Mindfulness for Kids: Arabic Calligraphy 
 50. A Crafty Arab – Emirates Button Card Tutorial 
 51. A Crafty Arab – Morocco Flag Candy Dish Tutorial 
 52. A Crafty Arab – PomPom Kuwaiti Flag Tutorial 
 53. A Crafty Arab -Algeria Geometric Painting Tutorial 
 54. A Crafty Arab – Lebanese Cedar Bead Tree Tutorial 
 55. A Crafty Arab – Libyan Flag Egg Carton Tutorial 
 56. A Crafty Arab Palestine In My Heart T-shirt 
 57. A Crafty Arab – Bahraini Flag Crayon Holder 
 58. A Crafty Arab – Egyptian Water Bottle Tutorial 
 59. No Sew Pillow Tutorial {for Syrian Refugees} 
 60. A Crafty Arab – Tunisian Flag Bleach Tshirt 
 61. A Crafty Arab – Yemeni Flag Trivet Tutorial 
 62. 5 ways to teach Arab children cultural pride 
 63. A Crafty Arab – 8 Remarkable Arab Women Artists 

(Linkup closed)Create your own linkup for free

Allah Helps Me Grow Hand-print {Tutorial}

ACraftyArab Allah helps me grown handprintAllah is the Arabic word referring to God in the Abrahamic religions of Christianity, Islam and Judaism.

 

In Arabic, Allah is composed of four letters, ا ل ل ه (or Alif Lam Lam Ha, from right to left), which when brought together make الله.

 

When written in English, Allah has five letters, using A L L A H, written left to right.  Today my youngest made this adorable flower pot with her five fingers to write Allah in English.

 

We are going to place it in a frame and send it to her grandmother as a gift. She wanted to share the steps with other small children so they can try it themselves.

 

Supplies

Heart punch
Circle punch
Scissors
Marker
Sharpie
Double sided tape
Various colors of cardstock
ACraftyArab Allah helps me grown handprint1

First you’ll need to lay out your right hand on a green piece of cardstock and have a friend or parent trace it out for you.

ACraftyArab Allah helps me grown handprint2

Then you’ll need to cut out the hand.

ACraftyArab Allah helps me grown handprint3

Draw out a large pot for your hand stem to fit into and cut it out also.

ACraftyArab Allah helps me grown handprint4

Use your heart punch to cut out five hearts from different colors of cardstock.

ACraftyArab Allah helps me grown handprint5

You will also need five round centers for your flowers.

ACraftyArab Allah helps me grown handprint6

I helped my youngest write out the words “Allah helps me grow” and she went over them with a Sharpie to make them thicker and darker. You can get a grown up to help you with this, or do it yourself.ACraftyArab Allah helps me grown handprint7

Grab your double sided tape and place it on the back of the hand and then place it on a beige piece of cardstock. Tape and add your flower pot on top.

ACraftyArab Allah helps me grown handprint8

Place double sided tape on five of the hearts and arrange them into a circle shape to create a flower.  Add the small circle center to each flower.

ACraftyArab Allah helps me grown handprint9

Do the same with the rest of the flowers, placing one on each finger.

ACraftyArab Allah helps me grown handprint10

Now your beautiful handprint is ready to be added to a frame.

ACraftyArab Allah helps me grown handprint11

To enjoy more tutorials that celebrate Allah, please visit:

Melted Crayon Allah Art Tutorial

Tissue Paper Allah Framed Art Tutorial

Painters Tape Allah Canvas Art Tutorial

I Love Allah This Much Eid Card

Allah Monogram Button Art Tutorial

 

Be sure to check out ACraftyArab on Pinterest for more tutorials that celebrate the Arab world.

ACraftyArab Allah helps me grown handprintWP

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20+ Crafts to Celebrate Arab Summer Athletes {Resource}

The 2016 Summer Games have started in Brazil this week and these crafts celebrate those from the Arab world.  We are excited at our house to cheer on the 486 athletes who will represent our culture in 362 events.

Over the years, we have created over a dozen projects to celebrate these Middle East and North African (also called MENA) countries and we thought we’d share them with you.

Please feel free to visit some of these activities over the next two weeks to cheer on your favorite MENA country.

(Notes – 1- Kuwait has been suspended, however athletes from that country will be participating. 2 – We have created two Syria crafts for both flags and included here a project to help refugees.)

Start by dowloading some free printables to get to know the MENA countries that are members of the Arab League:

Arab League Countries Word Search {Free Printable}

Arab League Capitals Word Search {Printable}

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Algeria

Sports 13 * Athletes 68 * Events 53

Bahrain

Sports 4 * Athletes 35 * Events 21

Comoros

Sports 2 * Athletes 4 * Events 4

Djibouti

Sports 3 * Athletes 7 * Events 7

Egypt

Sports 24 * Athletes 122 * Events 88

Iraq

Sports 5 * Athletes 26 * Events 5

Jordan

Sports 6 * Athletes 8 * Events 8

Kuwait

Sports 0 * Athletes 0 * Events 0

Lebanon

Sports 7 * Athletes 9 * Events 9

Libya

Sports 6 * Athletes 7 * Events 7

Mauritania

Sports 1 * Athletes 2 * Events 2

Morocco

Sports 13 * Athletes 49 * Events 40

Oman

Sports 2 * Athletes 4 * Events 4

Palestine

Sports 4 * Athletes 6 * Events 6

Qatar

Sports 10 * Athletes 39 * Events 21

Saudi Arabia

Sports 5 * Athletes 12 * Events 12

Somalia

Sports 1 * Athletes 2 * Events 2

Sudan

Sports 3 * Athletes 6 * Events 6

Syria

Sports 5 * Athletes 7 * Events 7

Tunisia

Sports 18 * Athletes 61 * Events 48

United Arab Emirates

Sports 6 * Athletes 13 * Events 12

Yemen

Sports 3 * Athletes 4 * Events 4

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Stop by the Arab League Pinterest board for more fun projects from MENA.

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