Many schools in our area of Seattle will be closed for Veteran’s Day so I created a one day Arab Culture Camp to give parents an educational option for a place to send their kids.
I had created a one week Arab Cultural Camp for the summer, but condensed the activities to one day, plus added a few more.
Camp is $80 per child, with a discount for siblings, from the hours of 9am – 3pm and is held in an art studio.
Our day will start by making Arabic camp name tags. The kids will have a list of funny Arabic camp names to pick from. After we get to know each other a little better, we will write each camper’s real name in Arabic for them on a canvas. Then we will help them cover their name, creating negative space to paint, very similar to our khatam and Allah painters tape projects.
Since we will already have the paints out, we will move on to our next craft, painting Arab world rocks.
After we clean up the paints, we’ll move on to the kitchen to make a man’ousheh snack. Each camper will eat the lunch they brought from home while we wait for them to bake.
Once lunch is over, we will spend a little time looking at books with Arab protagonists and depending on the child’s age, have a story time or allow for quite reading. We will also have materials out so the campers can make their own punch art bookmarks.
Our day will end making shrinky dink with Arab shapes, symbols & designs into buttons, charms or keychains. For the older kids, we will also do a little tatreez lesson, that includes a project to take home.
We hope you can join us for this special one day event. Please email ACraftyArab at gmail dot com for an application & to hold your spot.
If you’d like to have your own private Arab culture camp at home, be sure to stop by A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more fun tutorials to teach you about the Arab world.
This list of books with disabled Muslim children was created to celebrate the Palestinian American Maysoon Zayid’s upcoming Seattle comedy show.
Maysoon Zayid is a Muslim from New Jersey with cerebral palsy. She is an actress, comedian and activist. Her TED Talk, “I Got 99 Problems, Palsy Is Just One” (2014) is one of the most-watched TED Talks ever.
Zayid tries to spend three months a year in the Palestinian territories, running an arts program, Maysoon’s Kids, for disabled and orphaned children in refugee camps. She helps the children use art to deal with trauma and bridge the gap between disabled and non-disabled children. Eighty percent of the funding for the camps comes from her comedy work.
When I met Maysoon in 2006, I was producing the Seattle Arab Festival and had brought her, along with Ahmed Ahmed, Aron Kader, and Dean Obeidallah, for a comedy show. It was the first time that I had heard of an organization working specifically with disabled kids in the Arab world and immediately sent her art supplies to use. She has seen been to Seattle other times & it is always a great night out to see her perform.
Because of Maysoon, I’ve become much more aware of stocking my book shelves with books for my children that feature disabled Muslim protagonist or were written by Muslim authors who write about disability. I wanted to share a few below.
Award-winning author and designer Shaila Abdullah teams up with her 10-year-old daughter Aanyah to bring you this heartwarming tale of a little girl who forms a close bond with a child with cerebral palsy. The girl finds that through her art, she can reach her special friend Suhana.
Inspired by all the differences that I have learned, I wrote this book. I believe we are different in a way or another, we are all different in someone’s eyes. So, we have to work on our inclusivity, coexistence, and acceptance for others. We can’t add up to someone personal struggles, we can’t make people battle because of the way they look, their skin color, their curly hair, their mental abilities, where they came from or the faith they believe. Why? because this is humanity and life and how it works.
From bestselling author and educator Umm Juwayriyah — a
story told by a big sister who learns coping skills to befriend and lead her
autistic younger sister. “You see, my sister Hind has Autism. And I know
that sounds like a really big word, but it’s not. Autism just means that Allah
made her to learn and act and think differently than other kids her age.”
In the story Hind’s Hands, big sister Juwayriyah learns just how special her
younger sister is, despite the challenging behaviors that she often has to deal
with. Author Umm Juwayriyah collaborates with her oldest daughter, Juwayriyah
Ayed on this book to help spread awareness about Autism.
Basant is here, with feasts and parties to celebrate the
arrival of spring. But what Malik is looking forward to most is doing battle
from his rooftop with Falcon, the special kite he has built for speed. Today is
Malik s chance to be the best kite fighter, the king of Basant. In two fierce
battles, Malik takes down the kites flown by the bully next door. Then Malik
moves on, guiding Falcon into leaps, swirls, and dives, slashing strings and
plucking kites from the sky. By the end of the day, Malik has a big pile of
captured kites. He is the king! But then the bully reappears, trying to take a
kite from a girl in the alley below. With a sudden act of kingly generosity,
Malik finds the perfect way to help the girl. This lively, contemporary story
introduces readers to a centuries-old festival and the traditional sport of
kite fighting, and to a spirited, determined young boy who masters the sport
while finding his own way to face and overcome life s challenges.
Nujeen’s charming and authentic voice shines from page one
of this story about a sixteen-year-old girl with cerebral palsy forced to flee
Aleppo during the civil war. There are many books that chronicle the experience
of Syrian refugees, but Nujeen faces special challenges as her sister pushes
her wheelchair from Turkey to Germany, crossing the Mediterranean and finding
both help and horror along the way. Nujeen is smart, funny, and relatable, and
readers will enjoy her fresh perspective.
This unique book has been chosen to be on the outstanding
list of books for young people with disabilities by IBBY . It is the product of
an artistic and expression workshop for 12 students with Learning disabilities
from Step together Association. Each student narrated and illustrated his story
with the help of professionals. Topics vary from academic struggles, to social
issues and even dreams. It is also Dyslexia Friendly in order to make it
accessible to slow readers.
This book explores portrayals and predicaments of the disabled in Arab/Muslim post colonial North African and Middle Eastern societies in genres ranging from classical Arabic scripture to secular popular culture including Francophone Moroccan and Algerian fiction, Egyptian Middle Eastern film, as well as Tunisian song and television. In line with theorists Aijaz Ahmad and Ato Quayson’s objection to reading Third World literature as “national allegory,” The author argues that rather than being metaphors or allegories, disabled characters represent persons with disabilities in their culture and act as a mirror upon their changing societies. Contemporary Maghrebians and Muslims with disabilities find themselves at an intersection of conflicting and competing cultures, their native Islamic culture and Westernizing lifestyles. In the rush to import everything Western, despite humanitarian Islamic teachings regarding the disabled, are often abandoned. In situations of fundamentalist menace, the disabled, who tend to be the most vulnerable and abused fraction of Arab/Muslim society, suffer the worst, especially women.