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.

Kofta Crescent Ring {Recipe}

Our family had friends over for dinner recently and I made kofta, a meatball type dish, commonly eaten from the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. To make my kofta a little more unusual, I placed it into pre-made crescent rolls shaped into a ring.

In Morocco, kofta is made in a tagine, while in Libya and Egypt, kofta might be shaped into cigar or finger sizes that can easily fit into sandwiches. Some in the Levent region, like Jordon or Palestine, might make kofta flattened into a tray or made into patties.

I have seen the crescent rings made before, from taco crescent rings to french dip crescent rings, but I had never seen one made from kofta.

I will have to admit the photos below are of our family’s second attempt. The first try tasted just the same, but did not look pretty. I figured out the secret and want to share it with you so you’ll enjoy this yummy dish at home too.

Ingredients

  • 2lbs ground beef
  • 1egg
  • 1cup bread crums
  • 3 or 4 cloves garlic
  • 1tsp sald
  • 2 1/2tsp ground sumac
  • 2tsp ground cumin
  • 1 1/2tsp red peper flakes
  • 1 1/2tsp paprika
  • 2 packages of Pillsbury Crescents

I started by getting the ring ready first. I placed all the crescent rolls in a circle, making sure the bottoms overlapped, with the points facing out.

Slice the garlic cloves and place them, along with all the other ingredients, into one bowl. Wash your hands and use them to mix everything. Kids love to do this part, so let them at it.

After everything is well mixed, shape the meat mixture into a circle on the crescent rolls.

Here is where I messed up on my first try, make sure the tips of the crescent rolls are tucked under. Bake at 350 for 30-35 minutes and your kofta crescent ring is ready to enjoy.

Let the kofta cool a little before cutting into it, but the lines of the rolls make it easy to size portions.

Our dinner table also included Moroccan stew, tabouleh, and pasta salad, along with a few other sides.

Be sure to stop by these other kid friendly foods from the MENA region

Eid Sprinkle Marshmallow Pops {Tutorial}

Sandwich Swap {Book Review} plus Hummus {Recipe}

Visit A Crafty Arab on Pinterest to see more posts about the Arab world & Muslim culture.


Children Books About Palestine {Resource}

Today is a big day in the United States government as a Palestinian woman & Somalian woman are sworn into office.

All over social media, people are celebrating this historical achievement from Rashida Tlaib (Democrat – Michigan) & Ilhan Omar (Democrate – Minnesota).

They are using the hashtag #TweetYourThobe and posting photos of themselves & family members in hijab or a thobe, the Arabic word for garment. also known as a long tunic:


ثَوْب

These articles of clothing are worn all over the Arab world, by men and women. They are traditionally ankle-length, and usually have long sleeves.

Rashida Tlaib wore a Palestinian thobe to the swearing in ceremony, while Illhan Omar wore a hijab, a type of head cover, both firsts in the House of Representatives.

Due to my job as an Arab cultural educator, I own a lot of Arab traditional attire for my appearances, including 4 thobes from Palestine. Be sure to follow A Crafty Arab on Twitter to see the photos of them.

I also see a number of them in the stories I read to children during my storytelling sessions at the public library.

Fresh off my book list two days ago of upcoming 2019 Arab & Muslim books, I thought I’d keep the book lists going with this compilation of books where children can find Palestinian thobes.

I’ll be putting one up about women in hijab soon.

XXX

Abdel-Fattah, Randa. Where the Streets Had A Name.

Abu Al-Hayyat, Maya. Blue Pool of Questions

Alareer, Refaat. Gaza Writes Back.

Alyan, Hala. Salt Houses.

Barakat, Ibtisam. Balcony on the Moon: Coming of Age in Palestine.

Barakat, Ibtisam. Tasting the Sky: A Palestinian Childhood.

Bashi, Golbarg. P is for Palestine: A Palestine Alphabet Book.

Ellis, Deborah. Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak.

Laird, Elizabeth. A Little Piece of Ground.

MacDonald,  Margaret Read. Tunjur! Tunjur! Tunjur!: A Palestinian Tale.

Marshood, Nabil. Palestinian: Teenage Refugees and Immigrants Speak Out.

Nye, Naomi Shihab. Habibi.

Nye, Naomi Shihab. Sitti and the Cats: A Tale of Friendship.

Nye, Naomi Shihab. Sitti’s Secrets.

Nye, Naomi Shihab. The Flag of Childhood: Poems from the Middle East.

Robinson, Anthony & Annemarie Young. Young Palestinians Speak: Living Under Occupation.

Shelo, Jameeleh. Laith the Lion Goes to Palestine.

Taghreed Najjar. Who Hid the Eid Lamb?

An added bonus: We reviewed Who Hid The Eid Lamb & made a bookmark, stop by to see the tutorial

XXX

Be sure to visit the Education page to see more books that teach about the Arab world & Muslim culture.

99 Arab Children Books

99 Muslim Children Books