Category Archives: Middle East Outreach Council

Shooting Kabul

Shooting KabulTwelve-year-old Fadi and his family are illegally leaving Afghanistan for asylum in the U.S. in 2001. As they hurriedly board the escape truck, Fadi’s six-year-old sister Mariam lets go of his hand and is lost. As the Taliban is patrolling, there is no going back. They arrive in San Francisco to begin anew, but they are heart-broken and are constantly searching for Mariam. Fadi joins and finds comfort in the photography club at his middle school, with the hope that he can win a photo competition. The prize is a trip to India. Since Afghanistan is close to India, he thinks he can go there and find his sister. Fadi’s family also has to deal with the September 11 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center. Kids at school assume Fadi is responsible for what happened and make him fearful and miserable. A clever and satisfying ending will encourage readers to move on to the Glossary, Author’s Note, Suggestions for Further Reading, and Reading Guide. A map is also included. This story about family relationships, with realistic detail about the immigrant experience and Afghani (particularly Pukhtun) culture, is based on the author’s husband’s personal history of fleeing his home in Soviet controlled Afghanistan in the 1970s. One note: “shooting” in the title is a reference to photography, and not violence. mjw
Title: Shooting Kabul
Author: N.H. Senzai
Publisher
: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Copyright
: 2010
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-4424-0194-2
Hardcover pages
: 273
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: San Francisco.  Afghanistan
Author’s residence
: U.S.  Has lived in Saudi Arabia and England.
Awards
: 2010 Middle East Outreach Book Award for Youth Literature, 2011 CBC/NCSS Notable Children’s Book
Subjects
: Afghan-Americans, Bravery, California, Cameras, Emigration, Immigration, Love, Perseverance, Photography, Prejudice, Tolerance

Where The Streets Had A Name

Where the Streets Had a NameThirteen-year-old Palestinian Hayaat and her family have been uprooted from their home and are living behind the Israeli-built Separation Wall in Bethlehem on the occupied West Bank. She and her soccer-loving, Christian friend Sami decide to journey across the wall to Jerusalem, with an empty hummus jar, to get a handful of soil from her ailing grandmother’s beloved ancestral home. It is only a few miles, but checkpoints, curfews, barriers, and the permit system make crossing the border dangerous. They encounter armed soldiers, an Israeli peace activist couple, fellow travelers, and a young boy who needs a friend. Humor and a loving family keep the story light despite the violence, anguish, and suspense in the realistic 2004 war zone setting. This fascinating and heart-breaking story does end on a hopeful note.   A Glossary enhances the understanding of Arabic words used throughout the novel, which was written by the acclaimed author of the young adult novel Does My Head Look Big in This? mjw
Title: Where The Streets Had A Name
Author: Randa Abdel-Fattah
Publisher
: Scholastic Press, New York
Copyright
: 2010
Original Language
: English
Original Publisher
: Pan Macmillan, Australia
Original Copyright
: 2008
ISBN
: 978-0-545-17292-9
Hardcover pages
: 313
Age range
: 10-13
Genre
: Fiction
Book setting
: Jerusalem, Israel.  Bethlehem, West Bank, Palestine
Author’s ethnicity
: Palestinian and Egyptian heritage
Author’s residence
: Sydney, Australia
Awards
: 2011 Middle East Outreach Council Youth Literature Award
Subjects
: Arab-Israeli conflict, Grandmothers, Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Palestinian Arabs

Golden Domes And Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book Of Colors

Golden DomesThis informative color-concept book captures the vibrant world of Islam. A red prayer rug, a blue hijab, orange henna designs, and a green Quran are some of the elements that make up the world of the young female narrator’s faith. The short rhyming text is supplemented by beautiful illustrations that hint of fabric collage and photography, and are influenced by Islamic art. A Glossary with pronunciations completes this introduction to the culture and religion. mjw
Title: Golden Domes And Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book Of Colors
Author: Hena Khan
Illustrator
: Mehrdokht Amini
Publisher
: Chronicle Books
Copyright
: 2012
Original Language
: English
ISBN
: 978-0-8118-7905-7
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 3-6
Genre
: Picture Book
Author’s ethnicity
: Pakistani-American
Author’s residence
: U.S.
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Grew up in Iran
Illustrator’s residence
: England
Awards
: 2013 Middle East Outreach Council Book Award – Honorable Mention
Subjects
: Colors, Hijab, Holidays, Islam customs and practices, Muslims, Stories in rhyme

Razia’s Ray Of Hope: One Girl’s Dream of An Education

Razia's Ray of Hope Book Cover When young Razia learns that there will be a new school for girls in her Afghan village, she is determined to attend.  Her baba gi (grandfather) supports her, but her father and brothers refuse to give her permission.  The school’s founder assures them that Razia will be safe and that allowing her to go to school will be for the good of the family, the village, and the country.  The book is a fictionalized account of the building of the Zabuli Education Center, a school for girls in the Afghan village of Deh’Subz.  The story is enhanced by photo, fabric, and drawing collage.  Illustrations capture the beauty and harsh realities of the small village.  Background information on the lack of girls’ education worldwide; a brief biography of Razia Jan, the school’s founder; a glossary; and classroom activities accompany this powerful book. mjw
Title: Razia’s Ray Of Hope: One Girl’s Dream Of An Education
Author: Elizabeth Suneby
Illustrator
: Suana Verelst
Publisher
: Kids Can Press Ltd.
Copyright
: 2013
Original language
: English
ISBN
: 978-1-55453-816-4
Hardcover pages
: 32
Age range
: 8-12
Genre
: Picture Book
Book setting
: Afghanistan
Author’s residence
: United States
Illustrator’s ethnicity
: Belgian
Illustrator’s residence
: Canada
Awards
: 2014 USBBY Outstanding International Book List, 2014 Jane Addams Children’s Book Award Honor, 2014 South Asia Book Award, 2014 Middle East Outreach Council Book Award
Subjects
: Afghanistan, Girl’s educations, Southern Asia