The Arabic Quilt: An Immigrant Story by Aya Khalil
Pub Date: February 18th, 2020
That night, Kanzi wraps herself in the beautiful Arabic quilt her teita (grandma) in Cairo gave her and writes a poem in Arabic about the quilt. Next day her teacher sees the poem and gets the entire class excited about creating a “quilt” (a paper collage) of student names in Arabic. In the end, Kanzi’s most treasured reminder of her old home provides a pathway for acceptance in her new one.
This authentic story with beautiful illustrations includes a glossary of Arabic words and a presentation of Arabic letters with their phonetic English equivalents.
This is a picture book and I’m so so happy I was informed about this by the author and given the chance to read it through edelweiss+ (though this does not change my thoughts). This was an absolutely adorable, heartwarming story about a little girl that is new in school and deals with her classmates having to learn about her culture. This was a story of acceptance and beauty in different cultures and languages. It was wholesome and beautiful and I would definitely recommend this to anyone who believes in the acceptance of different cultures and wants to read something cute and happy! The art was beautiful and the story was too!
I would recommend this to any who enjoy a good picture book. I would also recommend this to any children who wish to see themselves represented in a wholesome, relatable way! I would definitely get this for any little cousins of mine or other children of the community because I know if I’d had something like this as a kid I would have felt more comfortable in my own skin!
That Can be Arranged by Huda Fahmy
Publication Date: March 10th, 2020
Chaperones, suitors, and arranged marriages aren’t only reserved for the heroines of a Jane Austen novel. They’re just another walk in the park for this leading lady, who is on a mission to find her leading lad. From the brilliant comics Yes, I’m Hot in This, Huda Fahmy tells the hilarious story of how she met and married her husband. Navigating mismatched suitors, gossiping aunties, and societal expectations for Muslim women, That Can Be Arranged deftly and hilariously reveals to readers what it can be like to find a husband as an observant Muslim woman in the twenty-first century.
So relevant in today’s evolving cultural climate, Fahmy’s story offers a perceptive and personal glimpse into the sometimes sticky but ultimately rewarding balance of independent choice and tradition.
I read Yes, I’m Hot in This in 2019 and it was so funny and relatable! I’ve been following Huda on instagram for a while and she had posted a sneak peek of this (featuring pac-man Huda, who is my favorite) and I couldn’t wait for it! I read this through Netgalley but it doesn’t change my thoughts about how perfect it is!
Huda does a phenomenal job of creating a fun and interesting narrative based on her own life while also making hilarious jokes and explaining about Islam. I obviously love her hilarious narration. I loved how relatable she made the story and even if it might not be related to my own experience at all times (I have yet to find my soulmate), Huda has a great disclaimer in the very beginning saying that Islam is not a monolith and that her experience shouldn’t be used as the only reference for all Muslims. I really appreciate how thoughtful Huda was when explaining all that. Not only was the storytelling brilliant, it also gave me hope for my own future and it gave me all happy vibes!
I would definitely would recommend this to anyone looking for a quick funny read while also learning about Islamic “dating”. If you enjoy hilarious and wholesome “meet cutes” and incredibly wholesome and relevant stories based on a Muslim woman’s experience, this is definitely something you should check out!