Friday, January 20, 2012

Recommended Picture Book: My Name Is Sangoel

Title: My Name is Sangoel

Author: Karen Lynn Williams, Khadra Mohammed

Age: 7 – 9 years

Publisher: Eerdmans: June 1, 2009

Theme/Topics: self-identity and belonging, refugee, new home/country, making new friends, loss/loneliness.

Don’t worry, the wise one said as Sangoel prepared to the leave the refugee camp. “You carry a Dinka name. It is the name of your father and of your ancestors before him.
     The wise man hugged him and Sangoel could feel his bones in his thin arms. “Remember, you will always be a Dinka. You will be Sangoel. Even in America.”

     Sangoel is a refugee. Leaving behind his homeland of Sudan, where his father died in the war, he has little to call his own other than his name, a Dinka name handed down proudly from his father and grandfather before him.

     When Sangoel and his mother and sister arrive in the United States, everything seems very strange and unlike home. In this busy, noisy place, with its escalators and television sets and traffic and snow, Sangoel quietly endures the fact that no one is able to pronounce his name. Lonely and homesick, he finally comes up with an ingenious solution to this problem, and in the process he at last begins to feel at home.

Why I like this book: I love books where the main character, the child, can identify their problem and then solve their problem. Most times I think adults do not give children the credit they deserve and opportunity to shine. In this story, Sangoel does just that. He shines. A Dinka refugee from Sudan, Sangoel has nothing but his mother, sister and his name. A name he is proud of. But it is also a name no one can pronounce correctly. Most immigrants I know change their names to something easy, more American. But not Sangoel. He finds a fun and creative way to keep his Dinka name and pride while teaching others how to say his name correctly. In fact, I was not pronouncing his name right as I read the book until I got to the end and say OOOOOHHHHH! That’s how you say it!!! J

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

In The News: A New Kind of Cookbook & Book Giveaway

Good morning to everyone on this snowed in day! Yep, Seattle is getting her fair share of the snow dump to my dismay. I have a wedding to get to this evening and I am on set duty around noon, not sure if I will even be able to make it :(

But that is not what I am here to talk about on this snow covered day. As the pic above says, there is a new cookbook in town!!!! And, yours truly has a couple of family recipes and food related stories included! :D I'm so excited to share some of my mom's fun cooking with the world and some of the stories that lead to said recipes. For example, you will find out why for a good 10+ years my family became vegetarians and tuna became the main meat staple in the house :D Try out a variety of recipes from various cultures around the world.

Serving Up Faith is on sale now but I am giving away two copies! Fill out the form below for a chance to win a print copy of Serving Up Faith!

Serving Up Faith
Islamic Writers Alliance
ISBN: 978-0-9819770-7-2
242 pages
Price: $14.95

Buy direct from the publisher here or from Amazon here

Friday, January 13, 2012

Good Deed Friday

Teach your children the importance of Charity. Parents must lead by example. If your children see you giving charity, they will learn and become generous as they grow older and charity will be second nature to them. Every week I will post ideas of how children (and adults) can give charity. These ideas will include fun activities that the whole family can enjoy doing together. I will also highlight organizations that you and your family can join and partake in their quest to ease the burdens and sufferings of the less fortunate.

Monday, January 9, 2012

The Trouble with Eavesdropping(spying)

What is Eavesdropping?

Eavesdropping/spying is the act of secretly listening to the private conversation of others without their knowledge and permission. Eavesdropping is wrong and no one likes for others to listen in one their private conversations. It can cause friendships to break and hurt feelings. In fact, it is strictly forbidden in Islam. 

It is narrated in al-Saheehayn from Abu Hurayrah that the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) said: ‘Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the falsest of speech. Do not eavesdrop; do not spy on one another; do not envy one another; do not forsake one another; do not hate one another. Be, O slaves of Allaah, brothers.”
Al-Bukhaari, 5144; Muslim, 2563. 

Hujurat {49:12}
"O you who believe! avoid most of 
suspicion, for surely suspicion in some cases is a sin, and do not spy nor let some of you backbite others. Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? But you abhor it; and be careful of (your duty to) Allah, surely Allah is Oft-returning (to mercy), Merciful."

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Organization Spot Light: Islamic Writers Alliance

 Catch the Spirit…Be a Muslim Champion

We Are Muslim Champions Serving Allah
We Work For The Benefit Of Muslims
We are Champions of Literacy for Muslim Children, Youth, and Teens
We Are Champions of Creative Writing for Muslim Students
We Are Champions for Islamic School Libraries
We are Champions for Aspiring Muslim Writers Striving to Become Published

The Islamic Writers Alliance Inc. (IWA) is a USA based professional Muslim non-profit organization with an international membership. It was founded in 2004. Members include published and aspiring writers, editors, artists, publishers, journalists, playwrights, web designers, retailers, and marketing consultants. The IWA is an inclusive organization and welcomes adult Muslim men and women of all races, ethnicities, linguistic backgrounds, abilities, and creeds.

IWA's purpose is to promote literacy world-wide. The IWA has established successful programs designed to meet the established goals and purpose of the organization.

One of IWA's well known programs is the yearly book award of fiction and non-fiction books to Islamic school libraries (20 schools to date :D)

Give your support to a Muslim non-profit organization that works to benefit our Muslim kids! Donate here.