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A is for Arabia (forthcoming)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because it guides readers through Arabia in a charming alphabet rhyme. Expressive full colour illustrations complement the witty lines of each rhyme. From visiting a souq filled with sacks of spices to climbing up a high jebel with Jameela, readers are taken on an exciting journey through the land, as they meet its people and are introduced to its customs. Suitable as a reading book for ages 7-10, or as a picture book for younger children, the rhymes and illustrations in A is for Arabia will delight and fascinate children from all parts of the world. Reviewed by Stacey International, 04/2003.

Citation: Johnson, Julia and illustrated by Emily Styles.

Media Type: Book

A Life Like Mine

Posted by: globaledadmin on Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Life Like Mine tells the story of how children live around the world through four themes:  survival, development, protection, participation.  Excellent images and text suitable for upper elementary and middle school students. Truly has a global perspective. Includes many visuals and maps.

Is is published by UNICEF.

Media Type: Book

Favorite Icon

A Treasury of Turkish Folktales for Children (1988) (Turkish)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because the book contains the retelling of many Turkish folktale classics. The thirty-four stories contained in this book are excellent for elementary and middle school teachers to use in a World literature or World cultures curriculum unit. Perfect for story time or for classroom reading practice. Reviewed by Jennifer Nichols, 05/2002.

Citation: Walker, Barbara.

Media Type: Book

Afghan Caravan (1991)

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Recommended because it is the telling of history rich in adventure, tradition and wisdom. How did this third world country come to win three wars against the British Empire and precipitate the breakup of the Soviet Union, the superpower? Here is a collection of writings that takes the reader on a spellbinding journey through narratives from a Pathan princess, heroic stories, Mulla Nasrudin (Joha in the Arab World) jokes, recipes and more. Revealed is a magnificent culture, hidden from the history books, contributing to the human story in ways most Westerners are never aware of. Outside of our geographic area (Arab World) but within the context of the world of Islam. A valuable tool for incorporating the culture of the new wave of Middle Eastern immigrants — our Afghan students and their families. Recommended for 7th-12th Grades, Social Studies. Ordering information available on the AWAIR ordering site. Reviewed by AWAIR.

Citation: Shah, Safia.

Media Type: Book

Afghan Tales (1991)

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Recommended because it gives a soviet perspective on the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. The stories are fictional but based in historical fact. Available from the Middle East Studies Center Resource Library, contact Mary Beth Benecke for ordering information. Reviewed by Jennifer Nichols, 07/2003.

Citation: Yermakov, Oleg.

Media Type: Book

Albalagh Home Page

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because Recommended for elementary school teachers looking for primary sources to use in the classroom. Start by clicking on Children. This entire section of the site is devoted to Children and understanding Islamic practices through Muslim children’s point of view, concise History of Islam included. Be aware of the fact that some of the material found on this site is religiously biased since it is maintained by an Islamic group. Reviewed by Jennifer Nichols, 12/2002.

Aleph-Bet Telethon: Discovering The Hebrew Letters (1999)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because of its teaching children the Hebrew alphabet through the famous characters of Sesame Street. Topics and materials: The next time someone says, “Can you tell me how to get to Sesame Street?” you’ll be able to answer. In Hebrew. Bert and Ernie, Grover, Cookie Monster and Elmo are off on a magical tour of Israel. So grab hold of the nearest hand and come along for the fun! Thrill to the sounds of your Sesame Street pals as they speak Hebrew and English! And make new friends with Jerry Stiller as he explores the people, places, traditions, and culture of Israel. Shalom Sesame. Like a picture postcard that not only wishes you were here, it takes you right along! Show 9 ? Aleph-Bet Telethon. The street signs have gone blank. The newspapers have no print. Can it be? Have the letters on Israel’s Sesame Street all disappeared? Tune in for a terrific telethon when Jerry Stiller and Kippi ben Kippod, Israel’s peppiest porcupine, try to raise all 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet! Watch Joan Rivers, Nell Carter, Jeremy Miller, Tracy Gold, and Itzhak Perlman as they call in special letter donations. Even Moishe Oofnik and his Sesame Street cousin, Oscar the Grouch, lend a hand-sort of. And don’t touch that dial: there’s down-to-the-wire suspense as everyone tries to find the last missing letter. Available through the Middle Eastern Studies Center at the University of Arizona. (See Overview-Centers for more information.) Children’s Television Workshop. Reviewed by the Middle Eastern Studies Center at the University of Arizona, 4/29/02.

Media Type: Media

Alia’s Mission: Saving the Books of Iraq

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Recommended because it received the 2005 Middle East Book award by the Middle East Outreach Council. Start by reading the Amazon.com review.

Citation: Mark Alan Stamaty Knopf Books for Young Readers (December 14, 2004)

Media Type: Book

Alif is for Asad!

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Recommended because with its catchy songs and colorful graphics “Alif is for Asad” teaches and reinforces the correct identification and pronunciation of the letters in the Arabic alphabet. Video includes 6 parts: Zoo Trip teaches students the 28 letters of the Arabic alphabet and the vocabulary of 28 animals; Animal Words elaborates on the animal words of Zoo Trip; Funny Formations teaches the different shapes of the Arabic alphabet; Letters in Space reinforces the letter shapes learned in Funny Formations; ‘Phabulous’ Phonics concentrates on the proper pronunciation of each Arabic letter; and Arabic Achievement introduces students to Arabic Grammar. Excellent for all age groups learning Arabic or being introduced to Middle East or Muslim cultures. 30 minutes. Reviewed by Astrolabe Pictures and Jennifer Nichols, 02/2003.

Media Type: Media

Amoo Norooz: And Other Persian Stories (2000) (Persian)

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Recommended because Amoo Norooz is the story of the coming of the Persian new year, Norooz, which begins on the twenty-first of March, the first day of spring. Norooz is celebrated in Iran (Persia), Afghanistan, countires around the Persian Gulf, Turkey, parts of China, among the Parsi’s in India, and some former Soviet Republics such as Tajikistan, Uzbakistan, and Azerbaijan, to name a few. Like Santa Clause, who symbolizes Christmas and New Year for the Christians, Amoo Norooz is the symbol of the New Year for the Persians and those nations who have been influenced by the Persian civilization throughout history. This is one of the oldest tales passed down from generation to generation, keeping the tradition of Persian New Year alive. Because of the importance of this story, the publisher decided to print it in a bilingual, English-Persian, format. Reviewed by Publisher.

Citation: Jabbari, Ahmad.

Media Type: Book

Ancient Egypt

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because of its usefulness for K-6 educators developing a teaching unit on Ancient History, Egyptian Culture, the Middle East, and/or Global Culture Strengths of this site — excellent lessons on Ancient Egyptian Life, which can be used in the classroom or as a fun homework assignment, Temples link has brief, concise explanations of the Egyptian gods as well as accessible vocabulary explanations. One of the best sites for K-6 grades for an introduction to the Middle East teaching unit. Reviewed by Jennifer Nichols, 11/2002.

Ancient Israel & Canaan (Penn)

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Recommended because of its information on Ancient Israel & Canaan. This site was created for educational purposes and includes activities for school-age children. Topics and materials land-time, daily-life, economy,and religion. On any of these pages you can find to links to a glossary, bibliography, and suggested activities created for kids 8-12 years old. Land -Time includes a map, climate, chronology, excavations, and archaeology. Daily-Life includes bread, weaving, animals, storage, personal identity, writing, and warfare. The Economy link includes labor & crafts, trade, and Phoenicians. Religion includes religion of The Bronze Age, The Iron Age, and death. Reviewed by April Lukacsko, 4/14/02.

Ancient Mesopotamia (Ancient Civilizations for Children Series) Documentary

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because it is an excellent resource for primary through middle school grades. “Join archeologist Arizona Smith and his young detective-in-training as they delve into the clues of the past to unlock mysteries of the world’s ancient civilizations… Today, the land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers is a barren desert. But centuries ago, this area in modern-day Iraq and southern Syria was known as Mesopotamia, a fertile plain that served as home to some of the earliest civilizations. Discover the Sumerian civilization, the first to successfully irrigate the region, form a government, and develop a written language. The program explores other civilizations that formed following the demise of the Sumerians – the warlike Assyrians and the prosperous Babylonians, who invaded Jerusalem under King Nebuchadnezzar.” 23 minutes. Reviewed by Schlessinger Media and Jennifer Nichols, 02/2003.

Media Type: Media

Arab Children Friends Association (ACFA)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because of its usefulness for K-6 educators looking for information on Palestinian children in the occupied territories. Strengths of this site — wonderful selection of games and jokes (in Arabic and English) and a description of youth activities for Israeli and Palestinian children. Reviewed by Jennifer Nichols, 12/2002.

Arabian Fairy Tales

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Recommended because it is a selection of 4 fairy tales from the Middle East, including “Sasha, Mansor and the Storks,”
“The Three Brothers and the Fairy,” “The Princess and the Mouse Yunus,” and the “Well of Sweetness.”Start by reading any of the stories. Linking to the main site, Tales of Wonder , will give you fairy tales from other world regions. Be aware of the main website warns, “Please note: not every story in this site is appropriate for all ages of children. It is recommended that responsible grownups preview the tales before sharing them with children.”

Astrolabe Islamic Media

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because it can be used as a reference for books, movies, videos and music available to teachers for ordering products for classroom use. Start by clicking on New for Kids where specific materials for kids are available and the materials themselves have excellent cultural value. Reviewed by Jennifer Nichols, 05/2002.

AWAIR – Arab World and Islamic Resources

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Recommended because of its usefulness for K-12 teachers looking for resources on the Arab and Islamic world. Strengths of this site — guides available for teachers to use in the classroom on teaching about the Arab world, lesson plans and workshops, literature suggestions for use in the K-12 classroom. Start by clicking on shopping to view all the resources (books, vidoes, etc.) available. Be aware of the fact that it takes up to 12 weeks to receive products ordered from this site. Reviewed by Jennifer Nichols, 07/2003.

Aziz the Storyteller

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because this enchanting children’s book tells a tale of a young boy who loves stories; a weary old man wishing to pass on his magic; and a small faded carpet exchanged for a donkey. This story weaves itself in and out of carpets, marketplaces, tales and magic, succeeding in creating a tapestry to delight children and adults alike. Vi Hughes is well equipped to write this tale, being a parent, educator and student of children’s literature. Stefan Czernecki is an acclaimed children’s books illustrator, and adds visual impact to Aziz the Storyteller through his apt illustrations. Reviewed by Stacey International.

Citation: Hughes, Vi and illustrated by Stefan Czernecki

Media Type: Book

Between Heaven and Hell: The Story of a Thousand Years of Artistic Life in Russia

Posted by: globaledadmin on

Recommended because Recommended as a highly readable account of the entire sweep of Russian literature and the fine arts which is accessible to the non-specialist. Available from Amazon.com as a used book, both in hardback and paperback editions at different prices. Reviewed by Bill Wolf, May 2002; updated August 2003.

Citation: W. Bruce Lincoln, Viking Penguin (1998)

Media Type: Book

Children of Heaven Fiction

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Recommended because it is a triumphant prize winner at many prestigious film festivals. This uplifting, crowd-pleasing story of family and love was also nominated for an Academy Award as Best Foreign Language Film! When Ali loses his sister Zahra’s school shoes, this young pair dream up a plan to stay out of trouble: they’ll share his shoes and keep it a secret from their parents! But if they’re going to successfully cover their tracks, Ali and Zahra must carefully watch their step on what rapidly turns into a funny and heartwarming adventure. Directed by Hassan Hassandoust, Produced by The Institute for the Intellectual Development of Children and Young Adults. 83 minutes. Available through Arab Film Distribution. Reviewed by Buena Vista Home Entertainment and Jennifer Nichols, 02/2003

Media Type: Media

Children’s Encyclopaedia of Arabia

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Recommended because The Children’s Encyclopaedia of Arabia brings together a wealth of knowledge for younger readers to share with a parent or to peruse on their own. Deft organisation, skillful selection, and vivid illustration, under the editorial direction of an encyclopaedist whose professional life has been devoted to teaching the young in the region. This work is an irreplaceable asset for the informative delight of the young, such as casts light on all that they see and hear around them.This encyclopaedia provides a fascinating insight into both the history and modern day life of the region that will appeal to all ages, despite its obvious target audience.- The Middle East Magazine Reviewed by Stacey International 04/2003.

Citation: Beardwood, Mary

Media Type: Book

Chinese Personal Names

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Recommended because of a comprehensive look at names in China, where there are more styles of personal names than anywhere else in the world. Includes the requirements the Chinese take into consideration in choosing names, rules and taboos, famous names. Recommended for middle school/high school. Reviewed from Chinese Tapes on-line catalog.

Citation: Yegao, Ning & Yun, Ning $14.95.

Media Type: Book

Color Me Egypt

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Recommended because it is an excellent kid’s web source that provides great short fiction stories about Egypt, histories of Egypt and games.. All for kids! Start by going through the archives of the kid’s section from Tour Egypt Monthly magazine. Each issue has games, crafts and educational material for kids.

Education World – Middle East

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because of it usefulness for elementary educators looking for a variety of information on the Middle East to use as resources in the classroom. Strengths of this site: Middle East is categorized by area and by topic, designed for educators and may be a site already utilized for other topics; good combination of cultural, political, and social information. Be aware of the fact that links are not updated frequently and may not always work – if this is the case, the name of the organization can be searched for on the web. Reviewed by Jennifer Nichols, 11/2002.

Egyptian Cinderella

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because it tells the story of an Egyptian Cinderella. Appropriate for ages 4-8. The setting may be exotic and the glass slippers may have been replaced by leather ones with toes of rose-red gold, but this is a story no child could fail to recognize. Climo’s intriguing variation on the Cinderella tale is based on a combination of fact (there was indeed a Greek slave girl named Rhodopis who married the Pharaoh Amasis), and fable–in this case, Egyptian. A trio of uppity servant girls assume the roles of the wicked stepsisters, a kindly master serves as the fairy godmother (to provide the slippers) and a handsome pharoah steps in as Prince Charming. The foreign locale comes complete with lotus flowers, a hippo, a great falcon (symbol of the Egyptian sky god Horus) and, of course, the River Nile. Climo hits just the right note in her imaginative retelling of the fairy tale. The text is incorporated in the design of Heller’s stylized illustrations with their appropriately lush colors. Reviewed by Publisher’s Weekly. Be aware of the fact that this is not an authenic traditional Egyptian folktale but can be used to establish a link with cultures that might seem foreign to American children.

Citation: Climo, Shirley and Heller, Ruth (Illustrator) HarperCollins Children’s Books, 1991

Media Type: Book

Farsinet

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because it is a primary source material on Christian Iranians inside and outside of Iran and its alternative perspective on the Iranian community and culture. Topics and materials include arts & collectibles, business, city home pages, culture, entertainment, family matters, Farsi, history, literature, music, organizations, poetry, religion, services, and legal information. Start by looking over Art & Collectibles, History, and Music links. Be aware of Be aware this is a site for Christians and may contain some biased materials; also, some links do not work, but the site is updated frequently. This resource was originally recommended by the University of Texas. Reviewed by Jennifer Nichols, 07/2003. Melek Oyman Last Modified: 20/07/2004

Favorite! Akhlah: Jewish Children’s Learning Network

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Recommended because of its usefulness for elementary educators looking for original sources on Judaism, Jewish and Israeli culture. Strengths of this site — entire site is made for children ages 5 to 12, Jewish calendar highlighting all the Jewish holidays with dates and religious significance explained. Start by clicking on Learn About Israel for excellent information on learning about Israel and Israeli history, a Torah Timeline (good for learning about religion). There is also a Hebrew language learning section specifically for young children! Reviewed by Jennifer Nichols, 12/2002.

Favorite! Scholastic: Reporting From Iraq

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Recommended because of its information on Iraq and Iraqi Chilren for elementary educators. Strengths of this site — information is clear and concise, well-rounded emphasis on the entire region, features latest news, maps can be copied and printed for classroom use, and additional articles on Saudi Arabia, Oman and UAE give better insight to the entire region. Start by reviewing the Lesson plans under Teacher Lesson Helper.

Fizza the Flamingo

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because it tells the story of Fizza the pink flamingo who lives on the salt flats of Dubai behind the high skyscrapers and busy highway. One day she sets off into the desert to escape the noise and bustle of the city. After a series of adventures she eventually gets lost in the desert and it is with great relief that she finds her friend Jamel the camel, who guides her back to her friends and family. Stunning watercolour illustrations compliment a touching story. Reviewed by Stacey International, 04/2003.

Citation: Sheffield, Marilyn and illustrated by Patricia al-Fakhri

Media Type: Book

Golden Sandal: A Middle Eastern Cinderella Story

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Recommended because it tells the story of an Iraqi Cinderella. Appropriate for ages Slavic and Eastern Europe-8. In this gentle Cinderella variant from Iraq, young Maha begs her widowed father to marry their seemingly kind neighbor, a widow with a daughter of her own. After the marriage, however, the woman grows to loathe her stepdaughter, and she and her daughter treat Maha like a slave. One day, the poor girl rescues a talking red fish that helps her over the years. Finally, it provides her with fine clothes so that she may attend a wealthy young woman’s bridal ritual. She stays too long, and in her flight, she loses one of her golden sandals. Tariq, the bride’s brother, finds it, and his mother searches the city for the owner of the shoe. Maha’s foot is a perfect fit and she and Tariq live happily ever after. In her gracefully written narrative, Hickox effectively blends many familiar touches with elements of the story that will be new to Western audiences. An author’s note provides the sources for this well-told tale. Hillenbrand’s delicate, textured illustrations have the look of watered silk touched with glowing jewel-toned accents. The paintings integrate well with the text, and the result is a sweet, smooth book with just a hint of spice. School Library Journal. Be aware of the fact that this is not an authentic traditional Iraqi folktale but can be used as a link with cultures that might seen foreign to American children.

Citation: Hickox, Rebecca and Hillenbrand, Will (Illustrator) Holiday House, Inc., 1999

Media Type: Book

Guardian’s Egypt

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because of the many good interactive activities on Ancient Egypt under the KIDS link. Topics and materials include CyberJourney, discuss Egypt, pyramids, mummies, hieroglyphs, gods/goddesses, kids section and more. Start by browsing through the Kids Section. Resources under the KIDS link include build a scale model of the Great Pyramid, Mummy Quiz, Ancient Egyptian Sports, The Myth of Osiris & Isis, Mummy Mask Making, The Pyramid Builders, Mummified-The Match Game, Clickable Mummy, Mummy Lesson Plan, Build a Pharaoh, Egypt Kid Quiz, Egyptian Coloring Book,and much, much more. This resource was originally recommended by the University of Texas.

Habibi

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because it tells the story of Liyana who was forced to move from America to Palestine and the difficulty she faces there. The day after Liyana got her first real kiss, her life changed forever. Not because of the kiss, but because it was the day her father announced that the family was moving from St. Louis all the way to Palestine. Though her father grew up there, Liyana knows very little about her family’s Arab heritage. Her grandmother and the rest of her relatives who live in the West Bank are strangers, and speak a language she can’t understand. It isn’t until she meets Omer that her homesickness fades. But Omer is Jewish, and their friendship is silently forbidden in this land. How can they make their families understand? And how can Liyana ever learn to call this place home? As reviewed by Katrina on May 26, 2001 An excellent novel for young adults! The friendship between Liyana and Omer (Jewish) and the subsequent acceptance by her Muslim family members is so promising in the midst of the continuing conflict in the Middle East. Reviews provided by SimonSays.com.

Citation: Nye, Naomi Shihab

Media Type: Book

Holidays for Children Video Series

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Recommended because this interactive children’s educational video series explores the symbols, customs, rituals and folklore underlying some of the major holidays celebrated in the United States and Canada. Produced in an engaging visual style and paced to appeal to a primary audience, the programs combine traditional music, illustrated folk tales, animation and arts & crafts with informational segments about the meaning and significance of these celebrations. Michael Keck, a seasoned national performer of folk traditions, hosts the live segments that include guest performers. Children animals, seasons, activities and symbols associated with each holiday and develop an appreciation of their own cultural heritage and the customs of others. Schlessinger Media. Videos available: Hanukkah/Passover; Ramadan; Rosh Hashanah/Yom Kippur; and others. Reviewed by Schlessinger Media.

Media Type: Media

Islam4Kids

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because of its basic information on Islam. Strengths of this site — used mainly as a guide for Muslim parents and educators teaching Muslim children about Islam. This site gives an excellent insider view on the belief system of Islam. Be aware of the fact that the material is religiously biased and one must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed in order to view and download the material. Reviewed by Jennifer Nichols, 12/2002.

IslamCity Kids’ Corner

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Recommended because of its usefulness for elementary (K-2) teachers for information on Islam that can be used in the classroom. Strengths of this site include — games, simple crossword puzzles with Islamic themes, and Islamic stories of the Prophets. Reviewed by Jennifer Nichols, 01/2003.

Israel for kids

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Recommended because it is a resource provided through the Israeli Embassy especially for kids, with a virtual tour, geography games, history and general information. Start by clicking on “Tour Israel” to see a virtual tour of the country for kids.

Kids Sing Israel (Grouches Don’t) (1991)

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because of its children’s songs in Hebrew with characters of the Sesame Street gang. Join host Kippi ben Kippod for an all-request musical trip through Israel. Sing-a-long with your favorite Israeli and Sesame Street songs?in English, Hebrew, and even in “grouch.” Watch Paul Shaffer as he tries to send a musical greeting to his friends in Jerusalem. See blues singer B.B. King teach his guitar to play in Hebrew. And cover your ears when Moishe Oofnik and his American cousin, Oscar the grouch, request a lullaby that could put only a grouch to sleep. PBS. Available through the Middle Eastern Studies Center at the University of Arizona. (See Overview-Centers for more information.) Reviewed by the Middle Eastern Studies Center at the University of Arizona, 4/29/02.

Media Type: Media

Muhammad

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Recommended because it focuses on the Prophet Muhammad’s life for Grades 4-7, younger for reading aloud.More than any other children’s book available, this biography of the prophet Muhammad reflects the literary and artistic traditions of the Islamic world. Like most Arab texts, it begins with the words, “In the name of God, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate,” and an Arabic honorific always follows Muhammad’s name. The readily understandable narrative tells the stories of Muhammad’s life as Muslim children hear them, beginning with his birth in Mecca and ending with the declaration that although Muhammad has died, God never will. In keeping with Islamic artistic tradition, the paintings do not portray the face or body of the Prophet; instead they show his silhouette in gold leaf. Using the ancient Persian miniature style, Demi ignores scale and paints primarily in two dimensions (so that, for instance, worshippers do not appear to be kneeling on a rug so much as superimposed on it). With dramatic scenes extending past the borders of the intricately patterned frames, the art will be a continual source of interest for young people. Demi weaves together selections from the Qur’an and an overview of Islam in this excellent retelling of the Prophet’s life that combines beauty and scholarship. Reviewed by Booklist.

Citation: Demi and Bakhtiar, Laleh MargaretK. McElderry Books, 2003

Media Type: Book

Outreach World

Posted by: globaledadmin on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Recommended because of its resources on regions around the world. Affiliated with the National Resource Center network, this website contains peer-reviewed lesson units for educators.  Resources are searchable by region, grade level, subject, resource type, instructional strategies, or country.  On this website, you will also find news about various outreach activities currently taking place as well as upcoming workshops, conferences and professional development opportunities offered locally, regionally, nationally and overseas. Updated by Sara Adducchio 2012.

Persian Cinderella

Posted by: globaledadmin on Monday, February 8, 2010

Recommended because it tells the tale of a Persian Cinderella. Appropriate for K-4 students. A luminescent interpretation of an ancient Persian tale is Climo’s latest entry to her multicultural collection of Cinderella tales. Motherless Settareh, whose name means star (a reference to the shape of the birthmark on her cheek), has a typically Cinderella-esque existence with her stepmother and stepsisters. That the ignored and often neglected young woman blossoms into a beauty is a foregone conclusion, but here her aid manifests itself as a parifairyin a mysterious blue jar, and Settareh captures the interest of the young prince at the New Year celebration. Be aware of the fact that this is not an authentic traditional Persian folktale but can be used to form a link with cultures that might be foreign to American students.

Citation: Climo, Shirley and Florczak, Robert HarperCollins Publishers, 2001

Media Type: Book

Seven Wise Princesses: A Medieval Persian Epic

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Recommended because Tarnowska provides the first English children’s translation of Haft Paykar, or “Seven Beauties.” Appropriate for grades 4-7. This collection recounts the story of Shah Bahram, who is taught and inspired by seven princesses from faraway lands. Bahram constructs a pavilion for each of the princesses, in their colors and inspired by their planets. He visits each on the appropriate auspicious day of the week, and listens to each tell a story. On Saturday, Bahram dresses in black and visits the Indian Princess Furaq in the pavilion of Saturn, where she tells the tale of one who loses paradise for a moment of impatience. On Sunday, he dresses in yellow for the Greek Princess Humay, surrounded by daffodils and sunflowers, and learns from the tale of an emir who fears marriagewith good reason. Bahram continues through the days of the week and the tales, each one ripe with symbolism and rich in color, aroma, and vision. The illustrations, inspired by Persian miniature painting, are sumptuous and exquisitely detailed. The stories themselves each have a hero who needs to learn a particular virtue, and usually end in kisses and marriage. Exotic in tone and a pleasure to look upon. Reviewed by Kirkus Reviews.

Citation: Tarnowska, Wafa and Mistry, Nilesh (Illustrator) Barefoot Books, 2000

Media Type: Book

Sitti’s Secrets (1997)

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Recommended because it is appropriate for elementary students. When Mona travels from her home in the U.S. to visit her grandmother’s small Palestinian village on the West Bank, she must rely on her father to translate at first, but soon she and Sitti are communicating perfectly. With verve and a childlike sense of wonder, Mona relates some of the sights, sounds, and tastes she is introduced to as well as “the secrets” she learns from spending time in the wise, elderly woman’s company. Upon her return home, Mona writes to the president describing the woman and expressing her concerns about the situation in her homeland. “I vote for peace. My grandmother votes with me.” says Mona. The simple, poetic text is accompanied by exquisitely rendered mixed-medium paintings. They are suffused with the light and colors of the desert, and incorporate subtle and evocative collage touches. A story about connections that serves as a thoughtful, loving affirmation of the bonds that transcend language barriers, time zones, and national borders. For grades 3 to 5.

Citation: Nye, Naomi Shihab.

Media Type: Book

Tales from Arab Detroit

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Recommended because ,with mesmerizing imagery, humor and warmth, “Tales from Arab Detroit” blends voices, poetry, song and dance into everyday stories of stories of cultural conflict and resilience within the largest Arab in North America. When an Arab American community center brings an Egyptian poet to perform an 1000-year-old epic, sparks fly. The result is a familiar American tale: parents trying to pass on cherished traditions and language, while their children are at home in a world of McDonald’s and MTV. Excellent for grades 6 to 12. Directed by Joan Mandell, Olive Branch Productions. Reviewed by Olive Branch Productions & Jennifer Nichols, 02/2003.

Media Type: Media

Teeny-Tiny and The Witch-Woman (1993, 14 minutes) (Arizona)

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Recommended because of its Turkish folktale. Teeny-Tiny and the Witch-Woman is a Turkish folktale based on a theme very similar to that of Hansel and Gretel. The story concerns three brothers who are told not to venture into the woods in order to avoid the wrath of the wicked witch who lives there. One day, the boys take a chance against the wishes of the youngest brother, Teeny-Tiny, and find the home of the witch. The older brothers, Big-One and In-the-Middle, willingly go inside. Teeny-Tiny follows reluctantly behind. Once inside, the witch offers them a meal and a bed for the night. Teeny-Tiny suspects that this witch is indeed the witch they were warned about. That night, Teeny-Tiny resists sleep. When the witch calls to the boys to see if they are asleep, Teeny-Tiny tells the witch that he needs one thing after another before he will be able to sleep. Eventually, Teeny-Tiny asks for water from the well. He sees the witch leave her magic soap, needle and knife behind before she goes out to collect the water. Teeny-Tiny wakes his brothers, warns them about the evil witch, and the three escape with Teeny-Tiny snatching the witch?s three magical objects on the way. The end of the story finds Teeny-Tiny using the magical objects to keep the pursuing witch away from himself and his brothers. Teeny-Tiny and his brothers return safely home, never again to venture into the forest which is the home of the evil witch. Available through the Middle Eastern Studies Center at the University of Arizona. (See Overview-Centers for more information.) Reviewed by the Middle Eastern Studies Center at the University of Arizona, 4/29/02.

Media Type: Media

The Art of the Turkish Tale (1990)

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Recommended because there are very readable translations of 80 narratives collected by Walker from oral sources in Turkey, 1961-89, and now part of the Archive of Turkish Oral Narrative at Texas Tech University. Among the stories are versions of familiar European folktales, and of tales recounted in the Arabian Nights and other Arabic collections. Includes a guide to the pronunciation of Turkish names and a glossary of ideas (rather than terms) that might be unfamiliar to lay readers. Nicely illustrated with block prints by Helen Siegl. Of interest to teachers and storytellers as well as to folklorists and area specialists. Indexed only by title. Reviewed by Booknews.

Citation: Walker, Barbara.

Media Type: Book

The Day of Ahmed’s Secret (1990)

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Recommended because this is an excellent children’s book incorporating the art, culture, childhood and beauty of the Arab world into one story. It describes a day in the life of a young boy named Ahmed during his daily routine and with a few surprises. This book is recommended for ages ranging from 3 to 11, K-6th grades. Available through AWAIR or available from the Middle East Studies Center Resource Library, contact Mary Beth Benecke for ordering information. Reviewed by Jennifer Nichols, 05/2002.

Citation: Heide, Florence Parry.

Media Type: Book

The Golden Sandal

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Recommended because it tells the story of poor Maha whose jealous stepmother makes her do all the housework while her selfish stepsister lazes about. Since Maha’s father is away fishing most of the time, there is no one to help or comfort her. All that begins to change when Maha finds a magical red fish. In return for sparing his life, the fish promises to help Maha whenever she calls him. On the night Maha is forbidden to attend the grand henna to celebrate the coming wedding of a wealthy merchant’s daughter, the fish is true to his word. His magic sets in motion a chain of events that reward Maha with great happiness, and a dainty golden sandal is the key to it all. Rebecca Hickox’s eloquent retelling and Will Hillenbrand’s lush pictures offer a beguiling version of a story well-loved by many cultures the world over. Reviewed by Holiday House.

Citation: Hickox, Rebecca and illustrated by Will Hillenbrand.

Media Type: Book

The Hungary Coat: A Tale from Turkey

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Recommended because it tells a traditional tale of Nasrettin Hoca, Turkey’s most famous folk hero. This book is appropriate for K-4 students. Demi’s latest folktale, The Hungry Coat: A Tale from Turkey, touched with gold foil, celebrates that nation’s aesthetic with a story revolving around a wise man, Nasrettin Hoca. On his way to a dinner at the home of a rich friend, Nasrettin stops to help capture a runaway goat and has no time to change before the dinner; there his fellow diners reject him because of his appearance. When he returns dressed finely, they welcome him, and the hero uses the opportunity to teach them a lesson about the source of a man’s true character. Reviewed by Publisher’s Weekly.

Citation: Demi Margaret K. McElderry Books, 2004

Media Type: Book

The Stars in My Geddoh’s Sky (1999)

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Recommended because it is a well-done book suitable for elementary students. This wonderful multi-cultural title tells the story of Alex and his Geddoh. That means grandfather in Arabic. His Geddoh, who lives in Palestine on the Mediterranean Sea, flies to the United States to visit his grandson. Noteworthy for concentrating on Arabs and Arab-Americans, their customs and culture, this well-done book is an important addition to multi-cultural fiction by focusing positively on a group of people who remain largely unknown to many Americans. The story details the time the two characters spend together and most importantly, includes descriptions of Geddoh’s life at home. He discusses the foods he eats there and his everyday life, including the five times he prays daily to Allah. Schools and libraries should definitely consider adding this title to their collections. Recommended for grades 2 to 4. Reviewed by Bruce Adelson for Children’s Literature.

Citation: Matze, Clair.

Media Type: Book

The White Balloon

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Recommended because of its suitablility for children. A young girl’s desire for a pretty goldfish her family cannot afford sparks an adventure in this wonderfully charming film, which won the Camera d’Or (best first film) at the 1995 Cannes Film Festival. With the shops about to close for the New Year holiday in Tehran, seven-year-old Razieh pleads with her mother to buy a big goldfish she has seen at the pet store. Razieh’s brother, Ali, persuades their mother to give in and, with the family’s last bank note in hand, Razieh gleefully sets out to buy her fish. But along the way she meets up with snake charmers, a balloon salesman and a dry cleaner owner who tempt her away from her money. With the help of her brother, she desperately tries to retrieve her money, buy the fish and get home before her parents find out what’s happened… Directed by Jafar Panahi. Reviewed by Arab Film Distribution.

Media Type: Media

The Wonder of Israel (Kidsnet)

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Recommended because “The Wonder of Israel” poster study-guide and video offers educators and students a unique opportunity to explore the past, present and future of a nation that is at once a land steeped in history and an innovative, modern-day presence–the State of Israel. The poster-sized study guide, which features an illustrated map on one side and informative text, discussion questions, student activities and resources on the other, can be downloaded from this site. Produced by the Embassy of Israel and Kidsnet. For a free copy of the “Wonder of Israel” study guide and video, write to the Embassy of Israel, Office of Public Affairs, 3514 International Drive, NW, Washington, DC 20008 or e-mail the Embassy at ask@israelemb.org. Reviewed by Kidsnet.

Media Type: Media

Turbulent Times/Prophetic Dreams:Art from Israeli and Palestinian Children (2000)

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Recommended because it is a timely and revealing book of drawings done by children that captures the hearts of young and old. The 9 to 14 year old children who made these drawings have things in common with children everywhere. They want what all children want: education, family, security, peace, predictability. Their drawings offer us a glimpse into how and what children subjected to conflict are thinking. Some children depict the future with peaceful scenes, others pockmark their illustrations with scenes of war and disaster. However, it is the words of the children that is most amazing. The simple words that accompany the illustrations of the Israeli and Palestinian children echo each other; revealing the tensions and hopes that are part of their every day lives. Urgent reading based on the current situation festering in the Middle East. This book is the brainchild of Dr. Harold Koplewicz, founder and director of the New York University Child Study Center. It reveals the wellspring of emotions that flow through the Israeli and Palestinian children who represent the next generation of their people. Recommended for ages 9 and up. Reviewed by the Publisher.

Citation: Kopelwicz, Harold & Furman, Gail.

Media Type: Book

Ukraine (1998)

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Recommended because this book (designed for grades Slavic and Eastern Europe-9) provides interesting information and colorful photographs on Ukrainian festivals and traditions. Students will enjoy the section on making crowns from flowers, decorating eggs, and preparing a tasty strawberry kysil. However, because of its emphasis on religious festivals, the reader may be misled into thinking that all Ukrainians are Orthodox Christians. One should bear in mind that Ukraine also contains sizable Uniate (Greek Catholic), Jewish, and Muslim (Crimean Tatar) populations. Reviewed by and available from the University of Illinois’ Russian and East European Center.

Citation: Vladimir Bassis, from the “Festivals of the World” series. Gareth Stevens Publishing

Media Type: Book

Walnut Sapling on Masih’s Grave:And Other Stories by Iranian Women (1993) (Persian)

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Recommended because the stories have been translated into English from the original Persian, but the sentiment and themes have been preserved. The themes range from romance and infidelity to family crisis and societal roles. Set in the male-dominated society of Iran, the short stories featured in this book span from 194Slavic and Eastern Europe-1989. The book clearly portrays women in the segregated society to which they belong. This book is strongly recommended for high school teachers developing a teaching unit on Iranian culture, history and society. Reviewed by Jennifer Nichols, 05/2002.

Citation: Yazdanfar, Fazin.

Media Type: Book

Young Voices from the Arab World

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Recommended because everyday aspects of Arab culture and society are conveyed through the lives of five young people from Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Kuwait, and Morocco. They’ll take you into their homes, schools and places of worship, and favorite entertainment spots. Narration by noted radio personality Casey Kasem provides historical, geographical, and other background information. This excellent introduction to the Arab world was developed especially for classroom use in grades five through eight, but its lively and personal presentation will appeal to a much broader audience. Produced by AMIDEAST. Accompanied by a teacher’s guide. Reviewed by AMIDEAST.

Media Type: Media