The Arabic Quilt An Immigrant Story

As the school year is coming to an end, we are doing fun things. One of the things my daughter asked to do this year was learn about ancient Egypt. Yes, she very much is in the driver seat of her own education.  I felt like one of our last assignments should be a story she could relate to. It’s important to have her do fun projects, so she can always remember the experience. That’s when I found this beautifully illustrated great book.  

Available on Amazon 

Kanzi’s family has moved from Egypt to America, and on her first day in a new school, what she wants more than anything is to fit in. Maybe that’s why she forgets to take the kofta sandwich her mother has made for her lunch, but that backfires when Mama shows up at school with the sandwich. Mama wears a hijab and calls her daughter Habibti (dear one). When she leaves, the teasing starts. 
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 book was a beautiful mix of Egyptian Culture and Everyday American life. I believe it’s an elementary must read. It deals with teasing, hurt feelings and healing. 

Rhythm was able to read it by herself out loud to me, but there were a few words in there she has never seen, so they now became vocabulary words for the week. 

She also learned 9 new Arabic words. They have the definition on the last page. The way they are integrated into the text made it easy for her to know the definition before we ever got to the last page. I was able to get on YouTube so she could hear the correct pronnunciation because Teacher/Momma couldn’t help her there. I was proud she learned how to write her name in Arabic as one of our extended lessons. 

Really fun read with tremendous extensive learning possibilities! 

If we started a kid’s book club for elementary school, would you be interested?

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