Tag Archives: mosque

JUST LOVED READING: Amina’s Voice

JUST LOVED READING: Amina’s Voice

Just Loved Reading:

Amina’s Voice

Middle Grade/Fiction

Khan, Hena. Amina’s Voice. New York: Simon and Schuster, 2017.

            Amina Khokar is a Pakistani-American immigrant who, with her brother and parents lives in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Her best friend, Soojin, is an immigrant from South Korea and is about to become an American citizen. When Soojin becomes friendly with their once-sworn enemy, Emily, and announces that she is changing her Korean name to something American, Amina feels her life is about to be upended. To make things even more stressful, her parents have signed Amina and her brother to the state-wide Quran competition. Amina freezes in front of audiences, refusing to use her beautiful singing much less her imperfect Arabic.

On top of everything that is happening, her strict great-uncle is coming for a long visit and is all too willing to help her perfect her Arabic for the competition. Only when the Islamic Center is vandalized, does Amina realize she is not alone, but has the support of loving friends and family.

WHY I LOVED READING THIS BOOK:

The author weaves the cultural and religious traditions of Amina and her family within the larger American society that the live in. Amina is no different than any other middle school student in her town but all of a sudden, she has to face hatred and destruction of the Islamic center. Her quiet world is no longer. It’s only when her friends support her does she realize where she really belongs.

Amina and her family and friends lived in Minneapolis,Minnesota. To learn more about Minneapolis, click on the following links:

http://www.minneapolis.org/

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/usa/great-lakes/minneapolis

Amina and her family are part of Minneapolis’ large diverse Muslim community:

http://iccmn.us/v2/

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JUST LOVED READING: Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns, A Muslim Book of Colors

JUST LOVED READING: Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns, A Muslim Book of Colors
Old mosque old Rhodes City, Rhodes, Greece

Old mosque old Rhodes City, Rhodes, Greece

Just Loved Reading:

Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors

Picture Book

Khan, Hena. Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors. San Francisco: Chronicle Books, 2012.

           Objects that are a part of Islamic tradition and the Muslim religion (food, clothing, domes, etc) resonate in a specific color in the eyes of a girl: red reminds her of the red prayer rug her father uses to pray five times a day; blue represents the blue hijab her mother wears; gold covers the domes of the mosque; purple is the color of the gift the girl receives during the holiday, Eid; brown is the color of dates, etc.

This picture book of colors brings the Muslim religion vividly to life.

WHY I LOVED READING THIS BOOK:

The colors of the objects used when practicing the faith illuminate the Muslim religion and its traditions in this book. The illustrations are colorful and beautiful; the language is simple yet descriptive for children to absorb the information. Told in verse.

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My Big Fat Greek Vacation Photos of Rhodes

My Big Fat Greek Vacation Photos of Rhodes

From a previous trip……

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My Big Fat Greek Vacation I

My Big Fat Greek Vacation I
Mosque Old City Rhodes,Greece

Mosque Old City Rhodes, Greece

NOTE:¬†My Big Fat Greek Vacation blogs were written in 2002. There’s more to Greece than its current economic problems. I hope my blogs will show readers not familiar with Greece another side of ¬†the Greek people and their country.

Hi. I’m back. (I’m not sure I want to be back but that’s the reality I face.) We flew to Rhodes from Athens. Rhodes is beautiful.Unfortunately, we only had two days there. We got to our hotel and went straight to the beach; it was right in front of our hotel.

Andrea immediately became ¬†“grossed out” at the topless bathers. Well, not everyone was topless. Some of them that were, shouldn’t be¬†topless. I was struck by the fact that the tourists were rather reserved for all that. No one said hello if they didn’t know you even if some of them came from the same country. They were mostly from northern Europe.

I spoke Greek to the hotel employees and they seemed thrilled to find someone who knows their native language. They wanted to know when I left Rhodes to go to America. I told them I was never here in the first place. Mike and I rented a car and drove all over the island. He loved driving. It felt like a Formula 44 race the way they drive there.

 I was struck by the medieval history of Rhodes.  There is a castle on a promontory  near the town of Lindos. It is lit up in the evening.  The outline of the castle against the night sky and the sound of the Med washing on the rocks below is a visual and aural experience. The town of Lindos is composed of narrow, winding, cobblestone streets with  lots of shops and restaurants.  The native population is hidden away, I think.  We ate at a hole in the wall which had great food and smelled the jasmine spilling over the courtyard walls.

Jasmine and kebabs grilling…as Mike would say, it doesn’t get any better than that:)

We also saw the old city of Rhodes. The populace loves to ride their motorbikes through the narrow, winding, cobblestone streets. Everyone just gets out of their way. Walking through there is like going through a labyrinth. Many shops, tavernas, an Internet café, etc., but real people actually live in the small, windowless houses. It is a real neighborhood where the locals know one another. The houses open on to central courtyards which sometimes are visible from the front of the house (if the doors are left open).

There is a big old castle at the top of the hill and an old mosque (closed to the public). Actually there are two mosques. the second one is near one of the Internet cafes. The castle is now a museum and it houses antiquities from a site that was excavated somewhere on the island. There were mosaic floors similar to the ones I’ve seen in Cyprus. Great castle. Someone remarked that the fireplace would be a wonderful place to roast a whole lamb.

There is an Ottoman house under renovation that is open to the public for free. It was interesting to see because it had an indoor bathroom. The high walls and door open to a courtyard with an inactive fountain.

We also saw the new city of Rhodes located¬†outside the old walls and¬†surrounded¬†by an empty moat. There is a casino and one of the most crowded beaches I ever saw. The beaches here have pebbles. I didn’t see any sand or seashells anywhere.

Another observation: the cicadas never stop their incessant “singing.” You can hear them very clearly on the islands and you can see them everywhere.

We also slept out on the beach on beach chairs one night. The sky is covered with stars. The dark mountains form a silhouette against the even darker sky and you hear the sea crash against the shore.

Next stop: Chios.

 

 

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