It is the second Saturday of September and Yusuf and his family are eagerly awaiting the arrival of his Grandfather from Morocco. After years of video calls usually ending with, ‘InshaAllah I will visit’ the Allouche household has been abuzz with activity preparing for the arrival of their special guest. Little does Yusuf know, this visit will change his life forever!
On my first visit to Andalucia, I was awestruck by the incredible beauty of the mosque in Cordoba and the Alhambra palace in Granada. I remember thinking that each intricately decorated tile pointed to a rich history - a history I barely knew anything about.
I had been a teacher for a few years and by the time the pupils I taught left primary school, they had learnt about the Roman Empire, Ancient Egyptians and the Aztecs, but, sadly, knew little about the Muslim civilisation. And so the idea for The Magical Moroccan Rug was born.
The Magical Moroccan Rug is a fictional story yet all the historical events, personalities, descriptions and dates are real and accurate. This approach stems from wanting to introduce and nurture in young readers an interest in learning about Islamic history and is in contrast to a plain didactic method which can be cumbersome.
Aside from the historical focus of the story, it was also a conscious decision to make Jack, a non-Muslim, Yusuf’s best friend and companion on his adventures to inculcate in young readers friendship between people of different faiths and backgrounds.
Muslims possess a rich, historical legacy to be proud of yet their contributions are rarely acknowledged or cherished, especially by younger minds who may not have come across such places, events and people.
It is hoped that The Magical Moroccan Rug will spark an interest in young children to discover more about the places and times Yusuf and Jack visit, and Islamic history in general.
Learning that their fellow Muslims of earlier generations played a key role in and contributed to the civilisation and world we live in today may even inspire some to play an active part in shaping the future
THE MAGICAL MOROCCAN RUG
Naveed Mir - 9780860379676 - PB
Illustrated by Anisa Mohammed
Ideal for 8-12 years