Dinner Table Talks create the opportunity for families to have important conversations centered around books. These discussions will build our capacity for talking about race and define our roles in fighting against both every day and systemic racism.
Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices by S.K. Ali and Aisha Saeed
Available as an ebook and eaudiobook through Overdrive.
To celebrate the last day of Ramadan, Eid, fifteen Muslim authors wrote a collection of fifteen stories about children and families experiencing life on this special day. From the relatable moments in the book involving difficult family members to stories about gift-giving and loving reunions, Once Upon an Eid perfectly captures the experiences that take place on Eid and many other holidays. There are also voices that share the all-too-sharp pain of trying to celebrate a holiday, while also dealing with the loss of a loved one, and there are moments that capture the refugee experience. For readers that might be unfamiliar with this holiday, there is also ample educational moments that will give them insight into the meaning of Eid, along with the many foods, traditions, and warmth that are also involved.
Learn about what Eid Ul Fitr is, how it is celebrated, and more.
Authors S.K. Ali and Aisha Saeed discuss their anthology, Once Upon an Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices, and why it is important for children to see themselves in books.
Guidelines for Discussion
Be open and honest--even when it's hard.
Understand your own prejudice and bias.
Embrace other cultures or races by reading books, watching movies and going to community events.
Celebrate yourself and your own cultural identity.
Don't shy away from conversations about race. Talking is how you build capacity for anti-racism.
Acknowledge your mistakes and learn from them.
It's okay not to know the answer. Look for it together.
In the story "Perfect," Hawa and Fanta make assumptions about one another that turn out not to be true. Have you ever made assumptions about someone and why they acted a certain way? Did they prove you wrong?
Yusuf makes a mistake when baking brownies for Eid. His family helps fix his mistake. Can you think of a time when you made a mistake? Did anyone help you?
In "Kareem Means 'Generous,'" Kareem's Teta writes "Anytime you share something you love, it comes right back to you." Is there a time when you shared something you loved? What did you share? Did that love return to you?
It's a tradition in Nadia's family to get donuts from Mr. Laidlaw's Bakery for Eid. Nadia describes each family member with their favorite donut. If you could describe each family member in donuts, what would they be?
Leila is anxious to begin wearing a hijab to school in "Just Like Chest Armor." She knows that it will make her stand out from her classmates and other students might tease or bully her for wearing it. What words would you use to describe Leila and her choice? Would you choose to stand out by being true to your faith or your culture even if it meant being teased or bullied?
In "Gifts," Idrees begins by being more focused on the gifts rather than the meaning behind Ramadan and Eid. What changes for Idrees? And what do you think he means when he says, "It's not the gift. It's the love behind it."
Humza and his siblings are staying with their grandparents when his parents make their Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. The experience is hard because his grandparents always expect Humza and his brother and sister to do a lot of chores. It's also their first Eid without their mom and dad. Eid-ul-Adha celebrates a sacrifice. What sacrifice does Humza make? How about his grandparents?
As refugees from Syria living in Greece, Bassem and his family face hardship. Even Eid doesn't offer much to look forward to. As Bassem and his community pull together to make it a holiday to remember, he sees the sky "a shimmering azure streaked with cobalt and hints of navy blue and ultramarine." Blue is more than a color. What do you think it comes to mean to Bassem?
In "Creative Fixes," Mikayla is struggling to fit in and feel at home with her new faith, Islam. Have you ever been new to a group? Did it feel difficult to fit in?
After an accident, Alia seems to lose her sense of taste but she is still determined to make her family's traditional Eid dish, lontong. She mentions how the accident: "darkened my tongue until it was numb and loosened Aiman's until he could scream his fear and softened Abah's until he could speak his love." What do you think she means?
One version of "Eid Pictures" excites and delights the narrator. The other version calms, settles and soothes her. Why do you think images of her family history provide such comfort?
Aya thinks she's glad to be the only Muslim in her school until she meets Hana. Have you ever been an "only"? (ex. only girl, only 4th grader, etc.) How did it make you feel?
Maya Madinah is grieving how her life and her family are changing. Her Nusaybah reminds her that we each have a biological family and a chosen family. Who is part of your biological family and who is part of your chosen family? How do each of these families make your life more joyful?
In the last story, Deyana takes a road trip with her family. She focuses on what annoys her about each family member for most of the ride. An unexpected gift changes her mind. Can you think of a memorable trip or experience that you shared as a family? What made it so special?
Want to continue the conversation? Need more resources about race?
Take a look at the booklists below to read more fantastic stories about Muslim characters: