What's Been Said
“l am eager to share this picture book because of how it effortlessly highlights Muslim voices without playing into the theme of trauma storytelling. Our main character Jaysh wasn’t bullied or pressured into wearing his Kufi. As a young boy, he took the initiative to find the perfect Kufi as he wanted to make sure that he could proudly identify as a Muslim. I love this approach because it does not limit the muslim experience to one of trauma. Instead it shows how multifaceted our experiences are and leaves the reader feeling empowered.
What initially caught my interest was how the story followed a boy who was grappling with his lack of visibility as a Muslim. This was the first time I witnessed a young Muslim boy being forced to sit with the question of, “how are you representing Islam?”. It was a simple question that had a strong impact on both Jaysh and I.
Growing up, I didn’t see the men in my life have candid conversations about their struggles with their lack of visibility as Muslims. I understand that although I didn’t hear those conversations that doesn’t mean they weren’t being had. I appreciate this book because it lets the reader into this conversation. It was refreshing to see a book that centers a young boy’s struggle with outwardly displaying his Islam. Young boys should have the space and guidance to navigate these discussion and I think this book provides that.
I think this book is a great tool for parents who want to raise proud Muslim sons. It’s also a great guide for anyone who wants to create spaces for young Muslim boys to freely have these conversations, as they deserve.”
-Maryan Liban - MaryanList