Outreach World
Search for International Education Resources
Home Resources Calendar Contacts News About Us

Search for articles

Global Region: Middle East, North Africa

Countries: Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Morocco, Nigeria, Spain, Turkey, United States, Yemen

Search for resources

Global Region: Middle East , North Africa

Countries: Egypt , Indonesia , Iran , Iraq , Morocco , Nigeria , Spain , Turkey , United States , Yemen

Extraordinary Women from the Muslim World

Extraordinary Women from the Muslim World

Middle East Outreach Council Announces 2008 Middle East Book Award Winners

This year's awards recognize books on Islamic Spain, Muslim women, and children in refugee camps, contemporary Iraq, and the United States.


"This year's awards recognize books on Islamic Spain, Muslim women"

The Middle East Outreach Council (MEOC) has announced its 2008 Middle East book awards recipients. Awards recipients were announced at the MEOC Annual Business Meeting at the Middle East Studies Association conference held in Washington, DC, in November 2008.

The 2008 Middle East Book Award recipients are:


(Winner) Silent Music: A Story of Baghdad, written and illustrated by James Rumford. (New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2008). This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of Ali, a young boy who lives in contemporary Baghdad. Ali loves playing soccer and listening to loud music, but more than that, he loves writing calligraphy. This celebration of writing and art invokes the story of the master calligrapher Yakut, who lived in Baghdad eight hundred years ago, also during a time of war. This timeless story is sure to enchant students and parents alike.

(Honorable Mention) Four Feet, Two Sandals, written by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed, illustrated by Doug Chayka. (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdman’s Books for Young Readers, 2007). When aid workers deliver a shipment of clothes to their refugee camp, both Lina and Ferozi claim a sandal. When Ferozi’s grandmother points out the foolishness of wearing only one shoe, the girls decide to share the pair, each wearing them on alternating days. This story will engage students and help to put a human face on the plight of refugee children—especially useful for students in communities with large populations of former refugees.

(Honorable Mention) The Best Eid Ever, written by Asma Mobin-Uddin, illustrated by Laura Jacobsen. (Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press, 2007). The Eid al-Adha (“Feast of the Sacrifice”) is the biggest holiday in the Islamic calendar, but this year Aneesa’s parents are in far away Saudi Arabia making the pilgrimage to Mecca. At the mosque, Aneesa meets two young girls, refugees who have just arrived in the U.S. from their war torn country. Aneesa and her grandmother come up with a plan to help the girls celebrate and make it the best Eid ever. This book will help students understand the importance of the Eid celebration, as well as the important themes of charity and helping the less fortunate.


(Winner) The Apprentice’s Masterpiece: A Story of Medieval Spain, by Melanie Little. (Annick Press, 2007). Set in Spain, 1485, this book tells the story of two teens in Córdoba after the reconquest: one is from a Jewish family that has converted to Christianity in the face of the Inquisition, the other a Muslim boy given to them as a slave. Through short passages written in verse, the tale of these of these two boys unfolds as they witness the end of Spain’s military campaign against the Moors and face their own uncertain futures in a country flush with nationalistic fervor that views them with suspicion. This book is simply written, but contains powerful and haunting imagery that will engage even adult readers.


(Winner) Extraordinary Women from the Muslim World, by Natalie Maydell and Sep Riahi, paintings by Heba Amin. (Lancaster, PA: Global Content Ventures, 2007). This encyclopedic book provides short pieces on a wide variety of notable women from throughout Islamic history. From wives of Muhammad to an African poetess to a Turkish fighter pilot to an Indonesian freedom fighter to an Egyptian singer, this book dispels nearly every stereotype about Muslim women, and introduces many famous female role models to a younger audience for the first time.


Established in 1999, the Middle East Book Award recognizes quality books for children and young adults that contribute meaningfully to an understanding of the Middle East and its component societies and cultures. Books are judged on the authenticity of their portrayal of a Middle Eastern subject, as well as on their characterization, plot, and appeal for the intended audience. For the purposes of this award, “The Middle East” is defined as the Arab World, Iran, Israel, Turkey, and Afghanistan.

Nominations for the Middle East Book Award are made by publishers, educators, librarians and the general public, with eligible books published in the period from January 1, 2007 to August 1, 2008. The MEOC Book Award Committee is a volunteer committee consisting of MEOC members representing primary, secondary, and post-secondary educational institutions.


Established in 1981, the Middle East Outreach Council (MEOC) is a national nonprofit organization working to increase public knowledge about the peoples, places, and cultures of the Middle East, including the Arab world, Iran, Israel, Turkey, and Afghanistan. MEOC’s network of educators are dedicated to disseminating nonpartisan information, resources, and activities furthering understanding about the Middle East. MEOC’s target audience is non-specialists at the K-12 and college levels, although its services also are relevant to broader community needs. MEOC has members around the country and its services include a newsletter, member listserve, book awards, workshops for educators, curriculum resources, and a website. MEOC is an affiliated organization of the Middle East Studies Association. For more information, visit the MEOC Web site.

Date: 12/19/2008
Middle East, books for children, books for youth

You might also be interested in these other articles
Outreach World Icon MEOC Announces Book Awards
Outreach World Icon Middle East Outreach Council Book Award
Outreach World Icon Middle East Outreach Council Goes to Alaska

Printer Friendly Version

Printer Friendly Version

Email this Page

Email this page


top of page


Home | Contact Us | Credits