Yaffa and Fatima Shalom, Salaam

Being human means accepting our differences. We may have different religions and cultures, but being able to embrace our differences is what we all need to do.

Title:  Yaffa and Fatima
Author:  Fawzia Gilani-Williams
Illustrations:  Chiara Fedele
Publisher: Kar-Ben Publishing  
ISBN: 9781467794237

In the land of milk and honey is where Yaffa and Fatima lived. These women are the same but different. They both own a date grove. They pick the dates and sell them at market. Sometimes they shared a meal. Yaffa loved Fatima’s shwarma and Fatima loved Yaffa’s schnitzel. Both prayed and loved their God. Fatima prayed in a mosque and Yaffa prayed in a synagogue. But, there was a time when a drought came and dates were not so plentiful. The two women laid awake at night worrying whether or not the other had enough to eat. How do you think each woman could help the other?

This story was inspired by a tale that is said to have both Jewish and Arab origins. Young readers will learn that although we have different cultures and religions we are still all human beings and we can share and embrace each other’s differences. Easy to read sentences along with colorful illustrations depict these cultures differences and similarities. Parents and teachers can use this as a tool to explain acceptance.