Have you heard of the Tulay Mosque in the Philippines? I hadn’t either, until I read Criselda Yabes’ interracial romance/political drama Below the Crying Mountain. Growing up, the only thing I’d heard about Muslims in the Philippines was that the majority population would threaten their children with them.
Thanks to Yabes’ detailed description, I now have a beautiful image of the city Jolo on the island Sulu. Besides peaking my interest in the Muslim presence and history in Southeast Asia, I enjoyed Below the Crying Mountain’s forbidden romance and thrilling account of the 1970’s Muslim rebellion against a dictator.
Thank you Yabes for positively representing the minority Muslim population of the Philippines and thank you Penguin Random House Southeast Asia for the digital review copy of this award-winning fiction novel.
First of all, Happy Book Birthday to HOMELAND: MY FATHER DREAMS OF PALESTINE! This children’s book by second-generation Palestinian and debut author Hannah Moushabeck is the first positive book about Palestine I’ve seen from a major publishing house, so props to Chronicle Books!
Keep a lookout for my upcoming post with the next book on my Ramadan list!
I’ve always been physically active; I played sports and fidgeted in my seat in class. I’m happier when I’m active. For the past few years though, in a household of TV watchers, I became couch potato chip-eater, and therefore depressed. I ignored my instinct to go outside and walk because everyone else sat inside. (Observation not blame.) Recently an emotional eating webinar helped me process my emotional attachment to overeating snacks. As my repressed regrets drifted away, I got up and started exercising. I felt happier, but it was more than actually exercising: it was the simultaneous act of letting go.
Science tells us that we’re happy after exercise because it releases endorphins, but I think it’s deeper than that. Exercise helps us release our negative thoughts and feelings, and we feel physically and mentally healthier after they’re gone. Whereas eating holds in those negative emotions, stuffing them deeper inside…
This sweet 18 page board book introduces seasons to our littlest Muslims through rhyming lines, Islamic gratitude and activities enjoyed during certain times of the year. It even has a “spot and talk” activity at the back and a way to explain “Alhumdulillah” to children. The text is simple and the illustrations engaging for ages infant to pre-k.
The book starts with spring and dedicates four pages to praising Allah swt by appreciating the flowers and baby animals before looking forward to summer, that is on its way.
Summer is also four pages of saying Alhumdulillah for the sunshine, ice cream, the beach, and sandcastles, before heading off to autumn.
The book covers all four seasons and mentions that after winter is spring again. The book’s size and the thickness of the pages makes it great for toting around for little ones, and the flowing lines make it a quick…
I’m so grateful. This really is a dream come true. I’ve been pitching to BuzzFeed since 2017, and thankfully this year they onboarded me as a Contributor! I can’t wait to share my first article with you! Which will of course be about books!