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"The children's book that shook the USA"

cover of p is for palestine 6th edition
First title in our Diverse Children's Books Series!
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PRAISE: 

P is for Palestine 

"[T]he first ABC picture book about Palestine is definitely an important book for people of Palestinian heritage who want to share it with their children."

—Alex Supko, Librarian for Baltimore County Public Library, writer at Intellectual Freedom of the American Library Association.

***

"[C]heerful little book, in which a curly-haired young girl guides us through her homeland...A genuine celebration of the historical diversity of Palestine, the book does a stellar job of reminding Westerners, many of whom believe Christianity is a Western religion, that it is Palestine that is the birthplace of Christianity."

—Nada Elia, Palestinian author and journalist.

***

"Parenting is hard enough. Now add to the mix raising Palestinian children to be proud of their heritage, history, and homeland amidst an onslaught of negative and demeaning messages...The book presents a beautifully illustrated, unapologetically proud narrative of Palestinian identity...The racist portrayal of us as violent, angry, irrational, uncivilized, and incapable of living in peace with their neighbors is far too common...P is for Palestine is exactly the kind of positive reinforcement needed by children whose identity is constantly under attack...Every child could benefit from learning about Palestine in a positive and uplifting way. You are paying it forward to the next generation by giving the gift of learning about Palestine in the context of working for freedom, justice and equality."

—Dr. Yousef Munayyer, Executive Director of The US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR), and a prolific political analyst and writer on foreign policy in the Arab and Muslim world and civil rights and civil liberties in the United States.

***

"[T]he post-colonial space...[for diverse book] genre (Babar notwithstanding) is pretty unpopulated, so I was excited to spot P is for Palestine by Golbarg Bashi...The book is fantastic on so many different levels: it features a little girl with curly black hair, big eyes and brown skin; the illustrations are gorgeous; and it teaches the alphabet through egalitarian and multi-cultural words from both Arabic and English."

—Radhika Sainath, American writer and civil rights lawyer.

***

"When does a children's book get coverage in the New York Post ('Page Six,' no less), the Forward, Ha'aretz, the New York Daily News, and Breitbart?...teaching and learning about Palestine has been a sore spot for Zionists. The book provides an ocular target for their existential anxiety."

—Steven Salaita, Professor of American Indian Studies. and a prolific scholar of immigration, indigenous peoples, dislocation, race, ethnicity and multiculturalism.

***

"[P is for Palestine is] a children’s book that teaches about justice and resistance... Why buy this book?...As parents, we try to teach our kids about kindness and justice. Our obligation is to teach our children to stand up to bullies, whether they are in the schoolyard or a regional power linked to imperialism. Love of justice is taught; it’s not instinctive. Solidarity with the oppressed is a value we must do our best to model for the next generations. For kids, the love of books and reading is essential. Palestinian kids, who are too often robbed of their childhoods by a brutal occupation regime, deserve the same right to play, learn, read and laugh that any other children enjoy.

—Socialist Action​.

***

"This powerful book will prove to be pivotal for so many young Palestinians on their search for identity and belonging, and will introduce countless others to a place and people that have been marginalized for too long in their struggle for equality. I can't wait to buy copies for my niece, and her friends. P is for 'Palestine', and also for 'Proud'." 

—Ahmed Shihab-Eldin, Palestinian-American Emmy-nominated journalist, broadcaster, and senior correspondent for AJ+.

***

“You will fall in love with this innovative, much needed, and beautifully illustrated Palestinian alphabet book. Highly recommended!” 

—Dr. Jack G. Shaheen, author of “Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People” and a foremost authority on media images of Arabs and Muslims in American Popular Culture.

***

“This book provides an attractive and thoughtful introduction to the heritage and culture of Palestine that will be appreciated by children whose families come from Palestine, and by children everywhere.” 


—Dr. Rashid Khalidi, globally renowned Palestinian-American scholar, author, and the Edward Said Professor of Modern Arab Studies at Columbia University.
 

***

“P is for Palestine is a colorful manifestation of all that is beautiful about the land of my parents and ancestors. This book is a gift that takes you on a journey of love, life and resilience; the virtues of my beloved Palestine.”

—Linda Sarsour, award-winning Palestinian Muslim American Activist. 

 

***

“Golbarg Bashi’s “P is for Palestine” is a moving journey of alphabetical letters becoming a bridge, a boat that connects us to our homeland and our heritage, while yearning for freedom and peace in Palestine.”


—Rula Jebreal, award-winning Palestinian author, film-maker, journalist, and foreign policy analyst.

***

“I'm so happy to live in a world where a book like "P is for Palestine" exists. If I had had something like this as a child, I would have felt so much less alone and so much more interested in my culture, instead of wondering why no one else seemed to know the words that were so comforting and real to me. I cannot wait to give a copy to my niece, nephew, and every other little Arab American child, who will not only be able to learn from this book, but will also be able to feel proud of where she is from, and, consequently, rooted deeply in the world.”

- Najla Said, Palestinian-American playwright, actress and author of “Looking for Palestine: Growing Up Confused in an Arab-American Family.”

***


“G for GREAT...P for PEACE IN PALESTINE.” 

—Marwan Bishara, internationally renowned Palestinian author, broadcaster and chief political analyst at Al Jazeera Media Network and host of its flagship show EMPIRE.

***

“I wish I had a book like this when I was a child! Fantastic and fun... a great way to show children another world and open their minds. It's especially exciting to me as a Palestinian as I always want to find ways to show my baby she can feel proud of her culture and have fun at the same time. Colorful, truly original and a delight for young and old!” 

—Annemarie Jacir, Academy Award Nominated Palestinian Filmmaker (When I Saw You).

***

“A book for our children that teaches self-love and pride. A book for our friends that shares a central piece of our lives. A book for ourselves that sings without apology: P is for Palestine and all of its wonders that make it home." 

—Noura Erakat, internationally renowned Palestinian-American human rights attorney, academic and activist.

***

“Golbarg Bashi takes children (and parents) into Palestine, illustrated beautifully with Golrokh Nafisi drawings. P is for Palestine is a must for anyone who grew up with fragmented past and is looking to changing today's stereotypes.” 

—Najwa Najjar, award-winning Palestinian filmmaker (Eyes of a Thief - Pomegranates and Myrrh).

***

***“Palestine is our story, and our story begins with the alphabet.Every letter a direction. Stunningly illustrated. A dream-book for all ages.” 

 

—Nathalie Handal, Award-winning Palestinian poet and writer.

Honorary Advisory Board Members

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Ramin Bahrami

Born to Iranian parents in North Carolina, Ramin Bahrani is an internationally celebrated writer and film director. Hailed as the new great American director and director of the decade (2000) by late film critic Roger Ebert, Ramin teaches film and divides his time between the classroom, scriptwriting and directing. His latest film “99 Homes” (2015) featured Hollywood stars Michael Shannon, Andrew Garfield and Laura Dern. Ramin received his B.A. in film studies from Columbia University in New York where he made his first short film “Backgammon” in 1998, telling the tale of a young Iranian American girl who desperately wants to play backgammon with her stubborn grandfather who has recently arrived from Iran. A committed environmentalist, he co-wrote his celebrated short film "Plastic Bag" (2009), featuring the voice of legendary filmmaker Werner Herzog, with the late Jenni Jenkins.

Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet

Born in Tehran, Firoozeh Kashani-Sabet spent the first part of her life in Iran, then lived in France for a year before moving to the United States. She is the Robert I. Williams Term Professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania where she has directed the Middle East Center since 2006. Dr. Kashani-Sabet is one of the very first Iranian women to become a full professor at an Ivy League university. As a 17-year-old, Kashani-Sabet wrote in her diary, “I will one day write a book of history or fiction.” A historian by trade and writer by heart, she has done both. Her first book, “Frontier Fictions: Shaping the Iranian Nation, 1804-1946,” a canonical text in Iranian Studies was published in 1999 and her first novel, “Martyrdom Street,” was published in 2010.

Melody Safavi

Born in Tehran, Iran Melody Safavi moved to Sweden with her family when she was 12. After completing her bachelor’s degree in Social Work at Mid-Sweden University, Melody worked in juvenile halls and drug and alcohol rehabilitation centers in both Sweden and the United States. In 2005 Melody and her sister Safoura Safavi founded ABJEEZ (slang for ‘sisters’ in Persian) in order to challenge musical barriers in Persian language and mainstream Iranian culture. Melody began writing lyrics in Persian and Safoura wrote the music. In Stockholm, they found a diverse group of backing musicians from Sweden, Norway, Scotland and Chile. “The way Melody writes, it’s very easy to understand and it uses a lot of humor,” Melody’s sister Safoura says. “We like to enlighten people to difficult issues in our culture with humor.” Melody and her multilingual and bi-cultural band Abjeez blend Iranian soul rhythms with reggae, rock, ska, and flamenco, singing in their native Persian, plus English, Spanish and Swedish. Their lyrics, at once humorous and rebellious, speak of love and politics. Traveling and living in colorful and varied landscapes such as in India, Norway, UK, Spain, and North America, Melody is considered the resident gypsy of the band. Melody has called the US home for many years now and when she’s not touring with Abjeez, she works as a TV producer in New York City.

Maz Jobrani

Born in Tehran, Maz Jobrani moved to the San Francisco bay area with his family when he was six. He is a renowned comedian, prolific actor, and founding member of the critically acclaimed the Axis of Evil comedy tour, which aired on Comedy Central. Maze has written, directed, and starred in a series of beloved sketches and shows such as “I Come in Peace” and “Brown and Friendly. Hailed as “devilishly funny” and “extraordinary” by La Weekly, Maz starred as the title character in the award-winning indie comedy, Jimmy Vestvood: Amerikan Hero, a film which he co-wrote and produced. In the summer of 2015 he played the role of Jafar from Aladdin in the Disney movie, The Descendants. With over 50 guest star appearances, Maz can regularly be seen on television’s most popular shows. Guest stars include Grey’s Anatomy, Curb Your Enthusiasm, True Blood, and Shameless. He is a regular panelist on NPR’s Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me and has given two Ted talks. His LA Times best selling book, I’m not a terrorist but I’ve played one on TV, was published by Simon & Schuster, and hit shelves in February 2015.

 

Samah Selim

Samah Selim was born in Egypt and has lived in the UK, Libya, France and Germany.  She received her B.A. in English Literature from Barnard College in 1986 and her Ph.D. from the Department of Middle East and Asian Languages and Cultures at Columbia University in 1997. She is an Associate Professor of Arabic Literature at Rutgers. Her book, The Novel and the Rural Imaginary in Egypt, explores the relationship between the rise of the novel genre, the politics of nationalist representation and the peasant question over the course of the 20th century in Egypt. Dr. Selim, who is also a practicing literary translator, is currently at work on a book about translation, modernity and popular fiction in early 20th century Egypt.

Noha Radwan

Born in Cairo, Egypt, Professor Noha Radwan received her MA from the Department of Arabic Studies at the American University of Cairo and her PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Her widely anticipated book Egyptian Colloquial Poetry and the Modern Arabic Canon (Palgrave MacMillan) was published in 2012. Professor Radwan’s interests include modern Middle Eastern literature in Arabic and Hebrew and post-colonial literature in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia. She has a particular interest in modern Arabic poetry. Professor Radwan left New York City where she was teaching at Columbia University for sunny California with her family and is now an Associate Professor of Arabic and Comparative literature at the University of California, Davis. She is a mother of two.

Karim Zendegani

Social justice has always been integral to Karim's life, perhaps because of his family's background in political activism in Iran. Karim was born in Tehran, Iran and moved to Sweden when he was young. After years of studies combined with student activism, he began working for various NGOs where he became particularly involved with the plight of refugees in Sweden. He has been the Head of Research and Development at the Swedish Red Cross since 2007. Karim is a father of two.

Zohra Saed

Born in Jalalabad, Afghanistan, Zohra Saed came to the United States with her family when she was very young. She is a teaching fellow and doctoral candidate at The City University of New York Graduate Center. A celebrated poet, Zohra received her M.F.A. from Brooklyn College. Her poetry and essays on Central Asian and Middle Eastern American literature, film and video art have been published in numerous anthologies and journals. In 2010, Zohra’s co-edited volume with Sahar Muradi “One Story, Thirty Stories: An Anthology of Contemporary Afghan American Literature” was published by the University of Arkansas Press. She visits colleges and cultural centers regularly to give lectures about Central Asian American experiences.

Honorary Board Member Emeritus

Dr. Jack G. Shaheen

(1935 – 2017)

Born in Pennsylvania to Lebanese immigrants, the late Dr. Jack G. Shaheen (1935 – 2017) described himself as a Pittsburgh child of the steel mills who grew up loving to go to the movies. Dr. Shaheen dedicated his career to identifying and contesting damaging stereotypes of people of Middle Eastern background and Muslims in American media. It was after his children were born that he began to see the gross misrepresentation of Arabs and Muslims in U.S. media. “My children were watching cartoons,” he said and “they began shouting ‘daddy, daddy, they’ve got bad Arabs on television.’ They were watching Porky Pig and Popeye . I was in my 30s and decided to write about it.” Dr. Shaheen’s groundbreaking book Reel Bad Arabs: How Hollywood Vilifies a People was turned into an award-winning documentary film by the same title in 2007.  He and his wife Bernice Shaheen donated his extensive research collection to NYU, which created the Jack G. Shaheen Archive. Dr. Shaheen was on the National Advisory Board of The Arab American National Museum (AANM) and recipient of many prestigious awards including the American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee’s Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of “his lifelong commitment to bring a better understanding towards peace for all mankind.”