EDMONTON – A Somali Canadian Muslim writer has been making headlines recently by offering books that portray Black Muslim kids in normal families.
“I often get asked why I write the type of children books I do. My answer is and will always be: because I wish I could have read these books when I was growing up,” Rahma Mohamed wrote on a note on her Facebook page, Muslim Link reported.
“When I was the only black girl in class, the only hijabi or the only little girl with curly big hair. For every time I was told I was too dark when my hair got pulled because they looked too soft for a “black girl”.
“This book is for our daughters to give her the confidence that she needs to combat all the negativity that the world will throw at them,” she added.
Mohamed, who writes under the pen name Rahma Rodaah, has created a children’s book that features a Black Muslim girl, to provide better representation in literature for her kids.
After a year of work, the first-time author published Muhima’s Quest, a children’s book that tells the story of a young African-America Muslim girl who wakes up on her 10th birthday and goes on a journey.
“I wanted to create a character who had African descent and is a Muslim in a children’s book because I just found out that there were none that were available in the mainstream,” she told Edmonton Star.
Her first book follows the journey of Muhiima as she tries to understand why she doesn’t have birthday parties like her other classmates, indicating that it is okay to be different.
“After becoming a mother, I set out to self-publish children books to encourage youth to be proud of their uniqueness by celebrating diversity,” she wrote on Facebook.
“Reflecting on my struggles of growing up in a foreign country, I am determined to offer books centered on characters that are Muslim and with African roots. I believe that children need to be able to identify themselves with the book they read to enhance their self-confidence as well as bolster their sense of pride.”
Her second children’s book, Little Brother for Sale, will be available next month.