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Ibrahim - Book and Activities

Ibrahim is looking forward to working at his father's stall in Marrakesh's marketplace until the nomadic life calls.

In Francesc d'A Sales' book Ibrahim is faced with a hard choice. When Ibrahim's friend, Hassan, plan to leave Marrakesh and live as a desert nomad the marketplace suddenly seems very boring. Ibrahim wants to live the free life of a nomad, but still longs for the connection to his family and the marketplace.

Discussion before and after the story can focus on parental expectations. Do patrons agree that wanting children to stay close and follow in their parents' footsteps is only a Moroccan custom, or do other parents feel that way? How many know that their parents want them to go to college, become an engineer or doctor? What other instances can be named from life when parents want their children to live a certain way?

Locate Morocco on a map and point out how close it is to Spain. The book Ibrahim was first written in Catalan. Catalan is spoken in Catalonia, a northeast region of Spain.

Set up an outdoor market place. Discuss that markets such as the one in the book do not have fixed prices, but people bargain for the price they want to pay. You may want to set up a marketplace where patrons can practice bargaining. Have patrons draw comparisons to and distinguish differences from a supermarket or shopping mall. This can be a good collaborative project with the art teacher. Have the children create simple crafts (e.g., use strips of construction paper to weave place mats). Parents can be invited to visit the marketplace.

Have patrons taste simple Moroccan foods such as couscous, watermelon, cantaloupe, pita bread, and honey pastries (baklava), and mint tea.

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Content copyright © 2013 by Paula S.W. Laurita. All rights reserved.
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