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A Kid's Guide to Arab American History: More Than 50 Activities    by Yvonne Wakim Dannis & Maha Addasi order for
Kid's Guide to Arab American History
by Yvonne Wakim Dannis
Order:  USA  Can
Chicago Review Press, 2013 (2013)
* *   Reviewed by Bob Walch

Featuring fifty hands-on activities, games and crafts, this book explores the diversity of Arab American culture. Young readers between the ages of seven and nine will discover what types of contributions Americans of Lebanese, Syrian, Palestinian, Jordanian, Egyptian, Iraqi and Yemeni descent have made over the years.

With over four million Arab Americans living in the United States, these individuals from various countries have played an important role in business, education and other sectors, yet much is misunderstood about this broad cultural group.

The reader will learn that the five states with the largest population of Arab Americans are California, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio and Texas. The authors debunk some misconceptions about Arab Americans. For instance, they do not all come from the desert and ride camels, have ties to oil rich countries, nor are they all Muslims.

The activities the book offers include how to play games such as mazen al qurawi and el-quirkat, how to create coasters featuring Yememi frieze designs, and whip up a batch of Sittis, puffy pancakes, or Egyptian falafels, or design a banner or dried-flower serving plate.

Each chapter also contains a section about notable individuals from the various Middle Eastern countries discussed, as well as a list of key words from each culture.

An excellent book for classroom use and parents who wish to give their children a sense of all the cultures that make up the USA, this guide will also be appreciated by members of the Arab American community who wish to share its contents with their friends and families. It is also a good starting place to dispel some of the misconceptions about people who originate from the Middle East.

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