Arabic Children’s Books That Tackle Environmental Issues

In today’s Al Masry Al Youm, I have a piece about Arabic children’s books that tackle environmental issues in both a fun and educational way.

I shan’t repeat here what I wrote over there, but instead wanted to share the full version of an email Q&A I did with the award-winning author of the Farhana series, Rania Hussein Amin, (who will be appearing at Cairo’s Al-Balsam Books this Saturday) about her forays into environmentally themed literature for children.



One Muslim’s Mission To Make Africa Green Again


Muslim starts sustainable tree planting operation to make Ethiopia green once again.

Visiting Ethiopia after a thirty year absence, Geshaw Tahir an Ethiopian-born Muslim was struck by one thing. The green landscapes and trees that once surrounded his home had all but disappeared and were replaced with dry fields, eroded and ruined after years of deforestation.

Mountain rivers had dried up, temperatures were rising, malaria was spreading and untold destruction had been done to the environment.

Tahir was so shocked by this sight that he vowed to take action.


Shelina Zahra Janmohamed on why it’s not easy being green!

It is a terrible thing to admit, but I’m going to come clean: although I aspire to be “eco-friendly”, and “green”, I don’t think I’m doing enough about it. And I have a suspicion that I’m not the only one.

We are constantly told how important it is to reverse the tide towards climate change, to reduce our carbon footprint and to ensure we don’t ignore inconvenient truths. Aside from the climate change sceptics, everybody worthily agrees that it’s the right thing to do, but how many of us actually do anything about it? 

According to Suzanne Shelton of the Shelton Group, who conducts annual surveys of consumer attitudes towards environmental issues, consumers like me are “armchair environmentalists”. We can see lots of things other people should do, but don’t want to do much ourselves, unless it’s easy and saves money.


“Green Deen” Ibrahim Abdul-Matin Connects Environmentalism With Islam

feature_ibrahim_abdul-matin_0Ibrahim Abdul-Matin’s acclaimed book educates American believers, “Green Deen: What Islam Teaches About Protecting the Planet.”

For the past ten years, Ibrahim Abdul-Matin has been a passionate voice for transforming our pollution based way of life to one that prioritises our planet and its people. His book Green Deen: What Islam Teaches about Protecting the Planet is a voice for educating us on greening our lives and faith, and here, Ibrahim explains how we can do that.


An Epic Journey To Mecca- By Bike! (SLIDESHOW)

cycling to mecca

These two show how cycling thousands of miles to Mecca can be done.

Every year, millions of Muslims from all corners of the world board a flight heading to Saudi Arabia to fulfill their pilgrimage to Mecca.While there are no figures on the carbon footprint of these flights, they must make up a decent chunk of the overall carbon produced during hajj season and undermine the possibility of a truly ‘Green Hajj‘.

Two pilgrims from South Africa- Natheem Cairncross, 28 and Imtiyaz Haron, 25- however, decided to take a different route and embarked on an epic nine-month trip from Cape Town to Mecca by bike. Cycling almost 6,800 miles from South Africa to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, this slideshow follows them on their inspirational journey through Africa and the Middle East to their final destination.


Written by Arwa Aburawa and originally published on Green Prophet.

The Debate on Islam and Vegetarianism- Part 2

Fruit stall in a market in Barcelona, Spain.

Colourful Fruit and Veg: Image via Wikipedia

A while back, I posted an article here on the issue of whether Islam condones or recommends or even encourages vegetarianism as I felt that there were alot of views out there and no real solid answers. I am afraid, I still have no solid answers but the debates continues.

Rianne ten Veen, author of ’99 ways to please god‘ who also works with IFEES (and is one of the best Green Muslims I know) added these interesting points which I wanted to share:

I agree the Quran doesn’t state ‘thou shalt be an exclusive vegetarian’; however, there are at least 4 verses in the Quran which positively encourage the non-animal food blessings:


“Mekkah Metro” Marks A Green Hajj For Pilgrims


A high speed train to Mecca in Saudi Arabia will cut down on carbon emissions during hajj this year, but its reach is limited.

Every year, around three million Muslims from across the world prepare for the spiritual journey of a lifetime. Many will have been saving up for the trip for years and will be prepared to travel thousands of miles to reach their destination: Mecca in Saudi Arabia to perform the hajj.

As one of the five pillars of Islam, every Muslim who has the financial and physical ability is encouraged to make the pilgrimage to Mecca which is Islam’s most holy site. The question is can this spiritual pilgrimage, which leaves behind a trail of waste and carbon emissions, really be transformed into something more green?


Naqa’a: Saudi Women Fight For The Environment

Members of Naqa’a: Norah Magraby, Mona Othman, Muna Alamer, Elham Uthman, Reem Oudah, Amal Aljuhani, Wafaa Aljuhani and Shaima’a Alhajj.

For over five years, a small group of young Muslim women have been hard at work in Saudi Arabia helping to fight climate change. Naqa’a, the environmental enterprise, was setup with the aim of introducing environmental practices to organizations and spreading  Islam’s green message to the masses. The founders of the group were even selected by the White House to participate in the Presidential Summit on Entrepreneurship. Arwa caught up with Norah Magraby, a full-time nurse who manages the organisation in her spare time, to find out more about their work, the biggest issues facing Saudi Arabia and the role that all Muslims must play in protecting the environment.


Green Prophet: ARC To Revive Faith In Food

ARC works with major religions like Islam, Christianity and Judaism to develop environmental programs. Now they look at food.

It might have something to with the fact that it’s almost Eid al-Adha, where halal slaughter is carried out en masse, but it feels like everywhere I look halal is getting a hard time in the press. First, the iconic Campbell’s soup was targeted for a boycott after introducing halal labelling and then the Australian government refuses to send their cattle to Egypt for the Eid sacrifice.


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