Our Story Book Review: Fatima Al-Fihri

Fatima Al-Fihri cover image

Our Story books seek to shine a light on historical figures who accomplished great things. Fatima Al-Fihri is one of those. In 859 CE she established what has become the world’s oldest university in the city of Fes, Morrocco.

Born in Tunisia, Fatima was the daughter of a wealthy merchant who migrated with his family to Fes. When he died young, he left a fortune to Fatima and her sister. They each spent their inheritance building a mosque. But Fatima also firmly believed in the importance of education, so she expanded the role of her mosque to also be a center of learning.

Fatima’s story has gorgeous illustrations by Emanuel Colban, who incorporates symbolism from Fatima’s country as well as the continent of Africa in the artwork. Activities at the end promote discussion in a way that young children will be able to relate Fatima’s actions to their own lives. There’s also a fun craft activity for parents and caregivers to conduct with their children. A glossary of terms and pronunciation guide help introduce new words and concepts. I recommend Fatima Al-Fihri’s story for ages 4 to 8.

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