Libraries are critical places of learning and discovery for
children all over the world. But when young sisters, Zena Nasiri, 17, and Mena
Nasiri, 15 couldn’t find any books about Muslim women, they decided to find a
Zena Nasiri and Mena Nasiri started Girls of the Crescent, a nonprofit organization that increases the number of books in libraries and schools with Muslim characters.
After the launch of her non-profit, the girls decided to
write their own book on prominent Muslim women from past to present.
Their organization has received national coverage and they are making a huge impact on young girls around the Muslim world. According to an article written by msn.com, Zena and Mena were asked to complete a project on a prominent figure for school.
They wanted to write a piece on a prominent Muslim woman but
couldn’t identify the resources from their own library that represented
prominent Muslims or women. They realized this lack of representation needed to
be addressed and requested donations to purchase books with Muslim characters.
The response from all over the world was tremendous, which
allowed them to donate books to libraries all over the world.
“We have had such a positive response from the Muslim
community, both locally and abroad. A local mosque invited us to speak about
our project on several occasions and has donated to our cause,” Zena and Mena
“We are also honored to receive the KBK Lifetime
Humanitarian Achievement Award at the 2nd annual KBK Relief Foundation gala. On
a global scale, some Muslim authors of the books on our list have been kind
enough to support us and send us copies of their books from around the world,” they
Muslim youths deserve to have themselves portrayed as protagonists, as the hero and represented in books and media.
To see Muslim teenagers as fully realized characters, as
human beings, means including them in all genres of stories.
With the increased interest in growing genres of literature, young Muslim children crave seeing themselves represented in books and the big movie screens. It does something for the child to see themselves as heroes, creative characters, and human beings that are experiencing the challenges of life.
“We’ve been lucky enough to see the positive impact our work
has on Muslim youth first hand. One of our most memorable donations was when we
donated to an elementary school at a local mosque,” Mena and Zena shared with AboutIslam.net.
“When we handed the books to these Muslim students we could
see the excitement on their faces as they flipped through the pages and got to
see their religion and culture depicted through relatable characters. We hope
that all of our donations have this impact on Muslim youth looking for
Reading can provide a great escape and a beautiful insight into the larger world. Everyone deserves the chance to fall into a great book and get lost in the story entirely.
Muslim youth and Muslim women deserve to see their lives and their voices validated not only in literature, but in the world.