Arabic / Jordan

Ma al-mani‘
(Why not?)

al-Nakkar, Tafrjd ( Najjar, Taghreed) (text)
Manatira, Hassan ( Manasrah, Hassan) (illus.)
Aman: Al-Salwa, 2013. – 29 p.
ISBN 978-9957-04-072-7

Gender role | Tradition | Emancipation | Ramadan

A widowed man and his daughter Samia live in a small village in Palestine in the 1930s. For years now, the man has been responsible for playing his drums to wake the villagers during Ramadan, the month of fasting, so that they get up in time to eat their fi rst meal before sunrise. When he suddenly falls ill and has to stay in bed, Samia proposes to
step into the breach until he feels better. It’s not an easy decision for the father, but he eventually agrees.
The next night, the girl, accompanied by her dog Barq, sets off with a lantern. She crosses a dark forest and surprises the village people with her drumming.
In ≫Mā al-māni≪, the author questions the traditional female role. The story encourages readers to be open-minded and confi dent and believe in their own skills. The colourful double spread illustrations present an atmospheric image of the nocturnal setting. (Age: 7+)