It’s Time to Re-Read الوطن

What is الوطن, or a homeland?

Who belongs in الوطن? Where can you find it? I have written about this book before—which my older son and I enjoy for its Picasso-meets-child illustrations and its insightful questions about the words we hear all the time.

Our child narrator salutes the flag each day and hears about الوطن, but he doesn’t know what it is. So he goes on a journey and asks the moon, an orange tree, the earth, the Nile, the (quickly moving) sun, the wind: Are you the homeland?

The boy finally ends up asking his grandmother. And the answer: It’s all of us—friends, neighbors (Muslim and Christian), the school, the Nile, the moon, the sun, and everyone living on Egyptian soil: الوطن هو نحن كلنا

It’s a book for 3- to 8-year-olds living in liberated Egypt.

Publisher: Dar el Shorouk

Cost: 7LE

Author: فاطمة المعدول

Illustrator: صلاح بيصور

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