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Zahra's Trip to Misr de Sufiya Ahmed
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Zahra's Trip to Misr (edició 2010)

de Sufiya Ahmed (Autor)

Sèrie: Zahra Khan (3)

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512,429,356 (3)No n'hi ha cap
Membre:ReneeHorn
Títol:Zahra's Trip to Misr
Autors:Sufiya Ahmed (Autor)
Informació:Bibi Publishing (2010)
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Zahra's Trip to Misr de Sufiya Ahmed

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Schoolgirl Zahra Khan and her fellow pupils at the Khadija Academy set out for Misr (or Egypt, as it is known here in the West) in this third installment of Sufiya Ahmed's series of children's novels chronicling the doings at a progressive Islamic boarding school for girls in Britain. Excited at the prospect of spending time abroad together, Zahra and her best mates - Marya Yusuf, Hannah Joseph and Jobena Leroy - are no sooner embarked on the flight when trouble arises, in the form of toxic school bully and snob, Saira Choudhury, who locks the claustrophobic Jo in the plane's tiny bathroom. The excitement continues in Cairo, as the girls pray at the Al Azhar Mosque, shop at the famous market Khan-e-Khalili, and visit the pyramids; but when Hannah and Jo's efforts to repay Saira in kind for her actions on the flight over go horribly wrong, and the two are confined to the hotel, it looks like the trip might be spoiled. Then the girls, together with some newfound friends from St. Mary's school (also on a school trip in Cairo), discover that a fellow guest at their hotel may be in danger. Can they discover what ails the girl-with-the-sad-face, and if so, will they be able to come up with a plan to help her...?

An engaging continuation of the story begun in Zahra's First Term at the Khadija Academy and Zahra's Great Debate, this slim volume - like the others in the series, it is put out by Ahmed's own Bibi Publishing, as mainstream publishers in the UK would not accept it - was a lot of fun to read. I enjoyed Zahra's Trip to Misr, with its continuation of the Zahra & Co vs. Saira Choudhury rivalry (which looks to only get more interesting in the forthcoming Zahra's Second Year at the Khadija Academy, if the conclusion here is anything to judge by!), and its introduction of new characters, such as Anu Apa, the daughter of Khadija Academy headmistress, Sister Zainab. As with its predecessors, I learned some new things, such as the fact that Allah has ninety-nine names, in the Islamic tradition, or that nasheeds (a cappella songs praising various Islamic figures and themes) are so immensely popular in the Muslim world. There were a few errors - at one point one of the characters describes the pyramids as the oldest structure on earth, when this honor belongs to Newgrange, in the Irish Brú na Bóinne (I had the pleasure of visiting it for the second time, last month) - and I didn't care for the way in which Aunt Sandra's reaction to being told she would look better in a hijab, at the beginning of the book, was dismissed as embarrassing by Zahra. On the other hand, I really liked the way that the girls from the Khadija Academy and from St. Mary's worked together to respond to the crisis involving Mumtaz, and although I wish that the larger impact of modern slavery in the Middle East had been mentioned, was glad to see the issue being raised at all.

Despite these relatively minor criticisms, I did enjoy Zahra's Trip to Misr, which, in addition to presenting an engaging story, seemed a lot better edited that previous installments of the series. I continue to think that it is a shame that such fun stories, featuring contemporary young Muslim girls, aren't more widely available, both to British readers, and to American ones. I will definitely be keeping an eye out for the next installment of the Zahra series, and will be hunting down a copy of Ahmed's more serious young adult title, Secrets of the Henna Girl, which marks her entry into the conventional publishing world. ( )
1 vota AbigailAdams26 | Apr 1, 2013 |
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