An Ocean in One Drop children’s book is based on an ancient Islamic story about the family of prophet Ibrahim (AS), the origins of the ‘Zamzam’ well and the establishment of early Makkah – the site of Islam’s holiest city.
Muslims believe that thousands of years ago prophet Ibrahim (AS) was told by Allah to travel towards a desert land (now known as Makkah) with his wife Hajar (AS) and his infant son Isma’il (AS). He was told to leave them in this area and, although they were not sure why, they had faith that this was part of Allah’s bigger plan.
The Sa’ee part within the Islamic pilgrimage at Makkah remembers Hajar’s (AS) struggle to find water and help in the desert once Prophet Ibrahim (AS) had left them. The story is based on a Hadith narrated by Ibn Abbas, one of Prophet Muhammad’s (SAW) cousins. Sahih al-Bukhari 3365.
Al Qatt Al Asiri Art
Al-Qatt Al-Asiri is an indigenous female Arabian art style native to modern day Saudi Arabia and adjoining parts of Yemen.
It originated in the decoration of majlis (the front parlour of traditional Arab homes) by the matriarch of the household. Each matriarch would then invite other females from her household to add another layer of Al Qatt patterns once she had completed her starting pattern.
These wall paintings, typically in the form of a of mural or fresco, present geometric designs in bright colors with bold black lines to help them stand out. Called nagash in Arabic, the wall paintings are often considered a mark of pride for a woman.
In 2017 the Al Qatt Al Asiri pattern was was inscribed on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
Waw Stories has included this female lead art form as a subtle design layer within the desertscape illustrations for our first children’s story book An Ocean in One Drop.
Waw Stories Founder Mariam Hakim had this to say: “The concept and symbolism of the Al Qatt patterns adds a wonderful layer of depth to this children’s book. It’s a traditional art form that women create collectively in layers. Much like the way this book was brought to life by the women working on it. We are so excited to help profile and platform this indigenous artform and intend to support artisans in the near future InshaAllah”.
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