What a day it’s been!

Started this morning with a presentation in west Saint John, New Brunswick. About seventy eager children arrived, many of whom had read WANTING MOR. I had to present in the main room of the library with women and babies weaving through the grade four and five kids sitting on the floor, and yet the kids were able to absorb the presentation.

And when I asked them if any of them knew of a father who’d run away from his kids and responsibilities, many of them raised their hands. Not only that, but several of them shared how their fathers’  had left before or just after they’d been born.

It was so sad.

I told them that one of the things I hoped the reader felt while reading WANTING MOR was this whole sense that it wasn’t Jameela’s fault that she was abandoned. That it was her father’s weaknesses and problems at play, and had nothing to do with her. I think they got that.

But it was the second presentation that I did in Quispamsis that really brought tears to my eyes.

The teacher had read the book to the students. She told me there were times when she’d finished reading for the day and the kids had begged her to read on.

Several of the children even said it was the best book they’d ever read!

How eagerly they listened to how I came to write it! And then they presented me with a banner with all their favourite moments in the story drawn on it! Wow!

There wasn’t a Muslim student in the class!

That these kids would relate so well to my story of Jameela in Afghanistan is amazing to me!

It gives the lie to the idea a few days  ago where I felt this humanizing project task was well nigh impossible.

I obviously don’t feel that way any more alhamdu lillah.