Stories from My Village

My Chinese Village (Part-10)

To read the previous part of this story, click here.Our Village MosqueHere is our mosque, the heart of Gonja village. All over Uyghuristan, one can see mosques like ours in both villages and towns. Some mosques do not have large minarets, but all have at...

My Chinese Village (Part-9)

To read the previous part of this story, click here.A Famous Uyghur SonHistory is my favourite subject in school. I study history of Islam on weekends with a hoja (religious teacher) who comes to our house, but at school we study about Uyghur history and...

My Chinese Village (Part-8)

To read the previous part of this story, click here.An Ancient Local LanguageAs Muslims, we know the power and importance of language. Our religion, din al-haqq al-islam, encourages all Muslims to learn to read and aquire knowledge. Even before embracing Islam a thousand year ago,...

My Chinese Village (Part-7)

To read the previous part of this story, click here.Uyghur Arts and CraftsThe people of our village are extremely artistic. We live in a very rugged but beautiful landscape and these natural surroundings have always influenced our architecture and our own sense of decoration. The...

My Chinese Village (Part-6)

To read the previous part of this story, click here.The Sunday Open-Air MarketToday is Sunday, market day. For centuries, villagers have met once a week in an open area just outside Gonja village. Our part of Uyghuristan is on the crossroads for merchants coming from...

My Chinese Village (Part-5)

To read the previous part of this story, click here.Our Nomadic NeighboursIn the fall and winter months, nomads camp on the hills surrounding our village. Most of them are either Kirghiz or Kazakh Turks. Although their language is a little different from ours, we can...

My Chinese Village (Part-4)

To read the previous part of this story, click here.Our AnimalsWe are farmers here in Gonja village. Al-Hamdulillah, by careful use of the underground water and our natural streams and rivers, we can grow many kinds of fruits and vegetables. The surrounding mountains and their...

My Chinese Village (Part-3)

To read the previous part of this story, click here.The Traditional Uyghur HomeAs I have said, the Uyghur people abandoned the nomadic lifestyle centuries ago. We now live in permanent settlements: villages like Gonja, or towns and cities such as Kashgar, Turfan, or our capital,...

My Chinese Village (Part-2)

To read the previous part of this story, click here.The Farming LifeThe ancestral home of the Uyghur people and all Turkic people is Mongolia. Before the advent of Islam, Uyghur tribes had migrated westwards. Eventually, my people reached the area we now call home: the...

My Chinese Village (Part-1)

My Mountainous CountryMy name is Nur Muhammad 'Abd al-Hamid and I live in Western China. I am a fourteeen-year-old Uyghur Muslim boy, al-Hamdulillah. I live in a beautiful village called Gonja, which means "flower bud" in our language, Uyghurje. Our language is a form of...

My Moroccan Village (Part-5)

To read the previous part of this story, click here.Today we studied the seerah of 'Ibn Ishaq. It is wonderful to read about the life of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SM). By the way, several important members of the Prophet's family came to Morocco in...

My Moroccan Village (Part-4)

To read the previous part of this story, click here.Tomorrow is juma' and I want to buy a new taqiyyah (prayer cap) and a pair of yellow babouche (soft leather slippers) to wear to the mosque. Look at the beautiful selection of taqiyyahs for sale...

My Moroccan Village (Part-3)

To read the previous part of this story, click here.These are three beautiful ammonites and one trilobite from my fossil collection. Ammonites were mollusks (a type of shellfish) that lived along with trilobites arthropods like crabs in the prehistoric seas. The examples here are all...

My Moroccan Village (Part-2)

To read the previous part of this story, click here.The national dish of Morocco, for example, is couscous which my mother prepares for us each week after salat al-juma'. Couscous is steamed semolina wheat kernels cooked with oil, carrots, squash and sometimes big sweet quinces,...

My Moroccan Village (Part-1)

My name is Abd al-Hay. I am a twelve year old Moroccan Muslim boy, Al-Hamdulillah. Tafaddalu fee qaryatuna, as we say in Moroccan Arabic. "Welcome to our village." My village is called Ait Beni Korchi; it lies just beyond the last hillock. I live in...

My Yemeni Village (Part-4)

To read the previous part of this story, click here.In pre-Islamic times, Yemen was an important trading centre. Many towns and cities grew rich because of the trade in expensive aromatics (incense). In many parts of Yemen today, one can find find traces of the...

My Yemeni Village (Part-3)

To read the previous part of this story, click here.Market day, called suq as-sabt in Arabic, is an exciting time for everyone. When I am not in school, I usually go with my uncle to help him sell his frankincense. The incense looks like small...

My Yemeni Village (Part-2)

To read the previous part of this story, click here.Eery adult in Al-Ashrafiyyah village is an artisan. Allah has blessed each of us with a unique skill. We all enjoy using our hands to make beautiful things. Potters create useful and practical containers; many village...

My Yemeni Village (Part-1)

My name is 'Abd al-Nur and I am a thirteen year old Muslim boy, Al-Hamdulillah. I live in a beautiful village called Al-Ashrafiyyah in the high mountains of Yemen.Yemen is a very old country. Hundreds of years before the coming of Islam, the Sabean and...

My Palestinian Village (Part-4)

To read the previous part of this story, click here.8. My Village SchoolIn Bayt Zaytun, we have a school, al-Hamdulillah. Here is the inside of my classroom. In the early morning, my younger brother and sis- ters have their classes here, but mine are in...