and the World's Oldest University
A TRUE TALE WITH
A CHERRY ON TOP
(pub.3.1.22) 40 pages
Author: M. O. Yuksel
Illustrator: Mariam Quraishi
Character: Fatima al-Fihri
"Fatima had one wish . . .Fatima al-Fihri loved to learn. She wanted to know everything, like how birds flew, why the sky was blue, and how flowers grew. But more than anything, she wanted a school for all, where anyone could study and become whatever they wanted, like teachers, scientists, and doctors.
As she grew older, Fatima carried her one wish inside her, through good times and bad. Fueled by her faith and her determination, she worked hard to make her one wish come true. For over a thousand years, Fatima’s one wish—her school—served students and scholars from around the globe, and it continues to do so today!."
"Fatima's faith taught her that charity – sadaqah jariyah – was like planting a single seed from which thousands of wildflowers continuously bloomed. She wondered how she could use the fortune left to her by her father and husband to honor them and to serve the community she so loved.
As she watched more people arrive daily in Fez, she knew what to do. Fez had opened its arms to her, and she wanted to do the same for those in need.
Fatima's wish burned brightly inside her."
And something more: M. O. Yuksel, in the Author's Note, explains that "Fatima al-Fihri played an important role in the advancement education and civilization. She is admired by many for her perseverance, wisdom, and generosity. Almost one 1,200 years have passed, and Al-Qarawiyyin University continues to share the gift of knowledge. Fatima is an inspiration to all, and her rich legacy lives on in the excellence the institution she founded."