In 1325, when Ibn Battuta was just twenty-one, he bid farewell to his parents in Tangier, Morocco, and embarked on a pilgrimage to Mecca. It was thirty years before he returned home, having seen much of the world. In this book he recalls his amazing journey and the fascinating people, cultures and places he encountered.
After his pilgrimage to Mecca, Ibn Battuta was filled with a desire to see more of the world. He traveled extensively, throughout Islamic lands and beyond — from the Middle East to Africa to Europe to Asia.
Travelers were uncommon in those days, and when Ibn Battuta arrived in a new city he would introduce himself to the governor or religious leaders, and they in turn would provide him with gifts, a place to stay and study, and sometimes they even gave him money to continue his journey. Some of the highlights of his travels included seeing the stunning Dome of the Rock shrine in Jerusalem; witnessing the hundreds of women who gathered to pray at the mosque in Shiraz; visiting the public baths in Baghdad; and meeting the Mogul emperor of India, who made him a judge and eventually sent him to China as an ambassador.
Ibn Battuta kept a diary of his travels, and even though he lost it many times and had to recall and rewrite what he had seen, he kept a remarkable record of his years away. His adventurous spirit, keen mind and meticulous observations, as retold here by Fatima Sharafeddine, give us a remarkable picture of what it was like to be a traveler nearly seven hundred years ago.
The book is beautifully illustrated by Intelaq Mohammed Ali, with maps and travel routes forming the backdrop for many richly painted scenes.
Fatima Sharafeddine is a Lebanese writer who has twice been nominated for the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award. After receiving a B.A. in Early Childhood Education, she moved from Lebanon to the United States, where she earned a master’s degree in education and another in Arabic literature. She is an active member of the Lebanese section of IBBY (LBBY) and has written more than one hundred books for children, including The Servant and The Amazing Travels of Ibn Battuta, also illustrated by Intelaq Mohammed Ali.
She now divides her time between Beirut and Brussels, where she writes and translates full time.
Intelaq Mohammed Ali is an Iraqi illustrator, graphic designer and author with thirty years’ experience in the field of children’s culture. Her illustrations and writing have appeared in more than eighty books and magazines for children and adults, and she has made thirty-two animations. Her work has been exhibited in more than fifty international shows, winning a total of nine awards in Japan, Jordan, Iran and Lebanon.
The Amazing Travels of Ibn Battuta, first published in the United Arab Emirates and illustrated by Intelaq Mohammed Ali, was selected for the IBBY Honour List, and Hakaza tatagayar alalwan (Thus the Colors Change), which she wrote and illustrated, has been reviewed in the White Ravens Catalogue (International Youth Library, Germany).
Intelaq has been selected as a jury member for the Etisalat Award for Arabic Children’s Literature and the Sharjah Exhibition for Children’s Book Illustration. She has actively participated in many international workshops and seminars, including the UNESCO-BIB Workshop for Illustrators of Children’s Books in Bratislava, Slovakia, and the first IBBY Regional Conference for Central Asia, the Middle East and North Africa in Sharjah, UAE.
The illustrations, done in a style reminiscent of Persian miniatures, feature large-eyed figures in period dress and evocative glimpses of grand architecture. - Kirkus Reviews
Simple and dignified, this is an excellent tool to use when introducing youngsters to Arab history and culture. Highly Recommended. - Library Media Connection, STARRED REVIEW
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