In my nearly four decades of teaching very young children from varied nationalities, ethnic groups, and religions, I feel that I emerged as a winner, with me learning more from them, than they from me. For 22 years I taught at the Karachi American School in Pakistan, for overseas Americans and the International Community. This has been the greatest asset in my life. My classroom has always been a mini United Nations and even after I adopted United States as my home I was fortunate enough to have a varied student body.
The common denominator and the basic fiber in my tapestry of teaching the children of the world were few simple favorites; Acceptance, Respect, and Appreciation of those different than oneself and learning to get along with each other. Exposing the developing minds to learn about each other’s countries, history, and geographical locations, social and cultural customs, language and religion, have given me a sense of accomplishment and fulfillment.
I took an early retirement to spend more time with my aging mother and to write books for children. A year later after my retirement my dear mother suffered a stroke and when I had some time in between caring for her, I started writing Grandma Lives With Us, combining my two great loves, the children, and my mother. My mother was a pillar of strength, a beacon of hope, peace, and serenity for the fourteen and a half years she lived with me. The character in the book is a true representation of her in every sense of the word.
I had always felt that in my years of teaching I had never found any books depicting an American Muslim family in the bookstore or on the Library shelves. I am hoping that my book will fill this void and allow the readers to take a peek into the home and life of an average American Muslim family. I also hope that my book will develop in the children at an early age, empathy, and the importance of caring and respecting their elders as much as they deserve in this fast paced life of the world today.
Nazli Currim, author
Author Nazli Currim drew heavily on her own mother’s six and a half year struggle after a stroke in writing Grandma Lives with Us. This sweet children’s book is dedicated to her mother.
Grandma Lives with Us is a lesson in family values for children. This beautiful story also offers to both Muslim and non-Muslim adults a timely reminder of the religious and cultural practices that throughout history ensured the loving care of aging parents by their adult children. Nazli’s story brings home the benefits to all family members when five and a half -year-old Imaan’s family brings Grandma home to live with them.
Imaan describes for the reader the fun she has with Grandma Nani, getting help with lessons, and learning how to do many things a young girl needs to learn when Grandma is healthy and actively participating in family life. When Grandma Nani becomes ill from a stroke, young Imaan learns valuable lessons about family love, caring for a sick grandparent, and the joy that can come from sacrificing her own plans for the good of a loved one.
Nazli lives in Arizona with her husband, and she has two adult children. She was born in Bombay, India and received her degree in English and Psychology from the University of Karachi in Pakistan. She also has a Montessori Education certification from Association Montessori Internationale (AMI). Nazli worked thirty-eight years in education with children of all nationalities and religions. She is also a journalist and has contributed to the Muslim Voice for ten years, The Arizona Republic, and Pakistan Link. She is the coordinator and advisor for the Montessori Program of the Arizona Cultural Academy in Phoenix, Arizona and is the founder of American Muslim Women’s Association (AMWA). She is also a member of Arizona South Asians for Safe Families (ASAFSF). She has assisted in the resettlement of refugees from Bosnia, Kosovo, Iraq, Somalia, Afghanistan, Eritrea, Sudan, and Burma.
Nazli extends her love for helping others to many in her local community. I have been fortunate to be on the receiving end of her kindness and generosity. As a publisher I enjoyed reading Grandma Lives with Us because the story is told from the perspective of a young child. Nazli effectively fashioned Imaan into a believable and interesting “book person” and one I think children will readily identify with. I read and then reread Grandma Lives with Us because I thoroughly enjoyed the story so much. I believe the reader will as well.
Linda D. Delgado, Publisher, Muslim Writers Publishing
My eyes filled with tears thinking of Nani being sick. I crawled in Mom’s lap and held her tight. “ Where is she hurting Mom? Did she have her medicine? I miss her so much!” “Come Imaan let us say a little get-well prayer for Nani.” I raised my hands and said a prayer in my heart. I felt better after that and slid from Mom’s lap and went outside and sat on the swing. The breeze felt good as it passed through my hair and gently tickled my face.