Anat Rosenberg reports (20 November 2017):
The author, Iranian-born Dr. Golbarg Bashi, promoted her book and a reading at a local bookstore in a post last week on a closed Facebook page for New York moms.
...Bashi, a history professor at Pace University who lives in New York with her family, founded an educational company in 2013 “to promote progressive early childhood education, diversifying children’s literature” and empower kids through what she describes as “playful gender and race-conscious pedagogy.”
Her company has created wooden blocks featuring the Persian and Arabic alphabets (a Hebrew template has just been completed), and “P is for Palestine” is the first book in a planned children’s book series about diversity.
It joins the ranks of recently published children’s books that aim to bring the kind of progressivism and identity politics that are common on college campuses into the kindergarten classroom.Bashi’s decision to author a children’s book about Palestine also stems back to her childhood. She spent her early years between southern Iran and London, and her family immigrated to Sweden when she was in middle school.
...Rather than pitch the project to children’s book publishers, Bashi turned to LaunchGood, a crowdfunding platform focused on the Muslim community worldwide, with the goal of raising $15,000 for the initial print run of 2,000 copies. They received donations from the United States, Canada and Europe, and surpassed that goal by about $900.
“I consider myself Palestinian at heart,” Bashi said, “and I wanted to write and publish a book that was greatly needed – a classic, playful and pedagogically sound ABC rhyme book with lots of references to the Holy Land (Christmas, Jesus Christ, Bethlehem, Nazareth), Palestinian food, dance, culture, and the geography, multiculturalism of the region.”Bashi teamed up with a fellow Iranian, illustrator Golrokh Nafisi, to create the artwork for the book, which follows standard ABC book practice in terms of the text. In Bashi’s version, which is sometimes stilted, “A is for Arabic, my tongue, that’s the 4th biggest ever sung!,” and “B is for Bethlehem, my birthplace with the best Baklawas, put it on a plate not in a vase!”
...Bashi’s husband, Hamid Dabashi, also a Columbia professor,