Iqbal, a Brave Boy from Pakistan
March 25 marks the International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade.
How do we begin talking about the topics of
oppression, freedom, child slavery, terrorists in an age-appropriate way?
I recently came across this book and when I read it with my 6+ year old,
it gave me goosebumps.
I thought the topics will be too much for him,
but he was really intrigued.
I'm so glad I got this book to start talking with him about what slavery is,
to know where Pakistan is.
This book has two parts,
sharing the stories of two Pakistani children,
Iqbal Masih and Malala Yousafzai.
Both of them were heroes in their own right.
I'll share more about Iqbal’s story today.
At the young age of 4,
Iqbal's parents owed someone USD12,
and in return for the loan,
he had to work in a dark gloomy factory
while being chained to the weaving loom 😭😭
Children, with their nifty fingers,
could weave beautiful and intricate patterns.
At age 10, he was liberated by the Bonded Liberation Front of Pakistan.
Iqbal stood up to speak against child slavery in the carpet trade,
to save other children just like him.
He received threats from people in the carpet industry for speaking up 😱
When he was 12, he was shot while cycling with his cousins 😭💔
Lots of questions raised.
It was a sobering read
that didn’t have a happy ending...
but it’s okay,
let’s process it together with our kids.
While I was taking photos to share this book,
Ms 2 👧🏻 came over wanting to read, so we looked at the pictures together.
She said “他很伤心，脚痛痛” when she saw Iqbal being chained to the weaving loom 😭 She understands.
This is a really special genre of children’s books
for us to introduce historical and global issues
to our slightly older children.
Suggested extension activities:
💡 Look for Pakistan on the world map
💡 Learn about how carpets are made
💡 Fly a kite
Recommended for Ages: 6-12
Available on mystorytreasury.com
I love reading biographies with my kids. Our kids need real heroes.
Do you know of any other inspirational life stories to share with kids? Share them with us!