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The Star Pupil’s Diary Entry by Fiza Pathan
I had a wonderful day at school today. I got a star and I’m going to tell you all about it.
I’m eight years old, but I’m the tallest boy in the class. I, and the other kids in my neighborhood, study at the school down the block. Actually, our school was once something terrible; it was a disgusting Christian church, something called “Catholic.” The school officials tore it down and made it into a proper school for us kids.
So, I went to school today. I was the first one there so I got the biggest teddy bear to do my training with. The kids who were late got teddies that were way too small, the cheap ones that our soldiers stole from the hands of fleeing Jewish kids before they shot them in the head.
My teacher made us do our practice training in the morning. He handed us our daggers. We each checked with our fingers if they were sharp enough. Since I was early to class, I got to demonstrate. I put the dagger on the neck of the teddy and slit it the way my teacher had taught me to do. The other students followed me, but I was the best at cutting off teddy’s head.
“The jugular,” my teacher scolded another student who was cutting the wrong part of the teddy. “The jugular and do it slowly; it should make them cry.”
After dagger practice was over, we all sat and singing practice began. Singing is important; it touches souls and bring them closer to God.
We sang the national anthem. Teacher said I was the best singer and patted me on the head.
“Now, who knows a good English song, a hymn for our nation?” our teacher asked.
Every kid was stumped. They knew plenty of English songs, some of them were American. But you couldn’t sing those songs anymore. They knew “If I Was Your Boyfriend” by that Justin Bieber nonbeliever and “That’s What Makes You Beautiful” by One Direction, another group of nonbelievers—may the devil plague them!
But no one knew a hymn in English to our cause. Not a single kid. Well, everyone except me!
I raised my hand and teacher smiled.
He asked me to stand up and sing in place.
The other kids turned to look at me. They were jealous because they were not as smart as me.
I put my hands behind my back and stood straight like I do when singing the national anthem. I opened my mouth and began to sing:
We for the sake of Allah have come under the banner,
We for the sake of our Caliph have torn the world asunder;
We for the sake of our raped sisters will kill the ones responsible,
We for the sake of our nation will die, but not before we become incredible.
I didn’t know the meaning of raped, but daddy had taught me this song while we were fleeing India to come here, to this land of milk and honey. Daddy taught me a lot of songs and hymns as we fled India. We almost got caught, but our fake passports worked. Daddy is so smart. He is now working as a soldier here.
“Bravo, my son,” my teacher said, and he shook my hand. The other kids clapped, but some spat on the ground with disgust.
“Bravo, my son,” my teacher said again, holding me by the shoulders and looking into my eyes. “You are a gem of a man already. You get a star for this.”
And I did; a star made of metal shining like gold, the ones soldiers put on their uniforms. I was so proud that I couldn’t stop smiling.
The teacher then said it was almost time for prayers, but before that, did any of us kids know who we were deep in our hearts? Many kids answered:
“We are Allah’s blessing in flesh.”
“We are the terror of the Westerners.”
“We are the protectors of our faith.”
“We are true worshippers of the almighty.”
But the teacher said all their answers were wrong. I knew that too, because I knew the real answer. Teacher then asked me, “Tell me, son, who are we?”
I smiled, fiddling with my gold star before answering: “We are men who love death just as some people love their life; we are soldiers who fight in the day and the night.”
My teacher clapped, and so did the other kids, except for the ones who yet again spat on the floor and gave me angry looks.
We spent the rest of the day praying, going to the mosque that was once a church. They called it Lutheran, which sounds so ugly. I then came home, and here I am writing in this diary, which Daddy gave me to record the fun time I’m having here in this new country, the place where Allah truly lives with his beloved people.
I’m so happy to have earned my star. I’ll wear it tomorrow to the next beheading on the main square of those bad men who were trying to escape heaven, this place where we stay. I love beheadings. I take pictures of it on my uncle’s cell phone. I love the blood, snapped bones, and torn veins the best.
Tomorrow, our class will burn crosses at the beheading. I will burn not a cross, but a small statue of Mary, mother of that prophet who sinned against us. I’ve never burned her before, not because I haven’t gotten a chance to do so, but because . . . her eyes, her eyes when they look at me are funny.
Well, it’s time to go for prayers. I shall write later.
Alif Shifaq of the ISIS children brigade,
3 Bel Anif Mansion,
Sultan Saladin Road,
March 12, 2015.
After the fall of ISIS in Raqqa, an American soldier with his entire team were on the ground for inspection purposes. It was the year 2017, and the whole city had been razed to the ground.
The American soldier’s name was Emmanuel, and as he walked over the immense quantity of rubble, he spotted something.
It was a diary. A bit battered due to the bombing, but in good shape.
The hand of a preteen was found holding a pen beside it. The hand only. Not the rest of the body. The body had been incinerated.
Emmanuel lifted the diary and dusted it. He took it along with him, jumping over a pile of dusty teddy bears with their throats cut.
“City of the dead,” Emmanuel intoned, as he opened the diary to read. The first thing he read was an inscription in black ink from a fountain pen. It was done in calligraphy—skillfully done.
We are men who love death just as you love your life,
We are the soldiers who fight in the day and the night.
Emmanuel sighed and turned a page.
Copyright ©2020 Fiza Pathan
Our Rare Classics Win Big at the 2019 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards
Fiza Pathan Publishing (OPC) Private Limited is proud to announce that three of our Rare Classics which were entered in the 2019 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards won ‘Honorable Mention’ in the ‘Chapter Book’ category.
The Purple Dragonfly Book Awards is a worldwide book competition that was created in 2009 to celebrate the best in children’s books. Besides recognizing and honoring accomplished authors in the field of children’s literature, they want to highlight up-and-coming, newly published, and younger writers.
Divided into 55 categories ranging from books on the environment and cooking to sports and family issues to the marketing collateral such as bookmarks and media kits that complement a book, the Purple Dragonfly Book Awards are geared toward books that appeal to children of all ages. They look for stories that are original, innovative and creative in both content and design. A Purple Dragonfly Book Awards seal on your book’s cover, marketing materials, or website tells parents, grandparents, educators, and caregivers that they are giving children a book of the highest caliber. Their judges are industry experts with specific knowledge about the categories over which they preside.
Being honored with a Purple Dragonfly Book Award gives authors the recognition they deserve and provides a boost to further their writing careers.
To be eligible to win an award, a book must earn a minimum score of 55 out of 80 judge’s points, even if it is the ONLY entry in a category.
We are therefore proud that three of our Rare Classics were recognized in the Chapter Book category. The books that were honored are:
What makes are books stand out from those in the market? What are the USPs of these Rare Classics? To name a few:
- They are Rare Classics – not usually abridged for children
- Superbly abridged by Fiza Pathan (teacher and award-winning author of CLASSICS: Why and how we can encourage children to read them) and Michaelangelo Zane
- Beautifully illustrated by Farzana Cooper
- Suitable for children aged 7-12
- Received Honorable Mention in Chapter Book category in the 2019 Purple Dragonfly Book Awards
- ‘A clever retelling of Carroll’s classic story with all the imagery of the original.’ —The ‘Wishing Shelf’ Book Review
- ‘A well-pruned, wonderfully illustrated abridgment. A gripping retelling of the classic.’ —The ‘Wishing Shelf’ Book Review
- ‘A dark, often chilling, classic, superbly abridged and illustrated. This is the perfect accompanying novel to the original. Lit. students will love it!’—The ‘Wishing Shelf’ Book Review
Our books can be purchased worldwide on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Indie Bound. Wholesalers and bookstores can order their books from Ingram and Amazon. In India, our books can be purchased from the following bookstores in Mumbai: Kitab Khana, Wayword & Wise, Title Waves, Saint Paul’s Book & Media Centre, Trilogy and Granth. Bookstores outside Mumbai can order their copies directly from us on outright sale basis. You may email us with your requirements at email@example.com to avail of bookstore discounts. Our catalog of books can be accessed via Media Kit. Complete details are available on our website: https://fizapathanpublishing.us/
by Lee Foster on June 27, 2019
Few tasks concentrate the mind more than an assignment to give a 5-minute talk on a publishing panel. Recently, my assignment was: “Lee, since you’ve done books both self-published and with traditional publishers, what are the prospects for both strategies in 2020?”
Read more at the Book Designer
Until recently, if you wanted to edit a Microsoft Word or Excel file in Google Docs, you had to convert the file into a Google document. Now, however, if you use a Chrome browser—and install the Office Editing extension by Google—you can natively edit those files. I’m in love.
Credits: Electric Speed Newsletter from Jane Friedman