Story Competition Winners

Nani’s Magical Purse by Abdullah Umer (9 years old, Canada)

 “Ali! Wake up, we are going shopping with Nani! Yelled Ali's mom from downstairs. Ali pulled the covers over his head only to realize he was going shopping with Nani! Everytime Ali went shopping with Nani she would always get him a treat. Ali got out of bed and changed his clothes and went downstairs. As usual his younger brother Ibrahim was running around in his diaper and his mom was running after him. “Grab a quick snack and let’s head out,” mom instructed Ali.

Ali finally got to the mall with his Nani. Once they had bought everything Nani took Ali to his favorite store: Sport Stop. It seemed to Ali that Nani had an endless supply of money, as she would always buy him whatever he wanted. For example, a few days after his soccer ball popped she bought him a new one. Whenever he wanted Tim Hortons she would get it for him.

Ali was super happy with the shopping he had done with Nani. After returning home Ali wondered that if Nani had so much money why did she still live in an old house? Why did she still drive an old car? Ali kept thinking about this until he went shopping with her again and then Ali asked “Nani how do you have so much money.”Nani responded to Ali and said " Ali I don't work and neither does your grandpa.The truth is I have a magical purse!!! Every time I put money in it, a magical creature makes my money grow.” said Nani with a smile on her face. Ali stared at her wide-eyed with amazement.

Later that day Ali told his mom excitedly about Nanis magical purse. Ali's mom asked curiously, “tell me more.” “She told me that a tiny magical creature in her purse makes her money grow!” Ali explained. Ali’s mom giggled. Nani told me the same thing when I was young. I discovered that the tiny creature in her purse is actually not a creature but Nanis good deeds. “What do you mean?” Asked Ali, now more confused than before. “The reason Nanis money grows is because of all the Sadaqa she gives and all the people she helps. Nani doesn't spend much on herself but she is very generous and kind to others. She always ensures her family is earning money in a halal way and spending wisely on halal things.” Ali listened to his mom very attentively as he learned so many new things about Nani.

“Ali, would you like a magical wallet of your own?” “Would I? I would love to have a magical creature in my wallet! But mom, how can I?” Ali wondered. “Well there are many ways you can get a magical wallet. Every Friday when you get your allowance you can give any amount you like for Sadaqa. Or you can save up and give a big amount all at once. Remember Ali you should do three things with your money: save, donate and spend. Always try to help people even if it's something small it can mean a lot to the other person.”Ali realized that he should always try to help people so he did and years later Ali was the one telling about the tiny little creature in his wallet.


Unforgettable Memories by Nusayba Ahmed (11 years old, United Kingdom)

Omar bounded down the stairs, a football tucked under his arm. As he walked through the living room, his grandad looked up at him. “Young man, have you seen my tasbih?” Omar glanced over. “It’s just on your lap Grandpa,” he pointed. Omar went over and handed his grandad the tasbih. “Jazakallahu Khairan,” his grandad said. “What is your name?” Omar looked at his grandad, confused. “I’m your grandson Omar, remember?” he replied. “Ah, yes,” Grandad nodded.

Omar raced out the door and ran to his neighbour’s house. He and his friend Abdullahi went to the local park for their usual Saturday football practice. After 2 hours, Omar finally returned home. He felt tired and hungry, but the smell of his mother’s cooking cheered him up. He entered the kitchen to find that his mother was making his favourite meal- bariis and hilib. “Omar,” she said, “Can you get the prayer mat for your grandpa while I get the lunch ready?”

Omar went to get the prayer mat ready, so his grandad could pray Dhuhr.. “Thank you, young boy,” his grandad smiled “What’s your name?” “My name’s Omar. I only told you a while ago Grandpa,” Omar grumbled, turning to leave the room. After helping his mum set the table, he went to call his grandad to eat. “It’s time for lunch Grandpa,” he said. “I want to pray Dhuhr first,” his grandad answered. “You just prayed right now,” Omar muttered with a sigh. “Did I? I will come to the table then,” Grandad replied.

After everyone had finished eating, grandad looked at Omar. “Can you get me a drink, son?” he asked. Omar went to the kitchen and brought his grandad some water.  “You’re a very kind boy,” his grandad patted him on the shoulder. “Who’s your father?” Omar felt frustrated. “Grandpa, first you don’t even remember my name, and now you don’t even know who my father is!” he stormed off to his dad, who was watching the news.

Omar threw himself on the sofa and buried his head in the cushions. “Is everything alright Omar?” Dad asked with concern. “Dad, it’s only been a year since we last saw Grandpa, but he doesn’t remember anything! He keeps asking me the same questions.” Omar moaned. Dad put an arm around Omar’s shoulder. “Your grandad doesn’t mean to forget things, Omar. He’s recently been diagnosed with dementia, and he’s losing his memory. But he still loves us, and we shouldn’t forget the memories we’ve had together.”

Omar sat up. Dad pulled out an old photo album from the drawer and showed it to him. Omar looked at the first picture and smiled. It was a photo of him, Dad and Grandpa when they had gone on a fishing trip years ago. “Grandpa used to catch the biggest fish!” Omar laughed. “And he was definitely the best at cooking it!” He closed his eyes and he could almost smell the tasty fish again that his grandpa had cooked after they had returned from the trip. “He was the best cook in our home,” Dad grinned. He and Omar went through the beautiful pictures one by one.

“Look at that painting!” Omar gasped as he grabbed the photo for a closer look. “Your grandpa painted that,” Dad said. “Grandpa?” Omar asked. “Your grandad has always been a great artist. He used to love painting every day.” Omar took the photo album from his dad and studied it. His mind began to race in thought. “Can I keep these?” he asked. “Of course you can,” his dad answered. With the album in his hand, Omar raced to his room and pulled his art box out from under his bed. He rummaged through his things and got to work. By the time he had finished, it was almost Maghrib time. He took his amazing creation and went to his grandad, leaving behind a mess of papers and craft stuff scattered all over his bedroom floor.

“Grandpa, I have a gift for you,” he smiled, as he handed his grandad the scrapbook he had made.

Omar noticed Grandad’s face light up with a smile. They sat down together and opened the scrapbook. Omar excitedly showed his grandad the first photo. “Grandpa, do you remember that time when we went on a fishing trip?” he asked, as he pointed to the funny picture of the two of them holding a huge fish. “Of course I do! And I used to catch the most fish,” Grandpa laughed.  Omar giggled, and he started to feel happiness and warmth in his heart. He flipped through the album, chatting with his grandad about their fond memories.

“This painting is really nice. I wonder who did it,” Grandad asked as he pointed to another picture. “You did it, grandad. Dad told me you were an artist and you loved painting,” Omar reminded him. Grandad looked at the photo for a few moments. “That is true,” he nodded in agreement. “I used to love painting.  I won many art competitions,” he added. “You won awards?” Omar asked in amazement. “Yes, I did. I also used to enjoy painting every time I felt sad. Somehow it would brighten my mood,” Grandad smiled.

When they were done, grandad closed the book and smiled. “So what is your name, my dear son?” he asked. Omar proudly replied, “I am your grandson, Omar.”


bariis: The Somali word for rice

hilib:  The Somali word for meat

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