The EdJAM Children's Series is a collection of illustrated books for children designed by undergraduate students and illustrators to highlight historical and contemporary narratives that are missing from textbooks in Pakistan.
The EdJAM Children’s Series focuses on historical and contemporary figures and events that have been left out or silenced in mainstream textbooks and curricula in Pakistan. Undergraduate students and illustrators were hired to work together to develop each script and illustration. Students engaged in research over the months of July and August 2021 to produce the narratives that have been illustrated by 6 early-career female artists of Pakistan. These illustrations are in English, Urdu, Sindhi and Balochi. They are designed for children, helping parents and teachers talk about topics related to identity(s), rights and the environment.
Objective: The EdJAM Children’s Series has been designed to highlight historical and contemporary figures and stories that are left out of the traditional curriculum in Pakistan. These booklets provide a starting point for conversations with children (and teenagers) about the diverse histories and experiences of women, religious and ethnic minority groups, and pertinent issues such as land rights, and environmental changes taking place in Pakistan.
The Team: The booklets are a collaboration between university undergraduate students, and 6 early career female artists. The students include Anusheh Azhar, Shamim Bano, Wasib Iftikhar, Emaan Jafer, Zoha Batool Khan, Nayab Wali Khan, and
Sanha Tahir. The artists include Mahliqa Baloch, Areeba Haseeb, Emil Hasnain, Bushra Saleem, Tooba Shahbaz and Rida Zaidi.
The project was led by EdJAM’s Pakistan Co-I’s Dr. Tania Saeed and Dr. Sameen Mohsin Ali.
The Process: Students and Artists were paired together to work on a topic of interest. The students conducted research during the summer months of 2021. Primary and secondary research was undertaken, including interviews with members of different religious and ethnic minority communities, trans communities, activists, politicians and NGO workers. Students drafted scripts, which were then developed into illustrations by the artists.
The project resulted in 11 topics that have been translated across 22 booklets into Urdu, English, Sindhi and Balochi. These are open access and available on our resources page as free downloadable resources for parents and teachers. The list of books below has links that will take you to each children’s series resource. 50 to 100 copies of each translated book have also been printed and distributed to select educational institutions, NGOs and ministries of education across Pakistan.
These books include the following:
- Becoming Senator Krishna. (Sindhi, English) – Writer: Sanha Tahir, Artist: Rida Zaidi, Translator: (Sindhi) Asif Nawaz
- Tanzeela Qambarani. The First Sheedi Community Legislator. (Urdu, Sindhi, English) – Writer: Nayab Wali, Artist: Mahliqa Iqbal, Translator (Urdu, Sindhi): Asif Nawaz
- The Camel Library (Balochi, Sindhi, Urdu, English) – Writer: Nayab Wali, Artist: Emil Hasnain, Translator (Urdu and Sindhi): Asif Nawaz, Translator (Balochi): Ishaque Rahim
- Parveen Shakir (Urdu, English) – Writer: Anusheh Azhar, Artist: Emil Hasnain, Translator (Urdu and Sindhi): Asif Nawaz
- Jawari. The Legendary Queen of Gilgit (Urdu, English) – Writer and Translator: Shamim Bano, Artist: Areeba Haseeb
- Two Strays Strike Out (Urdu, English) – Writer and Translator: Zoha Batool Khan, Artist: Areeba Haseeb
- Melting Point (Urdu, English)– Writer: Bushra Saleem, Artist: Rida Zaidi, Translator (Urdu): Asif Nawaz
- Expat Narratives (English) – Writer: Emaan Jafar, Artist: Emil Hasnain
- This is My Story (English) – Writer: Wasib Iftikhar, Artist: Tooba Shahbaz
- Make Krishna’s Karachi Real (English) – Writer: Zoha Batool Khan, Artist: Tooba Shahbaz
- The Forgotten Heroes of Pakistan (English) – Writer: Anusheh Azhar, Artist: Rida Zaidi
The books are being distributed amongst educational institutions, NGOs and ministries of education across Pakistan. They are also open access, and available for download on the EdJAM website. They highlight narratives that are missing from mainstream textbooks and curricula.
“It was important for us to develop a children’s series of books that captured the local narratives of Pakistan, and engaged with difficult topics through folklore to forgotten histories, role models from underrepresented and exploited communities, everyday struggles for justice and the environment. These stories will resonate with people in different parts of the world, stories that capture the experiences of living beings, of humans, and animals, of a planet that is struggling to survive. This series is a resource for parents and teachers to have conversations about these issues with their children, a starting point in imagining the possibility of more inclusive futures.”
Dr Tania Saeed and Dr Sameen Mohsin Ali - EdJAM Co-I's for Pakistan