i’ve had the idea to have a school in my town since the beginning of the year and after flip flopping about what rooms to make for quite some time i’ve finally gotten around to finishing it!
As I’m walking through Target with my little sister, the kid somehow manages to convince me to take a trip down the doll aisle. I know the type - brands that preach diversity through displays of nine different variations of white and maybe a black girl if you’re lucky enough. What I instead found as soon as I turned into the aisle were these two boxes.
The girl on the left is Shola, an Afghani girl from Kabul with war-torn eyes. Her biography on the inside flap tells us that “her country has been at war since before she was born”, and all she has left of her family is her older sister. They’re part of a circus, the one source of light in their lives, and they read the Qur’an. She wears a hijab.
The girl on the right is Nahji, a ten-year-old Indian girl from Assam, where “young girls are forced to work and get married at a very early age”. Nahji is smart, admirable, extremely studious. She teaches her fellow girls to believe in themselves. In the left side of her nose, as tradition mandates, she has a piercing. On her right hand is a henna tattoo.
As a Pakistani girl growing up in post-9/11 America, this is so important to me. The closest thing we had to these back in my day were “customizable” American Girl dolls, who were very strictly white or black. My eyes are green, my hair was black, and my skin is brown, and I couldn’t find my reflection in any of those girls. Yet I settled, just like I settled for the terrorist jokes boys would throw at me, like I settled for the butchered pronunciations of names of mine and my friends’ countries. I settled for a white doll, who at least had my eyes if nothing else, and I named her Rabeea and loved her. But I still couldn’t completely connect to her.
My little sister, who had been the one to push me down the aisle in the first place, stopped to stare with me at the girls. And then the words, “Maybe they can be my American Girls,” slipped out of her mouth. This young girl, barely represented in today’s society, finally found a doll that looks like her, that wears the weird headscarf that her grandma does and still manages to look beautiful.
I turned the dolls’ boxes around and snapped a picture of the back of Nahji’s. There are more that I didn’t see in the store; a Belarusian, an Ethiopian, a Brazilian, a Laotian, a Native American, a Mexican. And more.
These are Hearts 4 Hearts dolls, and while they haven’t yet reached all parts of the world (I think they have yet to come out with an East Asian girl), they need all the support they can get so we can have a beautiful doll for every beautiful young girl, so we can give them what our generation never had.
Please don’t let this die. If you know a young girl, get her one. I know I’m buying Shola and Nahji for my little sister’s next birthday, because she needs a doll with beautiful brown skin like hers, a doll who wears a hijab like our older sister, a doll who wears real henna, not the blue shit white girls get at the beach.
The Hearts 4 Hearts girls are so important. Don’t overlook them. Don’t underestimate them. These can be the future if we let them.
You can read more about the dolls here: http://www.playmatestoys.com/brands/hearts-for-hearts-girls
That’s how everybody and their grandmother remembers you. B u c k y, Captain America’s teenage sidekick back in World War Two. Kids all around the world dreamed of just meeting Cap — and there you were in your dandy red-and-blues, fighting along-side the living legend. And we remember how you d i e d.
Gisella Perl was forced to work as a doctor in Auschwitz concentration camp during the holocaust.
She was ordered to report ever pregnant women do the physician Dr. Josef Mengele, who would then use the women for cruel experiments (e.g. vivisections) before killing them.
She saved hundreds of women by performing abortions on them before their pregnancy was discovered, without having access to basic medical supplies. She became known as the “Angel of Auschwitz”.
After being rescued from Bergen-Belsen concentration camp she tried to commit suicide, but survived, recovered and kept working as a gynecologist, delivering more than 3000 babies.
I want to nail this to the forehead of every anti-abortionist who uses the word “Holocaust” when talking about legal abortions.
There is an amazing movie called “Out of the Ashes” about her time in Auschwitz and the problems she faced when she tried to get her medical license in the United States, it’s a good insight to her life and I highly recommend it.
WIZARDING SCHOOLS AROUND THE WORLD: THE CARIBBEANThe magic folk of the Caribbean are nothing if not ambitious. Raising an unplottable island out of the ocean, they retreated to their paradisiacal land whereupon they built a school of magic to pass on their knowledge. Over time, the island grew crowded, and the magical community moved away, but the school remained in operation. Surrounded by a vast blue stretch of water, students must travel via large sentient sailing ships that have been magicked to operate independently (an extremely useful enchantment during the era of piracy as the ships knew to avoid danger). In the waters surrounding the school swims an unnaturally large barracuda with magical scales that can be used as wand cores, but only when it is given willingly. There are many classes dedicated to spice magic, and foreign visitors often say the school carries a distinct aroma akin to a legion of chefs who never stop cooking. Cinnamon for friendship, ginger root for courage and strength, red chillies can fight evil or cause destruction… it becomes the unofficial anthem of the students over time because the chant aids greatly during the multitude of spice-reading exams conducted throughout the school year.
WIZARDING SCHOOLS AROUND THE WORLD: NEW ZEALANDThe New Zealand Academy of Spellcraft is situated in an undetectable location in the bush lands of South Island so incredibly difficult to find due to its surroundings’ constant changes in appearance that even repeat visitors often have trouble finding the school. Many muggleborn students are raging fanatics of the All Blacks, and they have slowly converted the rest of the student population who used to thumb their nose at the mention of rugby. However, quidditch remains immensely popular, with students often sneaking out under the cover of night to play matches in the dark because it is “more challenging, and therefore, more fun,” despite the drastic increase in the number of injuries and dents in trees due to rogue bludgers growing slightly panicked in the dark. The school prides itself on its large and prestigious herbology department; international witches and wizards often take on extended environmental studies at the academy, so students are always on the lookout for lost foreigners stumbling around. Often times when they graduate, students of distinction are gifted with Pounamu ornaments that are embedded into the handles of their wands as a reminder for them to always be at peace with their surroundings.