Aya and the Butterfly – A Spec of Hope for the Children of New Zealand  

Dr.Maysoon Salama, hopes to benefit children affected by the Christchurch attacks with her new book ‘Aya and the Butterfly.’

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Aya and Butterfly

Translator: Fatıma Nur Dinçer

As you may recall, following the Christchurch attack in 2019, our attention turned towards the unacceptable attack on humanity. The reasons for the attack, the reasons that led the attacker to his behavior, the number of deaths and those wounded, and many more questions coming to mind were discussed in a variety of different ways. So let us look at the matter from a different point, and think this attack through the lens of the saying; “There is a good in what seems evil”. For news in regards to the attack, you can look at the ‘News from New Zealand’ section on our website. Adding another piece to the New Zealand news collection, today we will be talking about the book ‘Aya and the Butterfly.’ 

Many Muslims lost their loved ones in the Christchurch attacks, and unfortunately, some of these are children who lost their parents. How they are to deal with this painful event is a separate topic that needs to be addressed. Dr. Maysoon Salama, who lost her son Atta in the attack, thinks the book is an important solution for children to get through this healing process. 

With his book “Aya and Butterfly”, she aims to benefit both her grandson Aya and children who are trying to overcome their trauma. To get to know the book a bit more, we can listen to what the author herself says;

 “The death of Aya’s father is implied, however, this is not the focus of the story, and children reading do not need to know how happened directly. They need to understand that sometimes in life we have to say goodbye and let go of things and even people in our lives. We must allow ourselves to remember and grieve such great loss, but at the same time, we must learn to move on. There is hope.”

Aya and Butterfly is the first book in a four-book series designed to support the Muslim community of New Zealand. The book, developed with the Islamic Women’s Assembly, was published by the New Zealand Ministry of National Education. 

Deputy Secretary of the Department of Education Ellen MacGregor-Reid mentioned the important gap the book has filled and was recorded saying; 

“The book is part of a growing collection of learning resources that reflect the diverse cultures and perspectives of children and young people in New Zealand.” 

Aya and the Butterfly is not just a book, as the book comes with a book to help children talk about their troubles, and an educational guide on loss, the cycle of life, and grief.  

This article was originally written in Turkish. Click to read it! Yeni Zelandalı Çocuklara Umut Olacak: Aya ve Kelebek

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