Book by 10 Year-Old Author and Illustrated by Syrian Refugee Teaches About Jesus' Native Language
By: Stillwater River Publications
"Aramaic was Jesus' native language, and it is mine, too. Writing about Jesus' language makes me feel proud and special. I speak, pray and sing just like Jesus did 2000 years ago," he said.
The book, appropriate for children ages 5 to 12, explains where the Aramaic language originated, and includes a few common Aramaic words and phrases that kids can learn. It also identifies and honors the Syriac people as the only group that still prays and speaks the language today.
Included in the book are sixteen original illustrations created by 16-year-old illustrator Marva Hanna – a Syrian refugee – who created the works for the book while fleeing her war-torn country.
Simon Aydin is currently in the fourth grade. He was able to cultivate his interest in writing as well as his passion for his native tongue, the Syriac dialect of Aramaic, while creating this book. In addition to being a native speaker of vernacular Syriac, Simon also studies classical (written) Syriac at his home parish of St. Ephraim Church in Central Falls, Rhode Island, where he also serves as an ordained deacon. Simon is currently working on his second book, Did You Know? Jesus Prayed in Aramaic.
Marva Hanna was born and raised in Syria, and is a self-taught artist who has been drawing and painting since she was 12. Her art displays much of the aesthetics and techniques derived from the Syriac tradition with an added contemporary touch. Her fear of the recent civil war in Syria, and her harrowing immigration journey to Europe, is reflected in many of her drawings. Several of her religious and cultural works can be found in Syriac seminaries and homes in Turabdin, Turkey. Marva is currently living in Germany and hopes to attend a college where she can professionally hone in on her artistic skills.
Simon will be signing copies of his book on Saturday, May 27th at Blackstone Valley Prep, 52 Broad Street in Cumberland from 1 to 3 p.m. The event is open to the public.
Did You Know? Jesus Spoke Aramaic is available to purchase through select bookstores and gift shops, major online retailers, and through the publisher at http://www.StillwaterPress.com.
Did You Know? Jesus Spoke Aramaic
written by Simon P. Aydin
illustrated by Marva Hanna