Ramadan begins April 23, 2020 and lasts for 30 days, and Libyan-American art teacher Koloud ‘Kay’ Tarapolsi has provided over 600 free project tutorials on ACraftyArab.com about the Arab world and Muslim culture.
Tarapolsi explains, “I started this business because I wanted a positive image of Arab and Islamic culture for my daughters.”
In 2011, A Crafty Arab launched #CraftyRamadan, an annual challenge to create a project a day for the Islamic holy month, Ramadan, when Muslims around the world fast. With 30 days of activities available, Tarapolsi hopes to teach children about Arab culture in a fun, educational way. The website includes sharable tutorials, recipes and downloadable worksheets that teach about the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region of the world. This year marks the tenth annual challenge for the 2020 Gregorian and 1441 Hijri year, and this year’s observance will be especially interesting as families respond to Covid-19 by staying indoors.
Tarapolsi has a rich Arab heritage that inspires each of her projects. She’s not only an art teacher who focuses exclusively on teaching about diverse artists, but she’s also an established visual artist who incorporates Islamic calligraphy into her quilled Arabesque paper artwork. She confides, “A driving motivation to make art is to show and share it. Spending time together, right now during a pandemic, is the best time to document what is happening together, through art.”
The mission of her company is to strengthen Arab heritage and language by creating original educational tools and blog posts that are fun for children. Past tutorials included activities using recyclable materials and found objects, and the most popular crafts are the ones that use common household materials. The 30 day Ramadan crafts challenge is free, but a portion of all sales from ACA’s new Arabic Animal Alphabet Coloring Book will be donated to refugee Seattle families in need.