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May 2007
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Young World

Iman: Young Teenage Muslim Girl Super Hero
By A Staff Writer

Iman is a young, heroic Muslim teenaged girl who loves to help those who are in trouble. She has very strong faith in Allah, or God, and when she prays for His help she feels her strength turn into super power!

Iman can tell right from wrong, and she always quotes the Quran to explain to others that Islam is a great religion that expects Muslims to be tolerant, kind, righteous, and non-judgmental.

Iman is the first Muslim girl superhero from a fictional book series The Adventures of Iman based on the main character Iman. The first book of the series has been titled As One.

Iman makes sure she covers her hair with pretty pink scarf while she prays to Allah. Iman knows how important and precious it is to have a special bond with Allah. Allah helps anyone who calls His name! ‘Islam’ means peace, not war”, Iman explains to a gang of kids from the book “As One” .

Iman always wears a necklace with a pendant inscribed with word “Allah”. When Iman needs Allah’s protection she holds the pendant and says “Bismillah”, which means “in the name of God.” The pendant then turns into a big shield to protect her from any harm. Iman is a girl who is smart, beautiful, athletic, and friendly and most of all her love and belief in Allah is what makes her the special girl she is.

The idea of the series¸ “Adventures of Iman”, was conceived by Rima Khoreibi, 34, to show a world where anything is possible with prayer. Khoreibi felt there is an essential need to explore the beauty of Islam, especially for children, Muslim or not.

“What better way to do that but through a righteous Muslim super hero? This is the first time ever that we have a fictional Muslim super hero, and she is a teenaged girl! I would like all the young Muslim girls to be able to relate to Iman, whether they wear the head scarf or not” she said. “Boys will also enjoy Iman’s adventures because she is tough, smart girl! Iman gets her super powers from having very strong faith in Allah. She solves many of the problems by explaining certain parts of the Quran that relate to the story. It is a great way to learn about Islam and the Koran”.

In the first book titled As One, Iman uses the Quran to explain that racism is not tolerated in Islam. Her recently released second book, sees Iman rescue a friend from drug abuse. The following books will also deal with other social issues.

“Iman is not only for Muslim girls. Non-Muslims and boys are also part of my target readership. In fact, a lot of my fans hail from Western countries. Iman has no nationality; she’s there to tell everyone, especially girls, ‘Be all you can be.’ Of course, she always stays within an Islamic framework and quotes from the Holy Quran.” Khoreibi believes her two sons, Tariq, 8, and Karim, 4, empower themselves by drawing from Iman’s example.

The Saudi Arabia-born Palestinian is heavily influenced by personal experiences. “It all began when I asked a little girl why she was wearing a scarf. She said she didn’t know and it made me wonder why,” said Khoreibi. “I want to reach out to youngsters and tell them you can be outgoing and a good Muslim at the same time. I want to see Muslim cartoons on screen when my children switch on the TV.”

Born in Sidon, Lebanon, Rima had her childhood in Saudi Arabia. At the age of 11, Rima and her family moved to Toronto, Canada. She majored in cultural anthropology from York University,Toronto. At the age of 24, Rima met and married her Jordanian husband, Ziad, and moved to Jordan for five years. In 2001, Rima, Ziad and their two sons moved from Amman to Dubai. In Dubai, Rima is busy being a mother, a writer, and a dedicated advocate for women’s rights in Islam.

Rima did intensive volunteer work with S.O.S. an orphange. In 1998, Rima founded I.R.I.S.(Issues of Real-life for the Interest of Students), a non profit organization based on awareness of social and health issues, an outreach programme for students and mothers. A large quantity of her book, “The Adventures of Iman”, (book 1) was donated to the Red Crescent and sent out to many Islamic countries such as Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt, Palestinian Territories, Morocco, Syria, etc. The same book has also been translated into the Braille system.

Khoreibi’s books are self-published and the first series’ sales went partly to World Links Arab Region, a humanitarian agency that tries to improve education in schools through technology. The artwork of The Adventures of Iman is inspired by Japanese Manga comic books. Khoreibi said she believes Western comics are largely for entertainment with little social messages for youngsters.