The Stories


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A Journey of Peace - Downloadable Files

We welcome you to share the stories with the young people in your life. Each story is available as:

  • a PDF file that includes the beautiful illustrations (for a free, current version of Adobe Acrobat Reader, click here: Get Adobe Reader 
  • a Microsoft Word document, without illustrations, open to your changes (requires Microsoft Word or compatible software).

We encourage you to evolve the stories to fit your world. We ask only that you share your work with us and with others. We will happily post your versions and translations here.

Chapter One - Jameela's Gifts         PDF            MSWord

Jameela lives with her family in a village in Afghanistan. They were already experiencing a great deal of difficulty during the domestic struggles of their homeland when tragedy struck. After coming in contact with a land mine while working in the field, her Uncle Yunus was killed and her father lost a leg.

In Jameela’s Gifts, Jameela and her younger brother Ahmed try to understand the anger and estrangement demonstrated by their older brother Abdullah. With the guidance of their grandmother, Bibi Jan, they learn how they might help him get over the loss of his Uncle Yunus, with whom he was very close.

Chapter Two - The Wisdom of Bibi Jan     PDF            MSWord

The Wisdom of Bibi Jan further demonstrates the grandmother’s role in the as comforter and adviser. Abdullah’s concern over the change in personality of a school friend due to the trauma of the war triggers Jameela’s revelation that she is having nightmares, and Bibi Jan provides her with a special cure for her fears.

Chapter Three - Making Cookies              PDF          MSWord

Much more of what is troubling Jameela is presented in Making Cookies. Her fear of landmines is so strong that she is even frightened walking along a path that has been cleared, much to Abdullah’s annoyance. Bibi Jan uses the opportunity of making cookies to help Jameela come to terms with her father’s injury, as well finding for Fatima a positive means of expression of grief for Yunus.


Chapter Four - Merza's Heart              PDF          MSWord

Jameela is finding very difficult to fathom the mysteries that are locked up inside Merza’s Heart. She mourns the loss of the cheerful man she knew before his injury, the one who was full of stories. Her innocent questions brings him to tears, but they also remind him of the man he used to be, and create the yearning in him to be that way again


Chapter Five - Yunus's Song                 PDF          MSWord

The sadness and grief of Fatima, young widow of Yunus, is felt by Jameela and Ahmed, who attempt to cheer her. Bibi Jan notices and suggests ways for the family to come together and celebrate good memories of Yunus, especially by singing Yunus’s Song.


Chapter Six - Leaving Home                 PDF          MSWord

When their village is shelled through the night, the family faces the grim truth that they must abandon what is most dear to them in Leaving Home. Each of them deals with this traumatic thought in his or her own way, but ultimately they know it is for the best and put on a brave front as they face the future.


Chapter Seven - A New Friend              PDF          MSWord

In A New Friend, the family is staying with an old friend of Merza’s while they are on their journey to the safety of his brother’s place in the city. While there, Abdullah learns a valuable lesson about the nature of making judgments about people who are different in either the language that they speak or their beliefs.


Chapter Eight - Reconciliation               PDF          MSWord

As the family continues its journey to the city, Abdullah discovers that Jameela has brought her kitten from home and has kept it hidden the entire journey. In anger, he takes the kitten from her and threw it in the undergrowth of some bushes of to the side of the road. Jameela is angry with her brother and refuses to acknowledge his existence. It is up to Bibi Jan to find a way for there to be Reconciliation.


Chapter Nine - Merza's Anger               PDF          MSWord

In Merza’s Anger, Merza’s loss of control over his temper has given cause for fear to both Jameela and Ahmed. The emotional upheaval wreaks havoc on both children, and causes them to be short with each other. While hiding, Ahmed overhears his father talking to Bibi Jan about his own insecurity regarding the loss of his leg. When the child is discovered, it becomes an opportunity for bridges to be mended between father and son.


Chapter Ten - Making Peace                  PDF          MSWord

Bibi Jan’s diplomatic skills are once again put to the test in Making Peace. While looking for Merza’s brother Aly and his wife Aisha in the city, the family is staying at a camp for displaced persons located in an old schoolhouse. While in the cramped quarters where they must make their temporary home, Abdullah gets into a fight with a boy his own age over the intrusion of his bicycle
in the others’ living space.


Chapter Eleven - Abdullah and the Ten Foot Man      PDF        MSWord

As Abdullah and the Ten-foot Soldier opens, Abdullah, now living with his family at his uncle’s house for a week, comes down with a fever. He recalls his childhood dreams about wanting to grow up to be a soldier before he falls asleep. He dreams about meeting a giant soldier in the market who teaches him a lesson about the reality of war.


 Chapter Twelve - A New Life                 PDF          MSWord

In A New Life, Jameela expresses her joy at being able to meet Aly and Aisha as helping to offset being away from her home. However, when Haleema tells her that she will soon have a baby sister or brother, Jameela’s anxiety over the instability of their lives takes over. Her mother helps her to understand why this is a blessing for them all.


Chapter Thirteen - Going Home            PDF          MSWord

Going Home begins with the news that after a year, the family is finally going to make the journey back home. As the family makes their preparations for their return, it is clear that there is still some tension between Hameela and Fatima.


Chapter Fourteen - Haleema and Fatima         PDF        MSWord

 The relationship between the two women is the main theme in Haleema and Fatima. The family is journeying back to their village, accompanied by Aly and Aisha, who will stay with them for a visit there. Suddenly, Haleema’s baby is born, and Fatima helps her, using her new skills as a midwife. Though there were difficulties, Fatima is able to safeguard their health. This prompts Haleema to reconcile with her sister-in-law.

Chapter Fifteen - The End of the Journey        PDF         MSWord

The healing process and renewal of the bonds that exist within the family are very evident in The End of the Journey. It opens with a dream that Bibi Jan has, which indicates the level of anxiety she has for the return trip and the condition of their home when they arrive. When they do, they find that the damages are minimal, and they begin the process of rediscovering what is truly important during the first meal they share together


Chapter Sixteen - Building the Future       PDF       MSWord

Building the Future presents the family coming together as a unit and working to restore their home. They can now turn their concerns to the
community at large. After Abdullah encounters a few of his friends in the village, he comes up with the idea of rebuilding homes that have been damaged in the war. Along with the others, Abdullah begins a campaign of community restoration which also solidifies the next step in his personal growth and heightens the admiration of his younger siblings. The final image of the story is that of a community working and singing together.


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This site was last updated 11/29/09