Amir loves stories about his native land, especially the ones that tell about the Maranaos’ bravery and skill in battle. When his peaceful life in Marawi was upended by terrorists, it was his belief in his proud heritage that kept him resilient. Still, he was shocked by the destruction and loss that came with the siege.
He and his brother Farouk share a strong connection to their natural surroundings. They are part of a devout family who is supportive of one another. They are also part of a community whose members help each other. Because of their relationships to Allah, nature, and the people around them, they have a sense of purpose and hope.
This story was inspired by the accounts of fourth to sixth grade evacuees in Saguiaran and Capitol, Marawi City during interviews by the Philippine Business for Social Progress. Many of the children recall a simple life filled with study, play, prayer, and family activities. Even though they have and are still facing difficult circumstances, they look forward to a future where they can be doctors, nurses, engineers, business owners, even Muslim scholars. This story hopes to remind the children of Marawi of the beauty of their land and the strength of their community.
This Marawi Storybook Series is part of the Gift of Reading Project of the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP) for the young survivors of the 2017 Marawi conflict. We hope that these stories, that are based on actual experiences of affected residents, will inspire and help heal the wounds of war. We also envision these to serve as instruments of peace and development and to promote greater consciousness on the Maranao identity, culture, and community values.
AUTHOR: Melissa Salva
ILLUSTRATOR: Kathleen Sareena Dagum
PUBLISHER: The Bookmark, Inc.
LANGUAGE: English & Maranao
DATE PUBLISHED: 2018