Every culture has its own version of Cinderella’s story. This is Iraq’s. Instead of a glass slipper, it’s a golden sandal.
A Middle Eastern Cinderella Story
The Iraqi fisherman’s wife drowns and he is left with their daughter, Maha. He loves Maha very much and doesn’t plan to remarry – until he does. His new wife sees the love he has for his daughter. The wife’s own children aren’t so loveable, so the stepmother is determined to make life miserable for Maha.
And thus begins Iraq’s version of Cinderella. It’s an interesting read for anyone familiar with the Brother’s Grimm or Disney Cinderella to spot differences and similarities.
Things to note in The Golden Sandal
Here are some of the questions to keep in mind to compare between this book and the classic Disney version of Cinderella (or any other Cinderella stories from around the world):
- What is the father’s profession?
- What is the main character’s name (the “Cinderella” character)?
- Who (or what!) is the fairy godmother?
- What was left behind for the “prince” to find?
- How did the story end, did they live “happily ever after”?
I like how the different the stories are. It makes me wonder how a child who doesn’t know that this book is another take on the Cinderella story, would feel about it. Would they even notice?