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32 | www.westendermagazine.com involved in Interfaith week here last month (an awareness raising and celebration of the different faiths in Scotland). She is also taking part in workshop based events for families in conjunction with the Scottish Book Trust. Reaction to the book has largely been positive with many parents sharing pictures on social media of their children reading it but not everyone approves. ‘We have had some haters,’ Medeia says, with people not keen to engage in discussion about different faiths or practices. The other issue that has caused debate has been the books title. ‘We have taken a fair amount of flack for calling head coverings ‘hats’ but the book is aimed at young readers and that is the term young readers are more familiar with. Originally from Massachusetts, Medeia came to London 12 years ago to study and moved her family to Scotland earlier this year enjoying the slower pace of life here. She is keenly aware of differences in UK and American classrooms. ‘We do live in a more diverse setting in Scotland being physically closer to Europe and the rest of the world. When I do school workshops here and I ask if you have seen an African head wrap or a hijab the answers are much more frequently positive – yes my mum wears one. Whereas doing that in America, even in a diverse classroom, no-one knows any of the head coverings in the book. America is very different culturally. ‘I come from a very liberal family,’ she continues, ‘and find when I go back home to the States these days the Trump bandwagon Competition! We have two signed copies of Hats of Faith, to give away. Visit westendermagazine.com and click on competitions by the 31st of December 2017. is very hard to stomach. I think a book like this is really needed in America and it is the right moment for it – I want our future to be an inclusive one.’ Medeia has big hopes for this little book. ‘I want it to encourage tolerance and help prepare young people for the culturally diverse world we live in today. It’s a starting point for discussion on interfaith diversity.’ Lesson plans are being created and will be available from the Hats of Faith website (colouring sheets are already available) and more books may follow. Medeia is keen to tackle festivals of faith next. Moreover, the amount of knowledge accumulated for this project won’t go to waste, ‘I could do a PHD on head coverings now,’ she chuckles. It is quite ridiculous for a 12 page book. Winston Churchill once said that ‘if I had more time I would have written a shorter letter.’ I now realize how hard that is – it was no mean feat to create this book but I am proud that we have done it!’ hatsoffaith.com Website special offer: Buy one book and donate one for half price to a school, library or children’s hospital. £2 Hats of Faith OFF * RRP £8.99 *Exclusive offer for WESTENDER readers at Waterstones 351-355 Byres Road branch only, by 31st December 2017.

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