Meet Jenna, the New Muslim Doll That Wears a Hijab and Teaches Kids Verses From the Quran
The doll has been called “a perfect gift for little Muslimahs to look up to.”
Mothers all around the world are loving the latest Barbie doll lookalike to hit the market in the Arab Gulf countries. Jenna, who wears little makeup, a full ‘abaya’ dress and a matching purple hijab, even teaches kids four verses from the Quran.
The doll, which derives its name from the Arabic word for paradise, was originally created in 2013 after French businesswoman, Samira Amarir, wanted to design a toy that could enable her daughter “to learn the Quran fast and easily while she plays.”
After four years of travel to Chinese factories to get the doll produced, Amarir launched the doll in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Bahrain and the UAE, where the doll is available today.
Until now, no doll on the market approached the Islamic faith the way the Jenna doll does, creator Samira Amarir said. Furthermore, the creator did not see any dolls that she could “recognize herself in.”
After purchasing the Jenna the Quran teacher doll for her daughters, Aysh Siddiqua from Saudi Arabia, who blogs under the name Jeddah Mom, had only good things to say.
“As soon as we opened the box, my five-year-old remarked: ‘Mommy, she is just like you!’” Siddiqua wrote in her blog post. “Of course she is. She wears a full dress and a pretty hijab.”
The young mom included that what she loves the most about the doll is how it teaches her girls modesty and the Islamic faith.
“Jenna is a Muslimah doll. She is pretty, modestly dressed, has good manners and respects her adults. She loves reciting the Quran,” she wrote.
Siddiqua added that it was important to her that her daughters don’t “start wearing makeup or [give] importance to that [sic] kind of hobbies from the very young age.”
Only in recent years have consumers begun to call on the toy industry to create a more diverse representation of dolls for children.
“We all want to see ourselves reproduced or reflected in aspects of society that we deem are important,” Sabrina Thomas, Academic Dean for Social Studies at Duke, told MSNBC.
Dolls like Jenna, Thomas argues are important for little girls to develop a “sense of self.”
“We need more toys that show diversity,” Siddiqua wrote in her review. “Jenna is a Muslimah doll that was much need [sic].”
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