Categorized | Interviews

“The book is about Contribution.” Asim Hussain, the author of Khadjiah Goes to School

Posted on 18 October 2011 by admin


A Pakistan Canadian Asim Hussain has written a book titled “Khadijah Goes to School.” The book’s cover attracts attention of children. However, Asim insists that the book relates to people of all age groups.

The title of the book is written in Arabic calligraphic style on the cover.

The reason Asim says there is calligraphic style used on the cover is “this book is art. I am inspired by my Semitic background, along with many other life experiences.”


What in unique about “Khadijah Goes to School” is that it is graphic, in English language but written from right to left.

Why did he choose to write an English graphic book from right to left, we asked Asim.

“This is symbolic of a few things.  Firstly, the book is talking to you..Moreover, going right to left illustrates diversity in thought; there are many ways to look at similar problems..It’s okay to try a new idea. We need to be told this in school. Also, right to left is indicative of the many cultures and their experiences in larger societies, this is what adds diversity to culture.  Further, it is educational,” Asim shares.

Why he chose the Muslim name “Khadijah?” Well, there is no particular reason to do so. However Khadijah is the name of the first wife of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). She was known to be a very influential businesswoman of Mecca.

As a Canadian of Pakistani background, Asim has shared experiences of children of visible minorities in a multicultural society such as ours in his book.

Some of these thoughts are inspired by what he experienced growing up. He says “the inside front cover which has a theme of Helping Yourself, with a list of many ideas for helping yourself, followed by Helping other People, with a list of ideas as well.  My experiences are my life, and my life is in this book.”


Asim strongly believes that “Khadijah Goes to School” is his contribution to the Canadian society.


“I want to share my ideas with Canada and the world..In one word though, the book is about Contribution..the book is talking to you, it’s reminding you to “help yourself,” don’t forget yourself, just keep trying…try to keep climbing.  While doing this, you might help others.  Also, I want to share my own experiences in Canada, my upbringing, my background.  I believe there is a lot of misinformation out there about some groups in particular, and this book can help break down some of that misinformation and some of those stereotypes by way of discussions about elements in the book,” he says.


If minorities are not well-represented and there are cultural misunderstandings, doesn’t that challenge the notion of multiculturalism?


“Minorities have done well in a very short time..It is what we do now that will make society what it is tomorrow.  Fair representation or “like” representation cannot happen overnight..It is the “now”, however that we should be concerned with and how we can contribute to society and each other.  This will determine, tomorrow,” he says.


The main character of the book is the “teacher” who remains neutral. Isn’t it kinda odd that the main character is neutral and does not belong to any group?

Asim says “The teacher is a concept, that represents knowledge but also the delivery of that knowledge.  When knowledge is presented by inspirational people, it’s called learning.”


An IT professional by background, Asim has launched an ipad application of the book. The reason “It’s a major channel to be on, especially for a new book, and it just simply can’t be ignored.”


He has donated books to Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) in Ottawa, the Montreal Children’s Hospital in Montreal and the Greater Niagara General Hospital in Niagara Falls.


“Khadijah goes to School” is also available at the Niagara Falls library and at the Mississauga library.


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