Factory of Memories
Yasmine Abu Almajd
Jaber, Rafia, Mansour and Adli are ready to move to 10th grade. They have been good friends since they were in KG. Under the Carob tree on Asour Hill the friends play the Memory Game and share roles that will soon expose the hidden facets of each of their personalities. What is it that pushes Jaber to protect his memories? Why did Jaber create a Memory factory in his imagination? Will Jaber succeed in moving out of the memory circle to real life? A moving novel full of deep emotions honoring memories and the will to live in the present.
Parent and Teacher guide
In the Factory of Dreams Ahlam Bsharat tells us the story of Jaber who builds a make-believe factory to store the dreams of people and things he loves.
Jaber believes that memories from our other soul that is attached to time and place. He makes a pact with his three friends, Rafia, Mansour and Adli who play a role in the imaginary factory. Finally, with the help of his friends he realizes that embracing our memories no matter how painful and coming to terms with them will bring him peace and help him move forward with his life.
Suggested points of discussion:
• What are memories and how are they formed?
• How do we deal with our painful memories and get over our feelings of sadness and bereavement?
• Discuss the importance of friends in our lives who share with us the good and bad times.
• Sometimes we get over negative feeling by playing games, art or sports and this is what Jaber did when he created the “Memory” game.
• Appreciating the feelings of others.
• What do dreams mean to us. How do they reflect our subconscious fears and worries?
• Discuss why it is important not to have preconceived ideas about people. Jaber did not accept his stepmother because she took his mother’s place, but he changes his mind when he feels her genuine love for him.
• Each of us has a special characteristic that differentiates him from the others. Jaber loves stars and watching how the weather changes. Rafia is soft hearted. Adli likes to fool around. Mansour is the wise one. They each differ from each other but at the same time they complement each other.
• Connection to the land. Discuss how the Carob tree became a symbol in the story where memories were born and nurtured.
• Discuss why having a pet is important to some people. What does the Safi the dog mean to Jaber? Why did he treat him with so much love kindness?
• Discuss if being loyal to our memories will prevent us from moving forward with our lives.
• Why did Jaber and his friends insist in their dreams on flying to the sun to treat it?
• How did Jaber face and overcome his fears and worries?
• Every passing day is a memory. How can we make beautiful memories of each day?
About the Author
Ahlam Besharat was born to a farmer family. As a child she dreamt of becoming a fashion designer, artist or farmer but she became a writer. It was not an easy choice. She still wrestles with words while enjoying the process of writing. Ahlam Besharat is a writer from Palestine, from the lowest point on earth as she likes to refer to her birth place Jericho. She has written four books for young adults, Ginger, Trees for the Absent People, Diary of the Bonsiana Tree, Diary of a Girl from the Lowest Point on Earth and My Code Name is Butterfly which was translated to English by Nym Tree Press. She has also written two story collections and a number of picture books for kids.
About the Illustrator
Yasmin is a Teaching Assistant at the faculty of Fine Arts at Helwan university in Egypt. In 2014, She gained her Bachelor of Arts degree (Grade: Excellent with honor) from the faculty of Fine Arts at Helwan university and was ranked the first of the class. She is currently working on finishing her Master’s degree thesis. Her work was displayed in numbers of international Art exhibitions, such as: The sixth edition of the Sharjah children’s book illustrations exhibition in 2017 and the Prague Quadrennial of performance design and space in the city of Prague, Czech Republic in 2015. She has also won awards such as: The Acquisition award from the Youth Salon exhibition at the Cairo Opera House in 2017 and The second-place award from Nahr El-Bahr exhibition at El-Sawy culturalwheel in 2017. Her interests include children's literature and children’s book illustrations around the world.