“Joud was nervous. It was her first day of school and she didn’t know what it was going to be like.
“Come on sweetheart, you really need to go to bed now.” said her Mum.
“Mama what if the kids make fun of me?” Joud whispered as tears rolled down her cheeks.
Mama wiped away her tears and held her tightly in her arms. “Oh my baby, you’ve grown so much and it’s normal, we all get nervous about the first day of school. I was also nervous when I was your age about starting school, but you are going to make lots of friends, do you know why?”
“Why?” asked Joud.
“Well because you have such a big heart, a heart of gold. You’re kind, and thoughtful and that is what makes you beautiful.”
“But my eyes… ” sulked Joud
Mum wiped over her eyes and said, “Allah loves those beautiful eyes of yours, He gave you special gifts other than sight Joud. And if nobody sees that then they are the ones who are blind not you”
Joud smiled and wiped away her tears.
Early next morning, Joud decided to wear her special glasses to school. She held her stick which helped her feel her surroundings and turned to her mum who was proudly looking at her beautiful little girl.
“I feel good Mama, just a teeny bit nervous, but I think I’m mostly excited!” she said
“Good! I am super excited for you my beautiful lady. Now let’s go!”
School was a 5 minute walk from home and as they walked along Joud heard some other children chattering away. She wondered if they too felt a little nervous.
“Here we are! said Joud’s mum. Take a right here… Joud used her stick to feel the sidewalk and she could now hear lots of children. Joud straightened her back and clutched on to her mother’s hand tightly.
“Mama, Joud whispered.. How does my school look?”
“Wonderful said her mum, just like you painted it.”
Joud smiled as she felt butterflies fluttering in her stomach.
“Bismillah” she whispered to herself. Joud, quietly in her heart asked Allah to help her find new friends. She always liked to talk to Allah in her heart. It always helped keep her calm and happy.
“Good morning Miss Honey”, said Joud’s mum.. as they walked into her new classroom. Joud could feel that they were inside now and she heard the voice of her new teacher, she sounded very kind.
“Good morning wonderful Joud. Welcome to Butterflies class, we are so excited to have you with us.”
Miss Honey took Joud by the hand. Joud smiled nervously. She imagined Miss Honey’s face, kind and smiley.
Joud’s imagination was her special power. She would imagine everyone and as soon as she heard their voices. It’s like she had a paintbrush in her head and it would help her paint what she thought they looked like.
Joud then heard a boy and a girl run up to her
“Hello” said Tom excitedly! I love your glasses, they look so cool! Can I try them on? My name is Thomas by the way! and I’m Amal said the girl.
Joud quickly started to paint a picture of Thomas in her head. He definitely had a cheeky grin, that’s for sure. She giggled a bit.
“Sure, Joud said, you can try them on!” She handed them over to Thomas and then felt all the children gather around her – could we play with your stick. They all asked.
Miss Honey came to see what was going on,
“Now now children, let’s quieten down and sit on the carpet.” she called Joud and asked her to share with the curious children why she was wearing glasses and holding a stick.
The children were amazed to learn that Joud couldn’t see them, she was blind.
so you can’t see us?! They said
“Not really” whispered Joud reluctantly. Her cheeks went pink.
“But I can see your faces in my mind.” she carried on..
“Wow, so what do we look like?” Asked the children all at once!
Miss Honey asked them to quieten down and wait their turn.
If Joud agrees you can ask her to paint for you.
The children were extremely excited! Miss Honey handed Joud a Paintbrush and some paint.
“You would need to tell me a bit about yourself and then I can paint your picture.” Said Joud..
Mussa raised his hand “my turn my turn…please let me go first” he said- I have brown spiky hair and small green eyes and I’m very handsome he held up his arms and showed off his muscles.”
Joud giggled and painted away with black strokes and yellow strokes, green and white. This is taking ages said Mussa!!!!! almost there she said, you are going to
love this. Ready… 1 – 2 – 3!
What?! The children all laughed one of Joud’s paintings fell from her folder! A gorilla! I’m not a Gorilla! Or maybe I am! Mussa ran around the class beating on his chest and the kids all rolled around in laughter.
“Oops! said Joud! Wrong painting that’s a painting that I did earlier! how about this one Mussa? Does this one look like you?” Joud handed over the right painting to Mussa!
The children all gasped woaaah that’s amazing
“Fabuloustasticwastic” Mussa shouted!
The children loved it – Joud, clearly had a special gift.
“You really are gifted Joud!” Amal shouted!
Miss Honey, then asked who would like to be Joud’s partner and help to show her around the school.
“Me ..me ..me …Pleass Miss Honey choose me!” They all pleaded.
Joud giggled and in her heart she whispered “Alhamdulillah, thank you Allah”
Everybody wanted to be her friend. What a brilliant first day of school it was! “
If you have enjoyed this story and this special podcast show, please give us a 5-star rating on your favourite podcast player (Apple, Google or Spotify)