My Name Was Hussein

Book Summary: 

A young boy named Hussein lives in a small village in Bulgaria with his Roma family where soldiers invade and force him and his family to completely change their lives.  The soldiers take their identity cards and make them choose a Christian name, completely stripping them of their Muslim faith.

Hristo Kyuchukov
Allan Eitzen
Boyds Mills Press
Guiding Question: 

How do governments decide which people have rights and which people do not?

Howard’s Format from You Can’t Teach What You Don’t Know (73-85): 

Honesty- In some places Muslims are not allowed to participate in everyday activities and are forced to change their identity just because someone else doesn’t approve of their beliefs. Do you think this still happens in our society?

Empathy- Does your name have special significance? How would you feel if you were forced to completely change your name and your identity just because someone else didn’t like it? How would that make you feel? Would you completely change who you are or take the consequences?

Advocacy- Focus on personal oppression and look at the discrimination of people’s values, beliefs, and feelings. Is this something you have seen before? Do you still see it in our society today? This there a way that our society could advocate for Roma or Muslim people?

Action- Based on your findings when looking at personal oppression and discrimination of values, beliefs, and feelings, come up with a plan to help students identify this in their daily lives and talk to them about what they can do to help prevent this. Use Hussein as an example. Ask yourselves, what would I have done if I would have been in this situation and how would I prevent this from happening to others?


Reviewed by Haley Keith, Ohio Northern University teacher candidate