“Malika VI: Sayyida al-Hurra" is one of six stories published in AramcoWorld that tell about Muslim women who became leaders of their people.
For students: We hope this guide sharpens your reading skills and deepens your understanding.
For teachers: We encourage reproduction and adaptation of these ideas, freely and without further permission from AramcoWorld, by teachers at any level.
Common Core Standards met in this lesson: RI.9-10.1, W.9-10.2 (see details below).

—The Editors
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—Julie Weiss

"Malika VI": Reaching an Alternate Perspective

“Malika VI: Sayyida al-Hurra" is one of six stories published in AramcoWorld that tell about Muslim women who became leaders of their people. Read the article. The activities in this classroom guide focus on three key topics the article addresses. By the time you finish, you should be able to achieve the following:

• Explain how Sayyida al-Hurra came to power.
•Analyze how global events affect the lives of individuals.
•Explain why different people see the same events differently.

How Did Sayyida al-Hurra come to Power?

Writer Tom Verde tells the story of how a young woman rose to power in North Africa in the 1500s. Make a graphic organizer that answer this question: "How did Sayyida al-Hurra come to power? Think about what kind of graphic organizer would most effectively show this information. By answering the question, you will be making a visual summary of the first half of the article.

How Do Global Events Affect Individuals?

Depending on where you live, large-scale events, like political debates and international conflicts, might feel pretty separate from your own life. But often these big events have big effects on people's lives. What was the big event that shaped the life of Sayyida al-Hurra? How did it affect the Rashid family? Think about your own life or the lives of people you know, like relatives or neighbors. What big events shaped their lives? Here's an example. The global economy crashed in 2008. As a result many people lost their homes, and some event moved to other places, changing the course of their lives forever. Ask this question to a parent or another adult: What big event had a big impact on you life? Write a summary of the answer and bring it to class. If it's possible to share stories (anonymously) without exposing information that should remain private, do so. Discuss how people made sense of the events and ways their lives were changed.

Why Do Different People See the Same Events Differently?

The article says that some people viewed Sayyida al-Hurra as  a pirate, while others regarded her quite differently. Writer Tom Verde puts it this way: "But whether or not Sayyida al-Hurra and Oruç were 'pirates' really depended upon which side of the cannon one was facing." Find the part of the article that addresses piracy and its possible connection to Sayyida al-Hurra. Write a sentence or two explaining what it was about Sayyida al-Hurra's actions that led some to call her a pirate. Then write another sentence or two explaining why those actions might not be considered piracy after all. Then write a paragraph in which you state whether or not you think Sayyida al-Hurra was a pirate. Before you write, though, think about this: Based on her actions (which are recorded facts and don't change) can one person both be and not be a pirate?



Common Core Standards met in this lesson:

RI.9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text explicitly and implicitly says.

W.9-10.2 Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.