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SPONSORED ARTICLE: The Desi Doll Company Ltd

Farzana Rahman, the founder and managing director of The Desi Doll Company, tells us more about her business journey.

I am often asked the question, how did I come up with the idea of Aamina and Yousuf?



Well, here I would like to share with you some of my journey.


When my daughter Zahrah was just 5 years old (she’s 14 now, so we’re talking a while ago!), I searched for toys to support what I was teaching her about Islam. I’m a big believer that children learn best through play. I did an intensive search and could not find anything that was fun. I wanted Zahrah to learn about Islam everywhere and anywhere – I wanted her learning to be effortless and fun. I wanted her to have a ‘playmate’ that she could relate to, learn from, and that she could easily carry with her everywhere.



It was then that I decided that I would create two cuddly, talking dolls – now better known as Aamina and Yousuf.



At the time I was working full time, and I could not fully pursue this huge project. It was only after I had my twin boys Zain and Sami, that I decided to have more balance in my life, and have more time for my family.



And so, when my maternity leave ended, I decided not to return to my job at an investment bank in the city of London, and made the decision instead to start my own venture. I picked up where I left off, and continued with the doll project.



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I started to design the dolls – what they would look like, and what they would wear. I then wrote the script for what I wanted each doll to say – this came relatively easy to me, as being a parent I felt I was well positioned to know what basics of Islam I wanted to teach young children as an introduction, and what most other parents would also appreciate.



Surah Fatiha and Surah Ikhlas were at the top of my list – and not just in Arabic, but in English too – so that with time, children will begin to have an understanding of these two beautiful and important verses that form the backbone of our faith.



I wanted my children to develop an understanding that Allah is everywhere and to remember him in everything they do – whether it’s sneezing, greeting someone, beginning something or just being thankful. So I came up with a few very simple sentences in an effort to demonstrate the meaning of some key Islamic phrases.



When my children were babies and winding down for bed, I would always sing to them La ilaha illalah Muhama-dur-rasulullah to the popular nursery rhyme tune of Twinkle Twinkle little star – so of course I had to include this. Not being content with just one song, I went on to write a few more, always sticking to fun nursery rhyme tunes. I found this quite challenging but very fun!


I thoroughly enjoyed creating Aamina and her brother Yousuf.


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Alhamdulillah they have stood the test of time and continue to be much loved by both children and their parents. These two dolls formed the beginning of a long, unexpected and blessed journey.



See more of Aamina and Yousuf at www.desidollcompany.com