HIijab wearing barbie

IKHLASUL AMAL is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Jenna is being marketed in Arabic countries

Samira Amarir, a French businesswoman and a mother to a young daughter has invented a doll which recites Quranic verses and wears appropriate Islamic wear. She designed the doll herself from scratch. The inspiration to do this came when he was searching for toys which would impart Islamic values to her child. After she failed to find any, she came up with the doll. This toy is now being commercially sold in a number of Gulf nations.

She named the doll “Jenna.” The doll looks similar to Barbie. Elaborating on how Jenna came into being, she said that the name given to her invention is actually her daughter’s name. Jenna is the Arabic word for Heaven. Following the conservative Islamic code, the Jenna doll is sold dressed in an “abaya” robe which covers its full structure.

The figure also wears a matching purple headscarf. Amarir designed the doll herself, using commonly found online modeling software. She even kept her ethnic skin tone in mind, providing the doll a dark skin color. Minimal makeup was also done. According to her, it was important that her daughter can relate with the doll. She wanted to make the doll as near to actual life as possible.

When Jenna was two years old, her mother was desperately searching for a tool or toy that would help her to learn the Quran easily and quickly. The impact of religious values must also come without much effort on the part of the child. Ideally, she thought, her daughter can learn the Islamic religion while she plays.

The Jenna doll recites four chapters. All these chapters are short. They were selected on the basis of ease of memorization. Amarir was pleasantly surprised to see that within a few days of her daughter playing with the doll, her daughter could memorize and recite the Quranic verses. The Jenna doll was brought into the commercial market after four years of hard work. These included multiple flights to factories in China.

Right now, Amarir with her family is going all out to market the doll. She has moved with her family from France to the United Arab Emirates for marketing the product. They hope that the doll will sell well in the religiously conservative and wealthy Gulf countries. The Jenna doll is currently being sold in four nations: United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Kuwait.

Resources

Follow the Conversation on Twitter