Jasmine’s Whole New World by Amber Rashid

Once upon a time, in the Arabian city of Agrabah, there lived a poor Muslim family. The father was a storekeeper who struggled to keep his shop open after his wife had passed away. He had two children, a son named Farhan and a daughter named Jasmine. The father was very old fashioned and did not believe in sons and daughters being equal. He was easy-going with Farhan and allowed him to do anything he wanted. This was not the case with Jasmine. In order to keep his store open, the father was strict and depended on Jasmine to sew all the fabric and make different pieces of clothing all on her own. Jasmine worked many hours in a small stall with little pay, but dared not to say a thing to her father or else he would yell. She knew she did not want to spend the rest of her life working in horrible conditions and was determined to escape.

One night once the store had closed, her father told Jasmine that he wanted to talk with her.

“You are getting older, you must get married soon,” exclaimed the father. “I have arranged a marriage for you and you will meet the man in the next couple of weeks.”

Jasmine was only 17, but young marriage was common in the Islamic city. She did not want to marry a stranger. She made a promise to herself that she would become successful on her own first, before getting married. As always, Jasmine had lost the argument against her father and agreed to meet the man.

The next day arrived. The father and Farhan had gone out to get food which left Jasmine alone at the store. A young, rich, Christian woman came by looking for an abaya(1).

“I love showing appreciation for the beautiful Arabic culture!” The kind lady exclaimed. Jasmine showed the woman one of the most beautiful pieces she had sewn, and the woman was astonished. She gave her 1000 shekel (2). The rich lady asked Jasmine many questions and started to feel bad for the conditions she was in. The woman then reached into her purse and handed Jasmine a box.

“What is this?” asked Jasmine.

To which the young lady replied,”It’s a gift. I hope it will help you out, just open it when your father is not around.”

Jasmine thanked the lady for the gift and hid it away in her room to open for later.

Once the shop was closed, Jasmine’s father gave her new fabric to sew, along with a small plate of falafel (3). She cherished the photo she had of her biggest inspiration, her mother. Jasmine’s wardrobe consisted of all her mother’s old Arab outfits, and she wore her mother’s golden Ayatul Kursi (4) necklace every day to give her blessings. She finished sewing and remembered the gift the nice lady had given her. Jasmine carefully opened the box and to her surprise, there was a beautiful and shiny lamp. As she admired and rubbed the lamp, smoke appeared from the opening and it scared her. Soon, a genie appeared, and she stared at it in disbelief.

“Who are you?” whispered Jasmine, as she did not want her father or Farhan to hear.

“I am a genie and I am here to grant you your wishes,” the genie whispered back.

Jasmine was confused. She asked,”So you can make anything come true for me?”

The genie replied, “You have three wishes, use them wisely. Once all three are used up, this lamp will burst into flames and I will be free. The only restriction is that you may not wish to bring someone back from the dead. You help me, and I will help you.”

Jasmine was still confused but listened to the genie’s instructions. She had to think of her three wishes as she wanted to make them as meaningful as possible. She told the genie she would be back tomorrow night to make her first wish, to which the genie replied by nodding and disappearing back into the lamp. Jasmine put the lamp back into the box and gently pushed it under her bed. She lay in bed and began to think of what she wanted.

The next day rolled around and it was another regular day at the store. Jasmine worked on sewing different coloured hijabs (5) and then put them up for display. As she was doing this, she continued thinking of her three wishes. Her father realized she kept getting distracted and yelled at her. The day felt long, but once she was finally able to clean up, she ran to her room and pulled the box with the lamp out from under her bed.

Jasmine rubbed the lamp and the genie appeared again.

“Have you decided on your first wish?” asked the genie.

“Yes!” said Jasmine. She slowly closed her eyes and said “I wish to become successful on my own.”

All of a sudden, there was a puff of smoke and Jasmine saw herself standing in her very own clothing store, “Jasmine’s Boutique.” The store was located in the rich part of Agrabah. Everything was exactly how she dreamed of it, with a large wall of different fabrics, the most advanced sewing machines, and the best tailors in all of the city working for her. She even had her own bedroom within the store. She could not believe her eyes. Her store soon opened and people from all over the land came to purchase her top quality Arab clothing.

A peasant of the Royal Ababwa family came by that day and requested for Jasmine to go with him to deliver some of her best pieces to the royal family. She agreed and ran to put on her best abaya, which had belonged to her mother. One of Jasmine’s workers picked out her best pieces and wrapped them in gold paper. She thanked her and went outside. The peasant was awaiting her on a camel and she hopped on behind. They made their way to the palace.

Jasmine was greeted by the guards who guided her to the queen. She met the queen’s son, Prince Ali Ababwa, and fell in love. He was the most beautiful boy she had ever seen.

Jasmine nervously said, “I’m here to give the queen some of my clothing pieces, I hope she likes them.”

To which the prince replied, “Your work is beautiful, my mother will love them.”

“Thank you, Prince!” Jasmine exclaimed while blushing.

“Call me Aladdin,” said the young prince.

Jasmine delivered her package to the queen and went back to her store.

The next few weeks passed by and Jasmine was as successful as ever. The queen had recommended Jasmine’s shop to other well-known people in the city and the amount of customers increased each and every day. Jasmine was focused on running her business, but she could not stop thinking about Aladdin. She remembered the promise she made to herself, that she must become successful on her own first before marrying someone. Jasmine continued to work hard for the next few months without letting anything distract her.

The prince soon turned 18 and word went around that the queen began her search for the prince’s wife. Girls all over Agrabah were excited and believed they had a chance, but Jasmine knew that she would be the perfect match for Aladdin. She knew what her second wish would be. That night when all her workers had gone home, she pulled out the box with the lamp, which she stored in the safe in her office. She rubbed the lamp and the genie appeared.

“Jasmine! It has been a while since you made a wish. Are you happy with your first one?” The genie asked.

To which Jasmine exclaimed, “Yes! I could not thank you enough! You have changed my life! I am ready to make my second wish!”

The genie smiled and listened.

Jasmine closed her eyes, rubbed her hands together and said, “I wish for Prince Ali Ababwa to fall in love with me!”

A puff of smoke appeared once again and she saw a letter slide from under her office door. The letter read,

Dear Jasmine,

I have not stopped thinking about you since the day you came to the palace to deliver your beautiful clothing. If you haven’t heard yet, my mother is looking for a bride for me and I knew exactly who I want it to be. I want it to be you. I have sought my mother’s approval and she would like for you to come by again tomorrow. There will be a carriage waiting for you in the morning. 

I am in love with you, Jasmine. 


Prince Ali Ababwa, AKA Aladdin.

Jasmine could not believe her eyes. She was extremely excited and did not get any sleep that night. She started planning her outfit for the day. She chose one of her nicest abayas adorned with gold crystals and beads, along with a shiny jewelry set that was gifted to her. She looked stunning and could not wait to visit the royal family again. It was soon morning and Jasmine informed her workers that she would be leaving for the day. Outside was the beautiful carriage. She hopped on next to the guard and went on her way to the palace.

The palace was just as she had remembered it. A long bridge led to the doors and her future husband was waiting for her on the other side. They made their way to the king and queen. They announced that the wedding would be in one month and gave Jasmine a room in the palace to stay. This gave her the opportunity to spend every day with Aladdin. She could not wait to become Princess Jasmine.

The day of the wedding came and it was magical. Jasmine wore a beautiful dress studded with diamonds and was crowned the princess. Everything was exactly how she dreamed. The queen gifted her and Aladdin a magical carpet which they used to fly over the city. Jasmine was so grateful for everything the genie had helped her with.

As Jasmine’s business began to expand, the queen decided to surprise her and open a second location near the palace. This allowed for even more business, as customers from all around the world came to admire and appreciate the beautiful Arabic culture. Jasmine even began selling gold jewelry inspired by her mother’s necklace.

One day as Jasmine was at her other location in Agrabah, her brother Farhan and her father came to visit her store. She had not seen them since she made her first wish. They came to congratulate her for her marriage and all her success. Although her father was hard on her, Jasmine always showed respect for her family members. She forgave her father for how he had treated her in the past. After Jasmine had left them, her father and Farhan were forced to shut down the clothing store, and for the past few months were forced to live with the little that they had. Her father’s dream was to own a restaurant in Agrabah, and with the help of Jasmine, her family was able to open a successful Arab food business.

Princess Jasmine realized she still had one wish left and knew exactly what to use it for. All this time, her wishes had been to benefit herself, but another dream of hers was to help others. She walked outside to a river with the box in her hand, and for the final time, she gently held onto the lamp and rubbed it. The genie appeared.

“Well hello, there, Princess Jasmine! Are you here to make your third and final wish?” Asked the genie.

“Yes, I am. Thank you again for everything you have done for me!”

The genie smiled and reminded her that after she made her final wish the lamp would be destroyed.

Jasmine nodded her head, closed her eyes, and made her final wish. “I wish for there to be equality and fairness for all!” and with that, smoke appeared and the lamp burst into flames.

Princess Jasmine stared in awe as the genie came out of the lamp and took the form of a human girl. The girl was named Layla. Layla hugged Princess Jasmine and thanked her for releasing her from the lamp. They soon became best friends and worked together at Jasmine’s Boutique.

News spread around the city of Agrabah of an equality and fairness act that was being put in place. As weeks went on, young girls and boys from the same family were able to play together and equally share work among themselves and their parents. Everybody in the city was happy and business thrived in every store. Princess Jasmine was in joy because she was able to help out others who were in a similar situation she was in before.

Although she was a princess who had people working for her, Princess Jasmine never stopped working hard herself and continued to be successful with her business. She helped others in any way she possibly could. Princess Jasmine was grateful for everything that had happened, and could not thank the lady who gifted her the lamp enough. She went on to have two beautiful children with her prince, and they lived happily ever after.

(1) A robe-like dress worn by Muslim women

(2) The currency in Agrabah. 1000 Shekel is equivalent to $380 CAD

(3) Deep fried ball made from ground chickpeas. Originates from the Middle East

(4) A chapter, also known as Surah from the Quran engraved on her necklace

(5) Head covering worn by Muslim women

Amber’s goal in retelling the Aladdin story was to avoid the stereotypes that the Disney version of the film included. She wanted to highlight the beautiful Arabic culture. At the same time, Amber wanted Jasmine to be the main character of her retelling so young Muslim girls could look up to her. In response to the Islamophobia that is so prevalent in the world today, Amber wanted to write a story that portrayed the Islamic world in a more accurate manner. Amber says, “The main messages to take away from my story are to be determined no matter what circumstances you are in, have hopes that things will become better if you are in a tough situation, and, if you believe, your dreams will come true.”

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