Welcome to Pittsburgh: Eid Al-Adha!

An illustration of a thumbs up

Carnegie Library wishes a belated Eid Mubarak to those who celebrate! Pittsburgh has long been a safe place for refugees and a home for Muslim Pittsburghers.  

The first mosque in Pittsburgh was also the first mosque in Pennsylvania. In the 1930s, African American converts founded Al-Masjid al-Awwal, in a building that was once a public library in the Hill District. 

One of the centers of Pittsburgh’s Muslim community is the Islamic Center of Pittsburgh, which is located just minutes away from Carnegie Library’s Oakland location. The Center houses a mosque, an elementary school, a food bank and more; its members work on community service and interfaith outreach.  

The Islamic Center is home to a diverse community hailing from all around the world including India, Indonesia, Egypt and Somalia.

Below is a list of books for children, teens and adults that celebrate Muslim-American experiences, immigrant experiences and the diversity within Islam—including one that takes place in Pittsburgh! 

You can also check out CAIR Pittsburgh for community, legal and educational resources, as well as the Muslim Community Center of Greater Pittsburgh for services throughout the Pittsburgh region. To learn more about the history of Islam in Pittsburgh, check out this article. 

For more resources on language learning, citizenship resources and more, please visit our Library Welcome Centers. Everyone is welcome at the Library! 

You can sign up for a free library card here. If you are new to our eResources, check out these tutorial videos on how to get started. 

Looking for a good book, album, movie or TV show? We’re happy to recommend them to you! Use this Personalized Recommendations form to send us some information about what you like and we’ll curate a list just for you. 

If you have any additional questions, you can contact a librarian through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. You can also call us at 412.622.3114 or email us at info@carnegielibrary.org. 

The Book of Jonas

Jonas, born Younis in an unnamed Middle Eastern country, is flown to Pittsburgh by an aid agency after his family is killed in an American raid. In this new environment he struggles with the trauma of war and loss while struggling with culture shock. You can also check out this title as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby or as eAudio on Hoopla.

The Henna Wars

Nishat’s parents say she can be anyone she wants–as long as she isn’t a lesbian. When a childhood friend comes back into her life, Nishat has a decision to make–stay in the closet for her family, or stay true to herself. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby or as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby. 

Love from A to Z

Two eighteen-year-old Muslims who fall in love during spring break in Qatar struggle to find a way to live their own truths.

Mommy's Khimar

A young Muslim girl puts on a head scarf and not only feels closer to her mother, she also imagines herself as a queen, the sun, a superhero, and more.

Salt Houses

Foreseeing blessings and troubles in the lives of her daughter and grandchildren, Salma endures hardships stemming from the Six-Day War of 1967 in Palestine before rebuilding in Kuwait, before the family is scattered by Saddam Hussein’s regime. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby or as eAudio on Hoopla. 

The Ungrateful Refugee: What Immigrants Never Tell You

Aged eight, Dina Nayeri fled Iran along with her mother and brother and lived in the crumbling shell of an Italian hotel-turned-refugee camp. Eventually she was granted asylum in America. She settled in Oklahoma, then made her way to Princeton University. In this book, Nayeri weaves together her own vivid story with the stories of other refugees and asylum seekers in recent years, bringing us inside their daily lives and taking us through the different stages of their journeys, from escape to asylum to resettlement. You can also check out this title as eAudio on Hoopla, as eAudio on OverDrive/Libby or as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.

The Weight of Our Sky

Amidst the Chinese-Malay conflict in Kuala Lumpur in 1969, sixteen-year-old Melati must overcome prejudice, violence and her own OCD to find her way back to her mother. You can also check out this title as eBook on OverDrive/Libby.