"Reading Eye of the Heart is like experiencing a wonderful, deep dream; the further you go the longer you want to stay. A paradoxical journey from elite Manhattan life to teaching slum children in Pakistan, Stephanie Flower invites her reader along for an intimate ride that will open your own heart's eye." -Chris Abdul Rahman Blauvelt, Founder and CEO of Launchgood.com "There are many ways to read Sommieh Flower's memoir, but the most important one is not her conversion story, nor the contrast between the family and society into which she was born, and the societies in which she has lived during her adult life. For me as an educator, the most enduring contribution of the author is the vision of education--how to engage the young in an altruistic and uplifting kind of schooling. She has long been a person of vision with the even rarer ability to implement that vision with teachers and students, and to communicate it to others in a way that lets it live and spread. The story of her well-rounded humanities education and her embrace of Islam that led her into this vision of participatory, child-centered, empathetic and out-ward-looking education is one that the Muslim community should take to heart and embrace. Like the wider American community, the Muslim community abroad and in the US has mistakenly erred on the side of regimented education with an overemphasis on the STEM fields. Her example, pursued with dogged persistence, lights the way to a different possibility." -Susan Douglass, curriculum developer, education outreach provider at Georgetown University, and fellow-traveler in the same vision. "This expansive baring of the soul is likened to a roller coaster ride. It begins smooth, sometimes folds back on itself, at times it turns upside down but finds its footing just before the next loop. There is a hesitation at the crest and a hair-raising ride down, only to be taken back up again to new heights. Eye of the Heart will let you know who the author is, as very little is held back. May Allah bless Sommieh in her endeavor." -Loretta J. Poisson, author (Between a Pyramid and a Hard Place) "The Eye of the Heart: Journey to My Soul" is indeed a journey which author Flower invites us to join; it's the voyage of an American youth, wife and mother, educator and a believer in Allah's universality through Islamic teachings. This is a memoir of simplicity, intimacy and compassion easy to share, even though the life that unfolds, page by page, is in many ways unique. Stephanie Flower takes us from her early years as a typical American child, through her sometimes aimless, but mostly determined path towards the divine and her own personal maturity. That path involved conversion into a new faith, Islam, marriage and motherhood, becoming a successful educator, remarriage and a new career along with a new way of being Muslim. Sister Flower's sometimes understated social and spiritual encounters make her life less exotic and more normal than one might expect-so that becoming Muslim and living Islam are entirely natural and reveal Flower's forever evolving heart and spirit. Engaging in this journey with her is an endearing experience." -Barbara Nimri Aziz, anthropologist, and former producer (Pacifica-WBAI Radio, NY)
About the Author
Sommieh Stephanie Flower is a global speaker and presenter on topics of education and international development. Having worked as an educator in the United States, Pakistan, and Saudi Arabia, Sommieh is the founder of the Sitara Institute and now helps other retirees create meaningful lives through giving back. She has four wonderful children and numerous grandchildren and currently divides her time between her family in North America, and her husband and school in Pakistan. She invites you to reach out and connect through her website, sommiehflower.com and on Facebook at Sommieh Stephanie Flower. Eye of the Heart is her first book.