Hello. My name is Mustafa Alami.

I create and illustrate stories.
I also paint and sell art.

I am based in Sausalito, California. Please email me if you would like to distribute my book or buy my art: numyum@malami.com

Oh, I also help companies launch applications as a UX Design Director. More on that is on malami.com.

How do you overcome something BIG when you are small? You do it with wisdom and wit. Rabbit's Wit and Bird's Wisdom are two tales adapted from Rumi's writings.

Buy the book

An early limited print release of the book is available at Book Passage in Sausalito. The digital version of Bird's Wisdom is on Amazon as a kindle ebook download.

96 Pages - 8.5" x 8.5"
ISBN: 9780999037300
Library of Congress Number: 2018930543

Bird's Wisdom

Bird's Wisdom is an illustrated retelling of The Bird's Wise Counsels. In this tale, a bird is captured for a meal and offers to exchange wisdom for its release. The bird shares his pearls of wisdom but his captor is unable to appreciate the teachings. The key to wisdom is not just comprehending, but being able to apply it situationally.

Rabbit's Wit

Rabbit's Wit is a creative adaptation of The Lion and the Beasts, where I replace the beasts of Rumi’s valley with a village of rabbits and his lion with a fantastic beast. In the story, the beast invades the village and steals their harvest. A young rabbit devises a clever plan to save his village. The beast is scary, just as life can be scary at times, and to see a youngster overcome his fear and succeed makes us all feel stronger and more confident in using our wits to overcome our challenges.

Author's Note

My goal is to bring old wisdom tales to life with colorful illustrations and simple narration. The stories are a way for me to connect with my heritage and an excuse to create illustrations.

Rumi’s stories carry many themes. I chose these two stories because of the themes that people can overcome something really big even when they are small, and the value of thinking critically to devise creative solutions to hard problems. I’m also delighted by the solution in Rabbit's Wit where the problem attacks itself.

This not your typical picture book. It doesn't end well for all — the beast washes down a waterfall and the man loses his meal. Next time, the man should just eat the bird and the beast should just keeping raiding the village for carrots. Each was tricked by the false promise of quick wealth or easy reward, but their failures, as ours, are an opportunity to learn, an opportunity to pursue wisdom and wit.


Jalāl ad-Dīn Muhammad Rūmī or Rumi (1207 – 1273), was a 13th-century poet, Islamic scholar, and mystic. His poems and stories use every day life to describe the spiritual world and have universal appeal.


The name numyum was inspired by “birdie num num,” a line in an old Peter Sellers’ movie. Along the way, numnum somehow became numyum and represents one of my simple pleasures - tossing crumbs to birds. I am frequently reprimanded for this behavior at outdoor restaurants, parks, and in Europe in general.

Stories Art