storytelling

A Faithful Telling

The Muslim experience in post-9/11 America is alive with a burgeoning literary-arts movement. Muslim storytellers are increasingly invested in “humanizing” their experiences. Initiatives like The Hijabi Monologues, The Muslim Protagonist, Muslim Writers Collective, and others are dedicated to this project. Hashtags like #MuslimLivesMatter and #WeNeedDiverseBooks are ubiquitous. Calls to fight…

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Writing Beyond Words

The first creative writing piece I workshopped in undergrad told the story of a Pakistani engineering student who rebuilds her father’s mystical gulab jamun machine and saves Manhattan from a gang of neo-Nazis and their patrons on Wall Street. It was narrated by her friend, an insecure Muslim Iranian Dominican…

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Serial and storytelling

The much anticipated conclusion to the wildly popular podcast, Serial, was released yesterday morning – and it was flat. As listeners we knew that this “one story, told week by week,” was also being written week by week as new information came to the attention of the producers. There was…

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Tell me your story

A full moon hung low one North Carolina night. Omar ibn Said was on the run from his South Carolina master who had almost beaten him to death a month earlier. When Omar came upon a church, he whispered “Praise Allah” under his breath. He took ablutions by the well in the churchyard and then entered the sanctuary to perform his Islamic prayers.
A young white boy saw him walk inside. Men on horseback with a pack of dogs quickly arrived to snatch Omar, mid-prostration, off to jail.

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