What inspired you to write this book? You’ve shared on social media that it was a decade-long project: take us through that journey briefly. Huda: I took my first stab at drafting a memoir at the height of the Iraq War. I knew I wanted to do something to put…Read More
I’ve been thinking a lot about empathy, lately. Starting here: Empathy is the ability to understand and share the feelings of another. I’ve often wondered if we are born to be empathetic, or if is it something that has to be proactively cultivated within ourselves. Humans are intrinsically programmed to…Read More
Make up a story… For our sake and yours forget your name in the street; tell us what the world has been to you in the dark places and in the light. Don’t tell us what to believe, what to fear. Show us belief’s wide skirt and the stitch that…Read More
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…Read More
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…Read More
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…Read More
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.
Lena Khan is an award winning American-Muslim filmmaker who commenced an ambitious Kickstarter campaign to fund her film project,The Tiger Hunter. Author Deonna Kelli Sayed talks to Lena about filmmaking, faith, and the challenge in launching her latest movie.Read More