writing

NaNoWriMo Muslims – A Powerful Voice

In late July, the mother of slain U.S. Capt. Humayun Khan stood supportively behind her husband as they gave their joint statement at the Democratic National Convention. It was arguably the most impactful speech at the gathering. However, in an interview with George Stephanopoulos of ABC News just after the…

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The healing power of poetry

“I’m writing as if God put this pen and paper In my hand Opening my mind to words I can’t even understand”   Hawa Fuesini’s poetry collection, “Nabila’s Garden: Love, Loss, Heartbreak and Redemption” reflects upon the journey of a sixteen year old Nigerian immigrant living in New York City. Instead of…

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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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Fairytale Beginnings

Tiny Love Story “And what do you do?” so many have asked. “I tell stories,” the girl said. One by one they’ve walked away, not understanding the language she speaks. Until one day… “I tell stories,” said she. “Then you are brave,” said he, “and you should keep telling them….

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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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Ghosts of Writers Past

It is summer, 1999. I remember standing on the steps of the townhouse I had grown up in, July heat in the air. I had just turned 17, and it seemed that all around me, a confluence of events was taking place: junior year was turning into senior year, the…

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From Ohio to Hollywood: Why I wrote about Islam

I have a somewhat unusual background—my father is a conservative Indian immigrant and my mother is from Kentucky. It’s also worth noting that my mother is very country and very white. As for myself, I was raised on red meat, potatoes and classic rock in Columbus, Ohio. I recall my childhood being quintessentially American, but with something of a twist.

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