Our Voices, Episode 1: Muslim Women Writers and Their Writing and Publishing Experiences

[title maintitle=”AltMontage Presents: ” subtitle=”Our Voices: Muslim Women Writers and Their Writing and Publishing Experiences”]

Hosted by writer/mentor: Na’Aisha Malika B Austin.

Produced and Directed by Sabina Khan-Ibarra.

For the first episode, we asked listeners, If you had the opportunity to ask a published author/editor a question, what would you ask?

Here’s how our panel of experts responded:

Our guests:

Fariba Nawa- award-winning Afghan-American journalist, covers a range of issues and specializes in immigrant and Muslim communities in the United States and abroad. She is based in the San Francisco Bay Area but has traveled extensively to the Middle East and South Asia. She lived and reported from Afghanistan from 2002 to 2007, and witnessed the U.S.-led war against the Taliban and al Qaeda. She has also reported from Iraq, Pakistan, Iran, Egypt, and Germany. She has a master’s in Middle Eastern studies and journalism. Her work has appeared in the Sunday Times of London, Foreign Affairs, Daily Beast, Newsday, Mother Jones, The Village Voice, The Christian Science Monitor and numerous other publications. She also reports for radio, including National Public Radio (NPR). She is the author of the groundbreaking report, Afghanistan, Inc., (CorpWatch, May 2006 ) and a contributing writer in the anthology Under the Drones: Modern Lives in the Afghanistan-Pakistan Borderlands (Harvard University Press, May 2012). Her essays have also been published in two other books, March to War and Women for Afghan Women. She is the author of Opium Nation: Child Brides, Drug Lords and One Woman’s Journey Through Afghanistan, a mix of memoir and reportage about the drug trade in Afghanistan.

Zareen Jaffrey– writer and editor who is currently the Executive Editor of Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers, previously at HarperTeen and Hyperion Books. She has worked with a number of award-winning, critically acclaimed, and New York Times bestselling authors including Amy Goodman, Jenny Han, Octavia Spencer, Lauren Conrad, and Kresley Cole. Her writing has been published by Penguin/Razorbill Books, in the inaugural online issue of Columbia University’s Muslim Protagonist literary magazine, and will be in the forthcoming essay collection Faithfully Feminist, part of the I Speak for Myself series.

Saleemah Abdul-Ghafur- director of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance, an alliance of 49 African presidents and prime ministers. ALMA is hosted by United Nations Secretary General’s Office of the Special Envoy for Malaria. She is committed to leveraging every asset to end malaria deaths which is integral to significant progress on the Millennium Development Goals. She has developed multi-million dollar partnerships over ten years to advance global development, interfaith action and dialogue and corporate social responsibility across national and international organizations. Saleemah is the recipient of the United for Change, Excellence in Human Service Award. She edited the seminal anthology, Living Islam Out Loud: American Muslim Women Speak and is a published expert on Muslim Women in the West. Saleemah is a graduate of Columbia University.



Sabina Khan-Ibarra is a mama, writer, feminist (her own definition) and activist who is currently working on her memoir.  She is the Social Media Co-Chair for MuslimARC and Assistant Editor at AltMuslimah. Sabina is also working on creating bereavement services for Muslim communities.

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