Through Ramatoulaye’s reflections, Bâ highlights the institution of marriage as a structural symbol of the patriarchal system, in which asymmetrical gender relations are maintained and projected as part of the Islamic doctrine. Continue reading So Long a Letter; So Long a History | Mariama Bâ, Muslimness, and Women’s Rights
As a war narrative enveloped in magic, love, and hope, The Baghdad Clock adds depth to the burgeoning genre of postcolonial Iraqi novels. Continue reading The Real and the Imaginary: The Baghdad Clock by Shahad Al Rawi
“Siddhartha said: ‘What could I say to you that would be of value, except that perhaps you seek too much, that as a result of your seeking you cannot find.'” Continue reading Hermann Hesse on Seeking & Finding
Alifa Rifaat’s stories are situated within an Islamic framework that allows her to create a feminism of her own. Since Islam and empowerment are often misguidedly placed in contradiction to one another, it’s easy to see why Rifaat is not a household name. Continue reading A Feminism of One’s Own: Distant View of a Minaret by Alifa Rifaat
This may all seem too idealistic to some but nonetheless conveys a crucial message about the role of the artist and what cultural and literary representations can offer in the ongoing debates about the so-called “problem” of Muslims in the Anglophone North Atlantic. Continue reading The Year of the Middle Eastern Reading Challenge + Unapologetically Muslim Reading Challenge? Yes, please.
To deal with the sense of ambivalence and confinement, I read. Reflecting back on my refuge in books, yes, I needed comfort and escape, but I was essentially trying to make sense of the turmoil not by watching the news but by reading. Continue reading Comfort Reads: What to Read in Troubling Times | Part II
When I found out that I was reviewing “Muslim” for World Literature Today, I was elated. And you can read about why in my review in the summer issue of World Literature Today. Continue reading Read My Review on World Literature Today: Zahia Rahmani
Migrant writer Aglaja Veteranyi once wrote that “[her] father says you remember the smell of your country no matter where you are but only recognize it when you’re far away.” Continue reading Leila Aboulela: Home, The Nile & Roasted Watermelon Seeds