Readers of I Speak for Myself are presented with a kaleidoscope of stories, artfully woven together around the central idea of limitlessness and individuality. A common theme linking these intimate self-portraits will be the way each woman uniquely defies labeling, simply by defining for herself what it means to be American and Muslim and female. Each personal story is a contribution to the larger narrative of life stories and life work of a new generation of Muslim women.
There are approximately six million Muslims living in the United States and over one billion around the world. While the events of 9/11 certainly engaged Americans with the religion of Islam, many enduring stereotypes continue to belittle the Muslim American experience; this often leads to a monolithic interpretation of Islam. Such a treatment is especially inappropriate when reflecting on the Muslim American identity, which is by far one of the most culturally, ethnically, and socially diverse of any in the Islamic world. Women of the Muslim community in America could be described as both patriots and practitioners (of faith). Their experiences call for a body of literature that reflects how they celebrate and live Islam in distinctive ways.
In the wake of the current rising tide of Islamophobia (see Time Magazine, Aug. 30, 2010), I Speak for Myself is a must read for Americans seeking understanding of Islam from young women who were all born in the USA.
About the Author
As the Director of Network Booking and Executive Editorial Producer for CNN, Maria Ebrahimji manages a team that is responsible for guest coverage and story planning for all of the network’s special events and breaking news programming. She is a member of the South Asian Journalists Association, the Southern Center for International Studies, and serves on the board of the Emory Development Institute. She lives in Atlanta, Georgia.
Zahra T. Suratwala, M.A.
Zahra Suratwala is President/CEO of Zahra Ink, Incorporated, a marketing on a consulting firm that works with a variety of small businesses. She obtained her Masters of Arts degree in English Literature from Loyola University Chicago. Her international perspectives and ability to negotiate her identity as a Muslim American woman comes from have lived live in Bangkok, Thailand and Cairo, Egypt after growing up in the American heartland. She lives today in Chicago, Illinois.
Table of Contents
Hill Diaries Yusra Tekbali 1
Pieces Rima Z. Kharuf 7
Roots Fatemeh Fakhraie}p13
Half and Half Nousheen Yousuf-Sadiq 18
In search of Fatima and Taqwa Maria M. Ebrahimji 23
The Muslim Feminist Hebah Ahmed}p29
Conquering Veils: Gender and Islam Asma T uddin 36
Unwelcome Change Mona Rajab 42
The University of Life Jameelah Xochitl Medina 48
Seeking the Present Zahra T. Suratwala 55
Sporting Faith Dewnya Bakri-Bazzi 60
Crossroads Hadia Mubarak 65
Secularizing my Graduation Arshiya Saiyed 71
A Headscarf Away from Television Mariam Sobh 77
What a Day Sarah Pashtoon Azad 83
Itchy Feet Arshia Khan 89
Moment of Truth Ruquyya Raheem Gibson}p96
The Writings of the Wall Maytha Alhassen 101
There and Back Again: A Spiritual Journey Marryam Abdl-Haleem 108
In Between Two Worlds Elham Khatami 114
Connections Samaa R Abdurraqib 120
Hyphenated Identity Naheed Hamid 126
My Journey to Islam Saliqa A. Khan 131
Hello My Name Is Amira Choueiki 137
Ready to Wear Nyla hashmi 142
Learning Tolerance Sevim Sabriye Kalyoncu 147
A William and Mary Ramadan Ayah H. Ibrahim 151
Soul Baring and Barrier Breaking Nafees Asiya Syed 158
Bursting out of a Bubble Sama Warch 163
A Sister in Humanity Zahra Nasiruddin Jamal 169
Who Am I to You?" Amany S Ezeldin 174
Truth Is Not Always Self-Evident Rabea Chaudhry 178
Shock and Awe Zainab Alwan 184
A Search for Peace Ala a wafa 190
Army of One Aryam Habib Khan 195
2008 Campaign Rashida Tlaib 200
Dual Identities Reem Odeh 206
The Voice from Within Souheila Al Jadda 218
Lines of Bad Grammar Kameelah Janan Rasheed 225
Questions for Discussion 235