I Speak for Myself: American Women on Being Muslim

I Speak for Myself: American Women on Being Muslim

by Maria M Ebrahimji, Zahra T Suratwala

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Muslim American women are the subject of endless discussions regarding their role in society, their veils as symbols of oppression or of freedom, their identity, their patriotism, their womanhood. Yet the voices and life experiences of Muslim American women themselves are rarely heard in the loud rhetoric surrounding the question of Muslims in America. Finally, in I Speak for Myself, 40 American women under the age of 40, share their experiences of their lives as Muslim women in America. While their commonality is faith and citizenship, their voices and their messages are very different.

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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781935952367
Publisher: White Cloud Press
Publication date: 04/01/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
File size: 913 KB

About the Author

Maria M. Ebrahimji, M.A.
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

Introduction xv

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

Creating Sarah

The Voice from Within Souheila Al Jadda 218

Lines of Bad Grammar Kameelah Janan Rasheed 225

Glossary 231

Questions for Discussion 235

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