Fairytale Beginnings

zainab

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. I want to hear them all."The End.Like a conjurer, I have dozens of stories like this up my sleeve. They come to me at inopportune moments, waking me up at three in the morning or badgering me in … [Read more...]

A Hate Crime Against the Universe

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It was a rainy and cold night in Los Angeles. The rarity of the rain added a sheen of intrigue as I drove up the 101 freeway through downtown. I glanced at the overpasses above, nearing the place where I'd been told the signs would be. Sure enough, there they were - jankier than I expected, but still expressing their intended hatred. In black pixelated letters one sign said No, and the other featured the image of a crescent and moon.I took the next exit. After circling around for a few min … [Read more...]

Daughters Need Their Fathers Too

Ambata Kazi-Nance

It was a Friday evening, that magical time for children and adults. Briefcases were put away, book bags tossed into a corner to be forgotten until Sunday night, and healthy, well-balanced meals replaced with feel-good foods of questionable nutritious value. And, of course, there was dessert.My father always had a sweet tooth, something I inherited from him, and Fridays meant the promise of a sweet treat. This particular Friday it was a package of fudge-striped cookies, my favorite. The … [Read more...]

Step One

Key Ballah

I am the kind of woman who looks at love from every angle.Who writes about it, puts it in her mouth, holds it up to her nose and rolls it in her hands. I can tell you the way that parted lips feel against bare skin, or the way that the moon reaches out of the sky and highlights your breath as it leaves your mouth in the middle of the night in the middle of February. I can even write detailed accounts about the way the air smelt when I met you, but I cannot for the life of me fall victim to … [Read more...]

Where the hell is my chivalry?

ZahraNoorbakhsh-HeadShot-300dpi

Eds. Note: Please welcome comedian, playwright and Love InshAllah anthology contributor Zahra Noorbakhsh! You can find her column, My Infidel Husband, here every fourth Thursday of the month.On my 26th birthday, I shot awake with the realization that I was in my mother’s relationship.My then boyfriend (now husband), Duncan, and I had just moved in together, shortly after celebrating our two-year anniversary. In all this time, he had never bought me a present. I looked over at him snoring … [Read more...]

Speaking My Language

Sabina

“Turn me into droplets of rain so I sprinkle upon your pretty face,
Then coat me with dreariness as I wander alone…” - Qarar  On the two-hour drive to my parents’ home, I crooned along to one of my favorite Pashto songs, Qarar. I felt the sweetness of the words fill me: the longing and the love of a man for his lover.Turning to my husband as he drove, I swung my hands dramatically towards him, continuing to sing along. He smiled and switched lanes. After the song ended, I sighed … [Read more...]

Engagement Party Vanilla Cupcakes + Big News + My Love Life

Nazia

Eds. Note: Please welcome our newest columnist, London-based Nazia, who will be sharing her food column Your Sunny Side Up the third Thursday of every month!It was just a few short months ago we were dancing at her engagement party, stuffing our faces with these cupcakes, and later indulging in a midnight feast of pizza and cookie dough (what wedding diet?). Fast forward a few weeks and we’re walking her down the aisle dressed in white to start the next chapter of her life. And now my beaut … [Read more...]

Mourning

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They ask me why I always wear black.And I answer “I am in mourning”.They ask me who am I mourning.I’m mourning my grandfather, I say.They found his bones 10 years after his head was cut off, Quran in hand.I’m mourning my uncle too; his remains still not found. I wonder how much he suffered.I’m mourning my grandmother, killed by the grenades that left her son handicapped.I’m mourning the thousands of Ahmeds, Aishas and Fatimas massacred for being Bosniaks, for being Mus … [Read more...]

The Upstairs Wife – Virtual Book Club February 26th!

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Please join us on Twitter for our first virtual book club featuring a Q&A with author Rafia Zakaria about her new memoir, "The Upstairs Wife", on Thursday, February 26th at 11 am PDT/2 pm EDT.Get your copy today!Christian Science Monitor book review of "The Upstairs Wife"  … [Read more...]

The Day I (Almost) Became a Woman

Key Ballah

I was ten-years-old. The air was sticky and heavy, the kind of heat that makes everything move in slow motion. My cousin, who is two years older than me, was lounging on the living room sofa watching Saturday morning cartoons, and wearing boxer briefs – the image of Spider-Man splayed purposefully across the crotch.Granny brought him a cup of Ovaltine tea, which was always a bit too sweet. He glanced away from the television only long enough to take the cup from her hands with a mumbled t … [Read more...]


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