Is my ex an FBI informant?

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He was undoubtedly attractive – tall, lean and muscular, caramel colored skin, full lips, high cheekbones that framed his deeply intense hazel eyes. But his black leather jacket, felt fedora, acoustic guitar swung over his shoulder and beatnik poetry journal in his back pocket were really the accessories that put me over the edge.He had a very expressive face but there were two expressions that stuck out the most – an affable, goofy grin, and the furrowed brow intensity of a poet deep in tho … [Read more...]

Integrity of Heart, Peace of Soul: Finding My Path as an Asexual Muslim

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I’m not able to be a “good Muslim wife”. In fact, I’m not able to be in a conventional marriage at all.I’m asexual, aromantic, and sex-averse. Asexuality is a sexual orientation characterized by experiencing little or no sexual attraction to any person1. Aromanticism means that I do not experience romantic attraction, or falling in love, to any person either. As for the sex aversion, that’s what ultimately makes marriage out of the question for me. While not all asexual individuals are sex-av … [Read more...]

Mothering in the Shadows

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Editor's Note: Please welcome our newest writer Ambata Kazi-Nance whose monthly column Not Without Love will appear the fourth Wednesday of every month!It’s late at night, or maybe the wee hours of the morning before dawn. It’s quiet, the kind of quiet where you can hear the breathing patterns of everyone in the house and the creaks in walls and ceilings like invisible footsteps. Soft, yellow light glows like a halo around my crib. I am crying. I can’t hear myself crying but I must be bec … [Read more...]

Love has no respect for questionnaires

Nazia

I’ve never been in love but I’m pretty sure finding my perfect match will not be as easy as filling in a compatibility questionnaire.Still, I went ahead and filled in my answers to Don Tillman's questions at the end of  the novel The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. You know, just for fun. It consisted of 24 questions and, according to Don, should have taken me no longer than 7 minutes and 9 seconds. Unless I didn’t understand a question, in which case I should consider myself ‘unsuitable‘ an … [Read more...]

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

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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?

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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...]


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