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!


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 Life and Death of a First Love

First love can be a bittersweet and intense experience, especially if it is unrequited. It can also change us in ways we may not grasp until much later.I discovered love for the first time when I was seven years old. He was a distant cousin -- one amongst many thanks to my large close-knit family in Lahore, Pakistan. We gravitated towards each other, despite the fact that I was the younger, studious little girl while he was a rambunctious boy. We spent our time mostly play acting in our … [Read more...]

The Real Ones

The Real OnesSomething happened in the development sectorSomething we forgotSomething we should have knownThat humans aren’t blank slatesAwaiting our arrivalTo scribble new thoughts, new words, new ways of livingOver their facesThat humans aren’t blank slatesAwaiting our arrivalTo draw them anew and sayNow you knowHow to live, how to think, how to behaveNow you have rightsWe don’t walk into empty fields, we don’t walk into barren lands,We don’t walk in with th … [Read more...]


Inter-DependentI wanted to show you what I sawAnd heardAnd understoodBut it was so boringLike talking to myselfA conversation I had beforeThings I already knowAnd I know you don’t know itBut it was boring neverthelessBecause to explainI have to say too muchDescribe too muchContextualizeAnd if I don’t explainI sayNothingI sawWheat fields and corn fields carefully cultivatedSpreading as far as the eye can seeAnd an area where land was fallowBecause the … [Read more...]


In a vibrant new video, journalist Nushmia Khan examines the hands of the Pakistanis she met while reporting."With all these hands, I could only see potential — potential in a country that has been deemed a failure by so many," she writes. … [Read more...]

The False Phoenix

Love, Inshallah's fiction debut!The False PhoenixNot a drop of rain had fallen in six weeks. Then one August afternoon, Zeenat watched from her window as day turned to night in under a minute, pregnant charcoal clouds overpowered the sun, and the sky roared as rain started to pour.Zeenat had a tingling sensation in her fingertips, as a strange half smile teased her lips. She watched the sheets of rain appear and disappear like magical clothes swaying on a clothesline, their visibility … [Read more...]

My X-Men

I have opinions. About the X-Men.I’m a child of the 1990’s, so my reference point is the amazing cartoon, “X-Men: The Animated Series,” which aired from 1992-1997 (like “Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace,” the recent movies simply don’t exist in my brain database). Rogue was my favorite, she of the big hair, epic sass, and ability to fly. I had a crush on Gambit, and an inexplicable thing for guys with N’Awlins accents and the ability to handle a deck of playing cards ever since. As I g … [Read more...]

Sunday reflection: Three awesome women

Rounding out our weekend of awesome women:27-year-old Raha Moharrak made history by becoming the first Saudi woman to conquer Mount Everest yesterday.Moharrak's ascent is the latest step in changing attitudes towards women and sports in Saudi Arabia. The kingdom fielded its first female Olympians at the 2012 Games and officially permitted sports in private girls schools for the first time earlier this month.Read more at CNN.Meet two more awesome women after the jump! … [Read more...]

Mumma’s Sharp White Cheddar Mac n’ Cheese

The bowl was in the dishwasher at work and I recognized it instantly. That rim of earthy green flowers decorating the edge of a crisp white Pyrex bowl. My grandmother had a set of the very same dishes in her house in Karachi and they would sometimes make an appearance at chai time. Was it a sign from God? Maybe. Maybe not. But it was something. See, my grandmother passed away last week. Mumma lived a long, full, and happy life. She traveled the world and had a large circle of beautiful and warm … [Read more...]