An Interview with “Haldol and Hyacinths” author Melody Moezzi

Melody Moezzi

I recently read Melody Moezzi’s new memoir, Haldol and Hyacinths: A Bipolar Life. In the book, Moezzi bravely portrays her diagnosis with bipolar disorder, focusing briefly before her mental illness is diagnosed through to a point when she receives an accurate diagnosis and treatment. While much of the book hauntingly illustrates the incredible highs and lows associated with the illness, Moezzi also depicts life outside the disorder: her relationship with her supportive family, her love for her u … [Read more...]

Introspection: On Ramadan Solitude, Gratitude, and Goals

A meditative trail.

It has been difficult to engage with other Muslims in my area for Ramadan (this wasn’t a problem for me last year). It’s a challenge to get to the masjid in the evening for the month’s special tarawih prayers, a soothing time to listen to the entire Quran over (approximately) 30 days.  Where I live, fasts are 17 hours long. With full-time work occupying my weekdays, non-fasting hours are mostly spent trying to catch up on sleep and rehydrate.When I try to think about what I enjoy most about t … [Read more...]

Sisters Magazine Review


When I volunteered to write a review of the monthly magazine Sisters for MMW last month, I had no idea how challenging it would be for me. Weeks passed with the PDF copies that Sisters had kindly sent waiting in my inbox, until my deadline finally prompted me to give them more than a skim-read.  Sisters was founded by Naima B. Robert, whose book Boy vs. Girl was reviewed on MMW in 2011.I’ve broken up my review in 3 parts, looking mostly at the September 2012 issue (and glancingly at the Febru … [Read more...]

Responding to Hijab “Costume”

Last week, several major news outlets in Minnesota reported St. Paul police officers dressed as Somali women wearing hijab (I’ve included links here from Minnesota Public Radio; the stories also received coverage in local newspapers The Star Tribune and St. Paul Pioneer Press). Pictures of the police officers were found on Twitter and initiated a strong response by local activists.The first image reported by outlets showed an off-duty St. Paul officer wearing a hijab with a cell phone tucked … [Read more...]

Reading Between the Lines: Two Takes on British Women’s Unemployment

Earlier in December, the Guardian reported on a recent UK-based report—the “All Party Parliamentary Group on Race and Community Ethnic Minority Female Unemployment: Black, Pakistani and Bangladeshi Heritage Women”—that found “minority ethnic women are more than twice as likely to be unemployed as their white counterparts, with some removing their hijabs or making their names sound more English to try to beat discrimination.”The report found that continuing employment woes – and, as a result, … [Read more...]

Stories of South Asian Women in Heartbeats: The Izzat Project

Cover of Heartbeats: The Izzat Project. Artwork by Somya Singh.

At Muslimah Media Watch, many of our posts are critical of the way Muslim women are portrayed in various films, literature, and news articles—Muslim women (and other racialised women) are not given the space and time to share their personal stories of struggle and triumph on their own terms. Women’s stories are often mired with assumptions that women’s cultural and religious backgrounds condone the ill treatment they receive from their communities, that their personal experiences of abuse are com … [Read more...]

Half the Sky Documentary Revisited: Somaliland

Edna Adan (right), pictured with Diane Lane. Via Half the Sky.

My review of the Half the Sky documentary for MMW last month made little mention of any redeeming aspects of the film. On the whole, I felt that the film was sadly overshadowed by the American actresses—and George Clooney!—who accompanied and provided commentary for the Nicholas Kristof production. It became more about the celebrities than the actual women from around the world—a damning example of exactly how not to discuss the health and well-being of women from around the world.While I sti … [Read more...]