Some of you may remember the spoken word piece entitled, ‘There Is No Such Thing As Islamaphobia’ penned by me last year when Manchester Muslim Writers organised an event during Hate Crime Awareness Week aimed at highlighting the growing tide of Islamaphobia. It has never been more pertinent as new cases appear everyday documenting abuse towards the Muslim community following the Paris attacks. I am grateful to the Blue Minaret online journal that chronicles the Muslim experience for sharing this video onlinethat was originally filmed by Pangaea Poetry. It’s okay they spelt my name wrong! 🙂
Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind.
Do nothing out of guilt, or for prestige, status, money or approval alone.
Be generous with your time and your resources and with giving credit and, especially, with your words.
Build pockets of stillness into your life.
Maya Angelou famously said, ‘When people tell you who they are, believe them’. But even more importantly, when people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them.
Presence is far more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity. As Annie Dillard memorably put it, “how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
Debbie Millman captures our modern predicament beautifully: “Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time”.
Last night was the book launch at 3Minute Theatre in Manchester, for a project started a year ago that brought Muslim and Jewish women together through writing. I was delighted to be part of this venture and to see my poems in print alongside such talented writers such as Yasmin Babiker, Julia Davis, Shamshad Khan, Leah Thorn, Jackie, Maleeha and Becky Prestwich to name a few, is an absolute pleasure.
Spearheaded by Sherry Ashworth and Anjum Malik with final say by Peter Kalu of Commonword, the anthology is now available from Crocus Books published by Commonword. Thanks to everyone who supports and has faith in my writing even when I don’t but especially Peter Kalu, Chris Jam, Martin De Mello and Zahid Hussain for all your constructive feedback! Xxx