The Naming

Aaaaaaaah! This is the sound of my EXCITED KAKAK SQUEE! My adik’s poetry book is available at Wardah Books! Buy buy buy!

OK. More coherent words.

Taskeen, Husna (in utero) and I were lucky enough to make it to Aisyah’s chapbook reading in October last year. It was such a gorgeous, unifying event. It was wonderful to witness people from all walks of life come together for the sake of poetry. This is the beauty of art, and how it transcends so much.

Aisyah’s reading was so well-received, and I marvelled at how she had her first chapbook published in her early twenties. May this be the first of many more!

She very sweetly named (ha!) me as her nominated poetry reader, and I was so thrilled to be able to read some of my own work. I have a video of my reading, somewhere, and hope to upload it soon-ish. Here’s to my poetry being birthed one day soon and finding its way next to Aisyah’s at our favourite bookstore ever.

Once I re-read The Naming, I can post a proper review ❤ I remember loving how experimental, brave and lyrical it is. And I have a signed copy muahaha.

 

Say No To GMO! @FabulousSISTERS

Say No to GMO!To those of you interested in learning more about the harms of genetically-modified food, check out my October SISTERS article:

Say No To GMO

Intrigued? I recommend watching the Seeds of Death documentary, which I wrote about in this blog post for Cultivate Central. What we eat impacts so deeply on our health and our children’s. Knowledge is power!

Buy your very own copy of this amazing magazine from the SISTERS website 🙂

 

My poem – Nenek (maternal grandmother)

Screen-Shot-2014-03-04-at-5.34.43-PM-165x200I’m on Week Three of a 30 day writing course – Digging Deep, Facing Self – and my poetry guru, Caits Meissner, has asked each of us to share our favourite piece of work as an exercise of vulnerability and bravery. I’d love to hear your thoughts on my poem. It’s still a very early draft, so be gentle, and please do comment!

Nenek (maternal grandmother)

I was thirteen and
an ill-fitting shoe
in my new country
of vegemite and Uncle Toby’s
I, child of chicken rice and noodles

when Nenek died

Mak flew back with Aisyah
I wish I had gone too
to say goodbye before the end
but only two decades later
when I awoke to the meaning of my ancestry

I lost your blue-stoned ring,
Nenek,
forgive me.
it haunts me
how careless I was

while I grieved for you,
refugees were shipwrecked
drowning
trying to enter the country
I waltzed into (via aeroplane)

“There are no children in detention centres.”
said the national lie
as more and more babies were born
into a cage

Nenek, you fled the communists
on a leaky boat with Datuk
not a cent to your name

your catalyst: being at gunpoint
Datuk told the soldier
“Shoot her first.”

you fled on a boat
like so many around the world
dark night, full moon swallowing the sky
risking death by drowning

you were a boat person
scorned
like the others left bloated
in the water
but you survived

you carved out a new life in Singapore
birthed countless children
showed them how to survive the ache of life
served tea to Datuk even when you could barely walk

Nenek, I am comfortable now
calm, grounded, married
you would have been so proud
I have returned to country you fled from
lifetimes ago

you paid for this, in the terror of your
night-time exodus
huddled next to your husband
towards an uncertain future

you have secured mine.

My novel: Finding Jamilah & The Story of Yusuf

my bookHere it is, ladies and gentlemen! In the flesh! I’m so thrilled to see my book in my Sydney family home. So exciting!

It’s been one incredible journey, and I’d like to thank everyone who’s supported me through it: my amazing family, my awesome friends, near and far, and my publisher, MyLegacy Publications, for bringing my story into print. Alhamdulilah, it’s wonderful to see my dream of being a published author come true. Truly, Allah is Most Generous.

The number one question I’ve been hearing is: “How do I buy your book?” Good question. For now, I’m planning to sell copies of my book at my book launch in Sydney. I’m currently in KL, Malaysia, and plan to be in Sydney between March 23-April 6.

Stay tuned for updates on my Sydney book launch, and I hope to see you there!

Sign up to my brother’s Traditional Arabic Penmanship Course!

1176238_411181718990830_976042544_nEver wondered about the secret behind writing Arabic beautifully? Now you can learn the elegant ruq’ah script in an exciting 6-week course!

I’m really looking forward to the upcoming course with my brother. It starts this Saturday, so there’s still time to register!

I’m keen to learn how to write more legibly, and with significantly more speed and accuracy. I have the classic student problem of fast and neat English writing and slower and less legible Arabic writing, so here’s to the spirit of self-improvement! And better note-taking when I’m studying fiqh etc.