Beauty, Life, Mark Gonzales, Writing

Reflections on my book launch with @markgonzales @mayfahmi @sarasaleh #wagebeauty


(Photo credit: Subhi Be)

WOW. That’s all I’m sayin’. Being on the “A Word’s Worth” panel with May Fahmi, Sara Saleh, and Mark Gonzales sure was inspiring! It’s so refreshing to be part of a dialogue about the written word because sometimes, the act of writing can be isolating. I really benefited from the creative energy buzzing in that room.

As much as we enjoyed listening to Mark Gonzales speak, I appreciated his curiosity about what the rest of us had to say. May and Sara, I’m SO thrilled to hear that your screenplay is being turned into a short film and I cannot wait to watch it!

Thank you, the LMA team, for giving me the opportunity to be a panelist as well as showcase my book. Reading out the first chapter of Finding Jamilah and The Story of Yusuf really brought back my sense of wonder. It’s so easy to get caught up in the drama and back and forth of editing and publication. My book launch was a reminder of the love I have for writing and story-telling.

I’d also like to thank all my friends and family who came to my book launch, as well as those who couldn’t make it. I couldn’t have gotten this far without your love, prayers and support. Here’s to many more book launches!

For all aspiring writers who haven’t yet published – keep writing! I hope that your stories will see the light of day, the way mine have. That being said, writing is a craft and an art that takes years to refine, so enjoy the journey. Do your part, and let things unfold.

On another note, I took away three gems after listening to Mark Gonzales:

1) Vulnerability is strong, and not weak. #fiercevulnerability

2) We can choose to tell the same stories of our hurt and oppression, or we can write better ones of where we want to be.

3) When writing/creating art, remember our values, vision and non-negotiables.

I wasn’t able to attend any other events with Mark Gonzales because of my hectic travel schedule, but I’m hoping to be part of a team who’ll host him in KL, Malaysia! We have amazing food there…#wagebeauty #tehtarik


Life, Poetry

On Poetry

It’s been a busy week! I’m in the middle of uploading my entry for the Australian Muslim Artists competition, organised by the IMA (Islamic Museum of Australia). I’ve chosen to upload three of my best poems – Bone Marrow, Cannibals and Utopia – and I’m looking forward to the feedback.

Speaking of poetry, hop on over to my buddy Maryam Chahine’s blog! Maryam is a published poet, and I love the way she carefully constructs her poetry. A joy to behold. Maryam and her family are very dear to me, and getting to know them was definitely one of the highlights of my stay in Jordan. Maryam and her sister Noora really helped encourage me to complete and refine my book, Finding Jamilah. Close friends in Sydney who kept in touch with me also supported me through my writing – Fatima and Lisa, I’m looking at you!
Their support goes to show that writing is something not done in complete isolation. Sure, the act of writing does take place in solitude, but refining it and being encouraged to complete one’s work takes a lot of support. Behind every writer is a special group of friends and family. Thank you to each and every one of you!