So Long a Letter; So Long a History | Mariama Bâ, Muslimness, and Women’s Rights

Through Ramatoulaye’s reflections, Bâ highlights the institution of marriage as a structural symbol of the patriarchal system, in which asymmetrical gender relations are maintained and projected as part of the Islamic doctrine.

The Real and the Imaginary: The Baghdad Clock by Shahad Al Rawi

As a war narrative enveloped in magic, love, and hope, The Baghdad Clock adds depth to the burgeoning genre of postcolonial Iraqi novels.

A Feminism of One’s Own: Distant View of a Minaret by Alifa Rifaat

Alifa Rifaat’s stories are situated within an Islamic framework that allows her to create a feminism of her own. Since Islam and empowerment are often misguidedly placed in contradiction to one another, it’s easy to see why Rifaat is not a household name.

The Year of the Middle Eastern Reading Challenge + Unapologetically Muslim Reading Challenge? Yes, please.

This may all seem too idealistic to some but nonetheless conveys a crucial message about the role of the artist and what cultural and literary representations can offer in the ongoing debates about the so-called “problem” of Muslims in the Anglophone North Atlantic.