Ramadan Readathon – Books I’ve Loved

/ posted in: Reading

muslimauthorsrec

Nonfiction

Headscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual RevolutionHeadscarves and Hymens: Why the Middle East Needs a Sexual Revolution by Mona Eltahawy

“A passionate manifesto decrying misogyny in the Arab world, by an Egyptian American journalist and activist When the Egyptian journalist Mona Eltahawy published an article in Foreign Policy magazine in 2012 titled Why Do They Hate Us it provoked a firestorm of controversy. The response it generated, with more than four thousand posts on the website, broke all records for the magazine, prompted dozens of follow-up interviews on radio and television, and made it clear that misogyny in the Arab world is an explosive issue, one that engages and often enrages the public. In Headscarves and Hymens, Eltahawy takes her argument further. Drawing on her years as a campaigner and commentator on womens issues in the Middle East, she explains that since the Arab Spring began, women in the Arab world have had two revolutions to undertake one fought with men against oppressive regimes, and another fought against an entire political and economic system that treats women in countries from Yemen and Saudi Arabia to Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya as second-class citizens.”

Even if you don’t read the book, follow her on Twitter. But seriously, read the book.


Revolution for DummiesRevolution for Dummies by Bassem Youssef

“The Jon Stewart of the Arabic World”—the creator of The Program, the most popular television show in Egypt’s history—chronicles his transformation from heart surgeon to political satirist, and offers crucial insight into the Arab Spring, the Egyptian Revolution, and the turmoil roiling the modern Middle East.”

This was an amazing look at the life of someone who decided to quit being a heart surgeon and stay in Egypt to make fun of the leaders.


Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and WhiteWritings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White by Kareem Abdul-Jabbar

“He now brings that keen insight to the fore in Writings on the Wall: Searching for a New Equality Beyond Black and White, his most incisive and important work of non-fiction in years. He uses his unique blend of erudition, street smarts and authentic experience in essays on the country’s seemingly irreconcilable partisan divide – both racial and political, parenthood, and his own experiences as an athlete, African-American, and a Muslim. The book is not just a collection of expositions; he also offers keen assessments of and solutions to problems such as racism in sports while speaking candidly about his experiences on the court and off.”


Nujeen: One Girl's Incredible Journey from War-torn Syria in a WheelchairNujeen: One Girl’s Incredible Journey from War-torn Syria in a Wheelchair by Nujeen Mustafa
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

“Prize-winning journalist and the co-author of smash New York Times bestseller I Am Malala, Christina Lamb, now tells the inspiring true story of another remarkable young hero: Nujeen Mustafa, a teenager born with cerebral palsy, whose harrowing journey from war-ravaged Syria to Germany in a wheelchair is a breathtaking tale of fortitude, grit, and hope that lends a face to the greatest humanitarian issue of our time, the Syrian refugee crisis.

I want to put this one in everyone’s hands and make them read it.


Devotion and Defiance: My Fight for Justice for WomenDevotion and Defiance: My Fight for Justice for Women by Humaira Awais Shahid

“In the fall of 2001, a young Pakistani woman took on a job editing the “women’s section” of one of the country’s leading Urdu newspapers. Soon, the young mother of three transformed pages of celebrity gossip and
fashion advice into a vehicle for investigation of the true lives of Pakistani women, shocking the nation.

News of acid attacks on hapless women, the trading of girls as currency in tribal disputes, and other abuses transformed Humaira Awais Shahid into a fiery advocate for women’s rights—one guided by Islamic ethics and ideals of social justice as she teaches rural leaders to distinguish between religion and tribal custom. Her commitment to her countrywomen led her to a seat in Pakistan’s parliament, where she continues to fight to protect women and girls.”


The Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman's Journey to Love and IslamThe Butterfly Mosque: A Young American Woman’s Journey to Love and Islam by G. Willow Wilson

“The extraordinary story of an all-American girl’s conversion to Islam and her ensuing romance with a young Egyptian man, The Butterfly Mosque is a stunning articulation of a Westerner embracing the Muslim world.”

Obviously, you need to read every word that G. Willow Wilson writes – Ms. Marvel, Alif the Unseen, but if you haven’t read anything of hers start with this one.


In the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor's Journey in the Saudi KingdomIn the Land of Invisible Women: A Female Doctor’s Journey in the Saudi Kingdom by Qanta A. Ahmed

“Unexpectedly denied a visa to remain in the United States, Qanta Ahmed, a young British Muslim doctor, becomes an outcast in motion. On a whim, she accepts an exciting position in Saudi Arabia. This is not just a new job; this is a chance at adventure in an exotic land she thinks she understands, a place she hopes she will belong.
What she discovers is vastly different. The Kingdom is a world apart, a land of unparralled contrast. She finds rejection and scorn in the places she believed would most embrace her, but also humor, honesty, loyalty and love.”


Fiction

A House Without WindowsA House Without Windows by Nadia Hashimi

For two decades, Zeba was a loving wife, a patient mother, and a peaceful villager. But her quiet life is shattered when her husband, Kamal, is found brutally murdered with a hatchet in the courtyard of their home. Nearly catatonic with shock, Zeba is unable to account for her whereabouts at the time of his death. Her children swear their mother could not have committed such a heinous act. Kamal’s family is sure she did, and demands justice. Barely escaping a vengeful mob, Zeba is arrested and jailed.

Awaiting trial, she meets a group of women whose own misfortunes have led them to these bleak cells: eighteen-year-old Nafisa, imprisoned to protect her from an “honor killing”; twenty-five-year-old Latifa, a teen runaway who stays because it is safe shelter; twenty-year-old Mezghan, pregnant and unmarried, waiting for a court order to force her lover’s hand. Is Zeba a cold-blooded killer, these young women wonder, or has she been imprisoned, like them, for breaking some social rule? For these women, the prison is both a haven and a punishment; removed from the harsh and unforgiving world outside, they form a lively and indelible sisterhood.”


Throne of the Crescent Moon (The Crescent Moon Kingdoms, #1)Throne of the Crescent Moon by Saladin Ahmed

“The Crescent Moon Kingdoms, home to djenn and ghuls, holy warriors and heretics, are at the boiling point of a power struggle between the iron-fisted Khalif and the mysterious master thief known as the Falcon Prince. In the midst of this brewing rebellion a series of brutal supernatural murders strikes at the heart of the Kingdoms. It is up to a handful of heroes to learn the truth behind these killings.”


If You Could Be MineIf You Could Be Mine by Sara Farizan
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

“Seventeen-year-old Sahar has been in love with her best friend, Nasrin, since they were six. They’ve shared stolen kisses and romantic promises. But Iran is a dangerous place for two girls in love—Sahar and Nasrin could be beaten, imprisoned, even executed if their relationship came to light.

So they carry on in secret—until Nasrin’s parents announce that they’ve arranged for her marriage. Nasrin tries to persuade Sahar that they can go on as they have been, only now with new comforts provided by the decent, well-to-do doctor Nasrin will marry. But Sahar dreams of loving Nasrin exclusively—and openly.”


Sofia Khan Is Not ObligedSofia Khan Is Not Obliged by Ayisha Malik

“Unlucky in love once again after her possible-marriage-partner-to-be proves a little too close to his parents, Sofia Khan is ready to renounce men for good. Or at least she was, until her boss persuades her to write a tell-all expose about the Muslim dating scene.”

 


Painted Hands: A NovelPainted Hands: A Novel by Jennifer Zobair

“Muslim bad girl Zainab Mir has just landed a job working for a post-feminist, Republican Senate candidate. Her best friend Amra Abbas is about to make partner at a top Boston law firm. Together they’ve thwarted proposal-slinging aunties, cultural expectations, and the occasional bigot to succeed in their careers. What they didn’t count on? Unlikely men and geopolitical firestorms.”