Thursday, October 27, 2005
MANY VOICES ,ONE FAITH!
Muslim Women Writers Reveal Their Thoughts on Daily Life, Politics, War, and Religion in the New Anthology Many Voices, One Faith
San Francisco, CA, July 16, 2005—With reflections on the challenges of practicing Islam in a world that is often hostile to its adherents and what it means to be a Muslim, Many Voices, One Faith is an anthology of poetry, short fiction, non-fiction, and works for children written by Muslim women of a variety of ethnic, racial, and cultural backgrounds. At times poignant, at times humorous, sad, angry, joyful or grieving, Many Voices, One Faith provides a glimpse into the multifaceted world of today’s Muslimah.
“Many Voices, One Faith is unique in that it is a publication of writing by Muslim women about a wide variety of topics — Muslim women talking about Muslim women, about children, about politics, war, marriage, mental health, religious and spiritual experiences. It is a collection that reveals the diverse experiences of Muslim women,” says Pamela Taylor, Publications Officer of the Islamic Writers Alliance.
“It is our hope that non-Muslims will gain insight into the struggles, the joys, the thoughts and feelings of their Muslim neighbors,” she adds. “So much of what we see in the media presents a single stereotype – Muslim women wearing long, loose, dark-colored robes and black scarves, without any real personality. It’s refreshing to see a new perspective.”
“This anthology has historical significance, emerging from today's multi-ethnic
American Muslim landscape and featuring the voices of promising writers who
have been working seriously on their craft in writerly communities,” says Mohja Kahf, Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Arkansas and author of Emails from Sherezade. “As American Muslim culture continues to grow in all its facets, we will likely see many more literary anthologies; here are the brave early risers.”
Early reviews of the book have been overwhelmingly positive. “It is absolutely beautifully written,” writes one reader, Umm Raiyaan from the UK. Another, Linda, from the US, says, “I wanted to say thank you again for the wonderful book. I’ve been reading the poetry this week and it is absolutely wonderful. I am sooooo enjoying the reading.”
Review by Br.Yahiya Emerick :
"One Faith, a production of the Islamic Writers Alliance, is a fascinating collection of poetry, short stories, plays and prose written by a wide variety of very talented sisters. This wonderful assemblage is organized to take the reader through a journey of the heart, imagination and mind, even as its structure of poetry, stories and plays are grouped likewise. The issues that are presented, from the universal longing for peace to the struggles of interfaith dialogue, speak to today's readers, both Muslim and non-Muslim. Through riveting and poignant verse we journey through a stunning cross section of today's emerging voices in the budding field of English Islamic literature. I would highly recommend this book for junior high through adult readers, and would also suggest that Islamic schools make it a part of their English Language Arts reading curriculum."
Authors included in Many Voices include: Emman MZH Al-Aghbhary, Amatullah Al-Marwani, Fatima Asmal, Rym Aoudia, Enna Ayyub, Nancy E Biddle, Linda D. Delgado, Judy Nelson Eldawy, Nadia Hamed, Aaminah Hernández, Leila Montour, Amana Raza, Mahasin Shamsideen, Pamela K. Taylor, Veiled Writer, Najiyah Umm Waheeb, and Iman Yusuf
Some have previously written for publications such as Azizah Magazine, The Minaret, Islamic Horizons, MuslimWakeUp.com, Islamonline.com, Message International, Mirror International, and Muslims Weekly. Others have published novels and children’s literature.
Many Voices, One Faith took shape through the work of the Islamic Writers Alliance (IWA). The IWA is a group of Muslim women dedicated to writing about, presenting, and promoting positive Islamic fiction and non-fiction reading materials. The proceeds of this IWA anthology will support the activities of the IWA and will be funneled to purchase books for the libraries of Islamic schools. The IWA hopes to enrich the lives of Muslim readers, to reach out to non-Muslim readers, and to offer a platform for new writers alongside some well-known Muslim authors.
Established in January 2004, the IWA has members at various stages in their writing careers, from little known and talented authors on the path to publication, to newly published writers, to pros who have been publishing for decades. The IWA includes Muslim women from all backgrounds, ethnicities, and theological bents. We also encourage writers in all genres—from poetry to science fiction to journalism. For more information about the Islamic Writers Alliance, please visit our website: www.islamicwritersalliance.net.
Many Voices, One Faith
Islamic Writers Alliance
Widad Delgado, Director
Pamela Taylor, Publications Officer