We love artist Saba Barnard’s portraits, including her current project “An-Noor” a series of paintings of American Muslim women.
In an interview with The Aerogram, Saba speaks about her artistic perspective which draws from her experiences growing up Pakistani and Muslim in Raleigh, North Carolina:
“A first generation Pakistani-American woman, I was confronted by my ‘otherness’ from a very young age. As a brown-skinned, big-haired, mosque-going, curry-eating, mustached girl who couldn’t date, eat bacon, or wear shorts, I was the token of diversity at my WASP dominated private school in Raleigh, North Carolina. I envied my blue-eyed, blonde-haired, pop-collared, seer-suckered, church-going peers who vacationed on islands, had boyfriends, and definitely did not have to squat over a hole to use the bathroom when they visited their grandmother.”
See more of Saba’s work on her website www.artbysaba.com
In the past couple of years I’ve watched friends, former lovers and exes alike choose people to boo up with and partner up with. Some I’ve been surprised by, others made sense to me. Real talk, it doesn’t matter what I think at the end of the day. If you like it, I love it.
I could ask why someone chooses one person over another person but I don’t think there’s any real rhyme or reason. It’s like asking why one person’s voice sounds like a warm and lovely lullaby while another person’s voice sounds like nails against a chalkboard.
I just don’t think we have a choice in the matter.
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Zainab Chaudary is Love Inshallah’s resident geek. Look for her column, “The Geekologist” every third Wednesday of the month!
First rule of Fight Club: you do not talk about Fight Club.
First rule of Browncoats: aim to misbehave.
First rule of Whovians: you never forget your first Doctor.
Every geek has a poison of choice. Yes, you can fan out over multiple shows and let your mind wander the ‘verse of “Firefly” or the final frontiers of “Star Trek.” But there’s always that one thing you connect with above all others – a show, a character, or a comic book hero. My poison of choice? A little British show about a 900-year old alien Time Lord with two hearts, (mostly) human physiology, and the ability to regenerate himself when on the verge of death: “Doctor Who.”
In 2006, I was working at a bookstore, navigating my way back to a life I no longer recognized after three years of living abroad. Life was different and yet the same, and like the Doctor, the new layered onto the old. When a coworker introduced me to Doctor Who, I recognized something of myself in it, in the man who travels, never ceasing, never stopping, and in the people who travel with him, only to inevitably get left behind. Like most sci fi and fantasy, it is the fantastical premise that throws universal human-ness into sharp relief and depicts the reality of being human better than any sitcom with a canned laugh track. These shows are unafraid to take risks, and prepare their fan base for anything. Even separation. Even death.
I do not know your name, but you passed by me a week after Eid-ul-Fetr in the Bazaar in Kabul. You might remember me. I was the young woman wearing a white scarf and a long red embroidered tunic with dark pants. I was standing by a vegetable stand and bargaining the price of fresh mint when you passed me and nonchalantly pinched my bottom. I turned red. The old man who was selling vegetables noticed but didn’t say anything. He probably sees this every day. This had happened to me more than once, but this time I felt more embarrassed because the old man noticed.
I ran after you and grasped your wrist. Scared and sweating I started yelling. “Why did you do that? How dare you? Do you do this at home to your family members too?” and you started yelling back louder, “You crazy woman! I haven’t done anything. You are not worth doing anything to.”
I was still ashamed to tell people what you had done. You probably remember how everyone was watching us. Other women advised me to keep calm, that this would only ruin my reputation, but I wasn’t going to give up now. I started yelling. Soon the police arrived and took us both to the station.
Read the rest of this extraordinary letter by Noorjahan Akbar at Safe World for Women.
To kiss is to make ablution,
cleansing the naked heart
and preparing the shivering soul
The hands when they rise
and fall, moving over waist
and hips, push away doubt
To open the thighs in love
is the first prayer on the eve
of the holiest night
of a thousand months
Happy Mother’s Day to our readers in the US!
“First, Lord: No tattoos. May neither Chinese symbol for truth nor Winnie-the-Pooh holding the FSU logo stain her tender haunches.
May she be Beautiful but not Damaged, for it’s the Damage that draws the creepy soccer coach’s eye, not the Beauty.
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Sometimes, Love, Inshallah editors stumble across something so powerful that we are left speechless. This spoken-word performance, “Not My Fault,” from poet/writer/activist Staceyann Chin , is something we had to share.
Chin is a mutli-racial immigrant from Jamaica, a woman raised without a father by a mother who left Chin as a child to come to America, a story eloquently outlined her 2009 The Other Side of Paradise – A Memoir.
She is also a LGBT activist and writes about the oppression that forced her to leave Jamaica. Her writing and performances often explore intersections of the immigrant experience, sexuality, and female empowerment.
Chin opens this poem by stating, “Today, I am so glad I am a girl, because yesterday, my mother told me to write my story.” Her delivery is so powerful that you stop breathing as she gasps for her own air. She explores the power of writing, the complex nature of mother-daughter love, the challenges we face as women learning to value our own stories.
The female immigrant experience, the power of writing, the freedom of telling. It is all here.
Listen to the end, when she triumphantly declares - Go out and change the world you live in! It is the only world you have.