The Love Tour – Day 1, UC Santa Cruz

(Winter in California. Yep, truly blessed!)

Welcome to the diary of our two-week national book tour odyssey!


About halfway from San Francisco to UC Santa Cruz I had a realization. After my shower that morning, I’d forgotten to put on deodorant. “OMG, Nur!” I started as I related my tale of horror.

Nura was driving but the fear on her face was clear. I thought it was because she’d been wondering what that smell was in the close confines of the car, but it was another, more nefarious reason – she too had forgotten to wear deodorant that morning!

We might be shattering myths about Muslim women with our book, but today we were going to verify every stereotype about stinky South Asians out there. This called for an emergency CVS pitstop as soon as we reached Santa Cruz. Situation rectified and travel deodorants slipped into purses, we were now ready to take on the world.

The redwood-laden and blossom-strewn UC Santa Cruz campus was beautiful and our lovely host Professor Sylvia Chan-Malik escorted us to our first reading at her class: Islam, Race & Gender in America. Her class asked great questions and seemed genuinely interested in Muslim women’s lives. Just being there made me nostalgic for my (long-gone) college days.

Second stop: Pearl of the Ocean for an awesome Sri Lankan lunch. –> Not as good as Nura’s mom makes, but still pretty tasty.

Third stop: An open forum with the UC community at which we were asked really hard questions by professors and Islamic shayukh that made our heads hurt. (Note: Study up on pedagogy and various isms for next university reading.)

Suggestion came up to mail a copy of the book to every library AND every imam in the US. Excellent idea – and if anyone out there would like to fund this venture, please let us know 😉

Fourth stop: Betty’s Burgers for some rockin’ barebacked burger action. That means bunless, y’all. (Between Nur & I, we could eat a horse every day so be prepared for the travel diary to occasionally read like a food odyssey too. And if you have recommendations for our upcoming stops, let us know!)

Tomorrow, our first reading in the city where the book was born – San Francisco!

2 Comments on “The Love Tour – Day 1, UC Santa Cruz”

  1. Leah says:

    Dear Ayesha and Nura,

    I heard you both speak at the open forum as UCSC and I was one of the students who bought your book. I promised I would tell you what i think so here it goes! I think your book is a treasure trove of stories any sociology student, such as myself, would be fascinated to delve into. The book is remarkably honest and addicting. I stayed up all night reading and i think its brilliant!

    Thanks so much,

  2. Dear Leah,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to share your thoughts! We’re so happy the book resonated with you 🙂

    – Ayesha & Nura