Salaam, Arsalan Ahmed!

Our new book, Salaam, Love: American Muslim Men on Love, Sex & Intimacy, will be released on February 4th. In the lead up to the release, meet our 22 contributors.

Today, meet Arsalan Ahmed!

Arsalan Ahmed

Arsalan Ahmed

An excerpt from Arsalan’s story, “Mother’s Curse”:

Stubbornly, I refused to marry without Ammi’s consent, however grudging. Our conflict was one of ideas, not actions. Victory was not simply getting what one wanted, but doing so with the adversary’s blessing. She reciprocated, shunning the soap-operatic Pakistani mother’s classic move of disowning a son, never again speaking his name. Which was what an uncle of hers had done some forty years prior, when an errant son married a Canadian woman. “He never saw his son’s face again, not even from his deathbed,” Ammi said, darkly and not very subtly.

My resolve and Anne’s patience lasted two years.

To read more, order Salaam, Love today!

Q&A with Arsalan

Tell us about yourself

I am from there, I am from here//but I am neither there nor here.
I have two languages//but have long forgotten which is the language of dreams.
— Mahmoud Darwish

Why were you drawn to this project?

Respect for the editors, mostly. I have followed Ayesha’s writing for years.

What was the most challenging part of sharing your story?

Living the story was a bit more challenging than writing it.

If you’re writing under a pen name, why?

My employers would have demanded a bureaucratic review. Also, the small, but non-zero, likelihood that my mother would have disinherited me.

If there’s one thing you hope that readers will take away from your story, what is it?

Life is uncertain. Diversify. Get a cat.

2 Comments on “Salaam, Arsalan Ahmed!”

  1. My heart goes out to you Arsalan.

  2. Muslimah says:

    I gained a new perspective after reading your story.