Salaam, Khizer Husain!

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 Khizer Husain!


Khizer Husain

An excerpt from Khizer’s story, “Fertile Ground”:

I want to blame Zacur, but it’s tough to hate a man like him. He’s a Norman Rockwellian doctor who probably used to make house calls early in his practice. But now I wish that he’d step out of the room. We need privacy. I know Zuleqa needs a hug. I’ve learned in our six years of marriage that hugs are the currency of love, the strongest refuge during storms. Hugs can articulate what words can’t—I am here for you, jaanu. We’ll get through this, inshAllah.

Reproductive endocrinologists are optimists. There’s always some possibility for fertility. Our fertility probability is 10 percent. Does that mean we have to try ten times harder to conceive? Is it all moot if there are no eggs? How does he know there are no eggs? Ultrasounds look like WWII–era technology for finding German U-boats. What about my side of the equation: are there legions of healthy swimmers, or a sorry mess incapable of doing the job?

To read more, order Salaam, Love today!

Q&A with Khizer

Tell us about yourself

I grew up in Iowa and moved to Alexandria, VA with my wife about ten years ago. I am passionate about public education and public health. I am currently on a management fellowship at a public charter school in Washington, DC and dream to someday write a teenage epic novel. On the side, I am the President of American Muslim Health Professionals, a national outreach and empowerment organization.

My favorite artistic expression is writing. I have been blessed to have an especially prolific 2013. I had three stories published by FarFaria, an iPad app company with tons of children’s stories. I enjoy writing gratitude pieces for family and friends but get really choked up when I try to share them aloud in front of an audience. On the work front, I submitted a global health paper for publication in a health policy journal—not really a page-turner unless you are really into health financing options for India’s public insurance schemes.

Why were you drawn to this project?

I had shared a version of my story on a stage in Chicago earlier last year. Taz Ahmed, who wrote a piece in Love, InshAllah, alerted me to Salaam, Love and I thought that adapting my story for an anthology might resonate for readers as it had for some in Chicago.

What was the most challenging part of sharing your story?

Sharing my story is sharing my wife’s story. Our stories are intertwined and the last thing that I wanted was to put her in an awkward position. Some things should remain private; the challenge is figuring out which ones are fit and more important, purposeful for public consumption.

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

Women’s issues are (surprise) men’s issues, too.