Story and Chai


Writer Jennifer Zobair, the author of Painted Hands, found herself feeling uncomfortable when people thanked her for making Muslim women seem “normal” in her novel.

She wrote, “The repeated use of [the word normal] haunts me. The repeated use of that word inspires me. I believe that stories matter, that who gets to tell a story has real, tangible consequences for people’s lives, that knowing means at least a shot at not hating. It is my hope that if we tell our stories often enough and well enough, we can achieve something even better than tolerance.”

Because stories do matter, Jennifer decided to develop a site focusing on non-majority narratives with an emphasis on the Muslim story, but one that also provided insightful advice on the writing process.

She launched in February 2014. The site has already featured several non-majority Young Adult writers coupled with timely publishing advice from agents. Storyandchai has also featured columns and posts from Salaam, Love’s Mohammed Shamma,’s Aisha Saeed and Deonna Kelli Sayed.

Storyandchai is enlarging the space for narratives from the margin. In the name in all that is loved on a Friday, go visit this site. Tell your friends about it. Follow storyandchai on Twitter.  Consider submitting your own narrative.