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We Have Always Been Here
We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir | Samra Habib
How do you find yourself when the world tells you that you don't exist? Samra Habib has spent most of her life searching for the safety to be herself. As an Ahmadi Muslim growing up in Pakistan, she faced regular threats from Islamic extremists who believed the small, dynamic sect to be blasphemous. From her parents, she internalized the lesson that revealing her identity could put her in grave danger. When her family came to Canada as refugees, Samra encountered a whole new host of challenges: bullies, racism, the threat of poverty, and an arranged marriage. Backed into a corner, her need for a safe space--in which to grow and nurture her creative, feminist spirit--became dire. The men in her life wanted to police her, the women in her life had only shown her the example of pious obedience, and her body was a problem to be solved. So begins an exploration of faith, art, love, and queer sexuality, a journey that takes her to the far reaches of the globe to uncover a truth that was within her all along. A triumphant memoir of forgiveness and family, both chosen and not, We Have Always Been Here is a rallying cry for anyone who has ever felt out of place and a testament to the power of fearlessly inhabiting one's truest self.
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ReadingEnvy
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Pickpick

Samra Habib, artist and activist, did not to sacrifice her identity as a Muslim when she came out. This is her story of her journey and how she found community. I found it uplifting!

And this is memoir 7 of my #nonfictionnovember reading project!

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charl08
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...we would often see teenage girls taking their head scarves out of their backpacks and covering their hair as they approached our apartment complex. My dad would blurt out a mocking statement that had become common among older people from the mosque—it translated to “Cover up, our people are coming.” I would smile to myself, relishing the private kinship I felt with those girls.

Riveted_Reader_Melissa Beautiful crochet 1mo
charl08 Yes, spotted on trip to Saltaire. Inspired by Iranian tiles. 1mo
38 likes2 comments
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charl08

Amid all the mayhem, I marvelled at how my mother had managed to find a cake when all the shops were either closed or vandalized. I was even more shocked that she had made it home safe, unaffected by the tear gas or the rioters who were setting fire to everything in sight, the thick fumes permeating our house through the roofless courtyard where everyone had gathered. To a seven-year-old, it seemed the world was coming to an end.

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Lindy
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Growing up as sheltered as I had, books provided a much needed window into worlds I would never experience. They could afford me the comfort, safety, adventure and glamour I didn‘t have access to but so deeply craved. I could travel anywhere in the world, even if in my real life I was barely allowed to leave the house.

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mreads
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Pickpick

Samra Habib memoir of growing up first as a persecuted Ahmadi Muslim in Pakistan then as a refugee in Canada. As she gets older coming to understand and accept her queerness and exploring what that meant in terms of her faith.

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BookAlongBlog
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Pickpick

5/5🌟
Habib today is a writer, photographer and activist. In her memoir which is wonderfully astute, she openly shares her journey from childhood into her adulthood with such integrity. The traumas of her childhood and the pressure of her culture weighing her down she wouldnt come out as queer till years later. This is an inspiring and authentic memoir of being a queer muslim woman. I enjoyed this much! A must read!
#bookreview #bookstagram

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FeministBookClub
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Next up, book #5 of #24in48. Woohoo home stretch!

keepingupwiththepenguins That's such gorgeous cover art, for such an incredible story! 😍 ❤ 5mo
63 likes5 stack adds1 comment
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Bakingbookworm
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Pickpick

4.5 ⭐️ - This is an enlightening & emotional coming-of-age memore of a queer Muslim woman‘s struggle with her identity as it pertains to faith, family & society at large. This is a must-read. #canlit #lgbtq

My full review: http://bit.ly/2LYdOKW

Thanks to @VikingBooks for my review copy.

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CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
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An amazing #memoir. Habib recounts her childhood as an Ahmadi Muslim in Pakistan, where her family had to hide to stay safe in the face of Islamic extremists and then how this pattern of hiding combined with sexism and homophobia followed her to Canada, where she felt forced to hide her femininity and queerness. Beautiful thoughts about art, activism, spirituality, and more. Passages about her finding her people, other queer Muslims, made me cry.

Bakingbookworm I‘m reading it now and really enjoying it. 5mo
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CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
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"I was in such a rush to prove that I'd come out of childhood unscathed, in order to prevent causing others any worry and concern, that I'd forgotten to examine whether I truly had. The realization was so startling that I sat down on a bench and cried." #QueerBooks #CanLit

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CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
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"Azaad is a funny word in Urdu. In most instances, it means 'freedom.' But when used to describe a woman, it is meant to imply that she is too wild to be tamed by those who have the right: her parents and all the men whose honour it is her duty to prioritize before her desires. It's also used liberally to slut-shame and put down a woman who shows autonomy or independence.

One day I would wear the title of azaad like a badge of honour."

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CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian
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Starting this queer Muslim memoir tonight with some takeout sushi and a pineapple flavoured vodka soda drink. Delicious! #BooksandDinner #QueerBooks

ReadingOverSleeping That sushi looks delish 5mo
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Punkinpants123
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This book gives perspective on what it‘s like to grow up in a strict religion while wrestling with being queer. I can‘t recommend this book enough. If you are queer, read it. If you are straight, DEFINITELY READ IT. It offers a view we all so desperately need.