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Samina Ali  

Award-Winning Author & Curator of Muslima: Muslim Women’s Art & Voices

Samina Ali is an award-winning author, curator, and popular speaker. Her debut novel, Madras on Rainy Days, was the winner of France’s prestigious Prix Premier Roman Etranger Award and a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award in Fiction. Poets & Writers Magazine named it a Top Debut of the Year.

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Allah is a Feminist

We have all witnessed the brutality with which some Muslim women are treated around the world: if she attempts to go to school, she’s shot in the head; if she attempts to drive a car, she’s jailed; if she attempts to take part in the political uprisings happening in her own country, to be heard and counted, she’s publically assaulted. On top of all this, there’s the forced veiling, honor killings that take place even in Western countries, and mandatory clitorectomies. It’s no wonder we’ve come to think of Islam as backward – even to believe that Islam isn’t a religion at all but a violent ideology!

The Role of Muslim Women in Fighting Extremism

In 2013, Ali was the Curator for a revolutionary virtual exhibition sponsored by the Global Fund for Women. Entitled, “Muslima: Muslim Women’s Art & Voices,” this groundbreaking exhibition features hundreds of Muslim women from around the world – a compilation that is the first and only of its kind.

What Brain Damage Taught Me About Courage

At the age of 29, as a result of having a baby, Ali was left disabled. Although she was a patient at what was known then as UCSF Stanford Hospital, a preeminent hospital in the nation, the symptoms of her lethal pregnancy disorder were dismissed – such carelessness, Ali now says, isn’t all that surprising given that the U.S. is the only developed country where maternal mortality is on the rise, especially for minority women.

The Art & Craft of Writing Fiction

Ali will read from her award-winning novel and talk about the writing process. She will also share how the act of writing her book actually helped her to recover from brain damage.

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