#RamadanReadathon 2020 Wrap-Up

Salaam, friends! It feels really weird to be writing this wrap-up post almost a month after #RamadanReadathon ended, but better late than never?

It’s needless to say that I’ve always felt overwhelmed by the support for this readathon over the last four years, from readers and authors alike. Which is why I really struggled to accept that I was feeling major burn out this year around halfway through the month.

#RamadanReadathon has always been a passion project of mine but, this year, it almost felt like work. But I want to focus on the positives here, because that’s what ultimately keeps me going.

Not only did I manage to spotlight almost every author in the Once Upon An Eid anthology, but I also hosted an Instagram Live with S. K. Ali as well as photo challenges and a Twitter chat. Not to mention a collaboration with the co-hosts of #SARC2020 and guest posts from other Muslim bloggers. The only thing I didn’t do is read any books, but I’m blaming that on my year-long reading slump!

So, without further ado, here’s your ultimate round-up for everything #RamadanReadathon 2020. Spoiler alert: it’s a good one!Read More »

Author Spotlight: Interview With Hena Khan

Salaam, everyone! I’m so excited to share the final author interview for #RamadanReadathon 2020.

As you know, the readathon is themed around the anthology Once Upon An Eid, so I wanted to spotlight as many of its contributors as possible during the month. I’ve had an amazing line-up of authors so far and I’m pleased to announce that the last contributor from the anthology to join me is none other than Hena Khan!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Hena Khan author photoHena Khan is a Pakistani-American writer. She is the author of the middle grade novels Amina’s Voice, Amina’s Song, and More To The Story and picture books Golden Domes And Silver LanternsUnder My Hijab, and It’s Ramadan, Curious George, among others.

Hena lives in her hometown of Rockville, Maryland, with her basketball-loving family. You can follow her on Twitter: @henakhanbooks.

 

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Author Spotlight: Interview With Rabiah York Lumbard

Salaam, everyone! It’s time for the penultimate author interview for #RamadanReadathon.

As well as highlighting the contributors of Once Upon An Eid this month, I also wanted to interview some additional debut or established authors to really capture the diversity of Muslim voices writing today. The next author to join me is Rabiah York Lumbard, whose YA fiction debut No True Believers was published in February!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Rabiah York Lumbard author photoRabiah York Lumbard is an award-winning author of the picture book, The Conference Of The Birds. Her latest picture book, The Gift Of Ramadan was highly recommended by SLJ as “a perfect addition to holiday book collections,” while her deeply personal debut novel, No True Believers draws on her experience as an American Muslim at home and abroad.

After embracing Islam at the age of eighteen, she earned a BA in Religious Studies from George Washington University and is currently completing her MFA in Creative Writing from Spalding University. She moves frequently but currently lives in the Doha with her husband and three daughters where she also works as a part-time writing specialist at local universities. You can follow her on Twitter: @RabiahLumbard.Read More »

Author Spotlight: Interview With Ayesha Mattu

Salaam, friends! As Eid ul-Fitr quickly approaches, I’m counting down the remaining days of Ramadan with the last few author interviews for #RamadanReadathon 2020.

As you know, the readathon is themed around the anthology Once Upon An Eid, so I wanted to spotlight as many of its contributors as possible during the month. The penultimate story in the anthology is written by Ayesha Mattu, so I’m excited to welcome her on the blog today!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Ayesha Mattu author photoAyesha Mattu’s two groundbreaking anthologies – Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of Muslim Women and Salaam, Love: Muslim Men on Love, Sex, and Intimacy – were featured globally by media from the New York Times to the BBC to the Jakarta Post. She was selected a “Muslim Leader of Tomorrow” by the UN Alliance of Civilizations, and is an alumna of Voices of Our Nations writers’ workshop.

Her work has most recently anthologized in: Good Girls Marry Doctors: South Asian American Daughters on Obedience and Rebellion and Once Upon An Eid: Stories of Hope and Joy by 15 Muslim Voices. You can follow her on Twitter: @Ayesha_Mattu.Read More »

Author Spotlight: Interview With Huda Al-Marashi

Salaam, friends! It’s time for another author interview for #RamadanReadathon 2020.

As you know, the readathon is themed around the anthology Once Upon An Eid, so I wanted to spotlight as many of its contributors as possible during the month. I’m excited to announce that the next author from the anthology to join me is Huda Al-Marashi!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Huda Al-Marashi author photoHuda Al-Marashi is the author of First Comes Marriage: My Not-So-Typical American Love Story, a memoir the Washington Post called “a charming, funny, heartbreaking memoir of faith, family, and the journey to love.”

Her other writing has also appeared in the Washington Post, the LA Times, al Jazeera, the Rumpus, and elsewhere. First Comes Marriage was longlisted for the Chautauqua Prize and a finalist for the Southern California Independent Booksellers’ Award.

You can follow her on Twitter: @HudaAlMarashi.Read More »

Author Spotlight: Interview With Saadia Faruqi

Salaam, everyone! I’m so excited to introduce another guest for the next author spotlight of #RamadanReadathon.

Admittedly, one of my favourite things about hosting this readathon is getting to interview such a diversity of Muslim authors, so I’d like to give a warm welcome to Saadia Faruqi for joining me today to discuss her two upcoming MG novels, A Place At The Table (co-written with Laura Shovan) and A Thousand Questions!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Saadia Faruqi author photoSaadia Faruqi is a Pakistani American author, essayist and interfaith activist. She writes the children’s early reader series Yasmin published by Capstone and other books for children, including middle grade novels A Place At The Table (HMH/Clarion 2020) co-written with Laura Shovan, and A Thousand Questions (Harper Collins 2020).

She has also written Brick Walls: Tales of Hope & Courage from Pakistan, a short story collection for adults and teens. Saadia is editor-in-chief of Blue Minaret, a magazine for Muslim art, poetry and prose, and was featured in Oprah Magazine in 2017 as a woman making a difference in her community. She resides in Houston, TX with her husband and children. You can follow her on Twitter: @SaadiaFaruqi.Read More »

Author Spotlight: Interview With Hanna Alkaf

Salaam, friends! It’s time for another author spotlight for #RamadanReadathon 2020.

As you know, the readathon is themed around the anthology Once Upon An Eid, so I wanted to spotlight as many of its contributors as possible during the month. I’m so excited to have Hanna Alkaf joining me on the blog today to talk about the anthology and her upcoming novel The Girl and The Ghost!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Processed with VSCO with e3 presetHanna Alkaf graduated with a degree in journalism from Northwestern University and spent over ten years writing everything from B2B marketing emails to investigative feature articles, from non-profit press releases to corporate brochures. She now spends her time making it up as she goes along, both as an author of fiction and as a mom.

Hanna lives in Kuala Lumpur with her family. Her first young adult novel, The Weight Of Our Sky, was published by Simon & Schuster in 2019; her middle grade debut, The Girl and The Ghost, will be published by HarperCollins in 2020. You can follow her on Twitter: @yesitshanna.Read More »

Author Spotlight: Interview With Adiba Jaigirdar

Salaam, everyone! I am so excited to welcome Adiba Jaigirdar on the blog today for the next author spotlight of #RamadanReadathon.

In previous years, I’ve made an effort to spotlight debut Muslim authors during the month so I obviously couldn’t pass on the opportunity to interview Adiba about her debut novel The Henna Wars, which is out today from Page Street Kids!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Adiba Jaigirdar author photoAdiba Jaigirdar was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh, and has been living in Dublin, Ireland from the age of ten. She has a BA in English and History, and an MA in Postcolonial Studies. She is a contributor for Bookriot. All of her writing is aided by tea, and a healthy dose of Janelle Monáe and Hayley Kiyoko.

When not writing, she can be found ranting about the ills of colonialism, playing video games, and expanding her overflowing lipstick collection. She can be found at adibajaigirdar.com or @adiba_j on Twitter and @dibs_j on Instagram. Read More »

Author Spotlight: Interview With Ashley Franklin

Salaam, friends! I’m excited to share the next author interview for #RamadanReadathon 2020.

As you know, the readathon is themed around the anthology Once Upon An Eid, so I wanted to spotlight as many of its contributors as possible during the month. I’m pleased to announce that the next author from the anthology to join me is none other than Ashley Franklin!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


Ashley Franklin author photoAshley Franklin is an African-American Muslim writer, mother, and adjunct college professor. She received her M.A. from the University of Delaware and B.A. from Albright College, both in English Literature.

She is represented by Kathleen Rushall of the Andrea Brown Literary Agency. Her debut picture book, Not Quite Snow White (HarperCollins) was published in 2019. Her short story, Creative Fixes, is included in the Once Upon An Eid (2020) anthology.

You can follow her on Twitter: @DifferentAshley.
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Tips For Ramadan During Exam Season – By Samia @ Little Light Blue Book

Ramadan Mubarak everyone!

Like myself, I’m sure many of you are studying for exams during this blessed month of Ramadan. Due to the nature of the lunar calendar, my exam seasons for the past two years were in Ramadan and this brought unique challenges, and continues to do so, but unique rewards as well.

I’m sure we can all agree the most challenging aspect of exams in Ramadan is hunger. When your suhoor is out of your system, it’s really difficult to concentrate and motivation goes out of the window! Trying to refocus your mind and not think about food is hard.

Another difficulty, for me personally, was guilt. I felt that I was not doing enough ibadah or making the most of Ramadan and in a way choosing dunya over deen. However, I came to realise that is not the case. The act of studying, with the right intentions, can become ibadah. Upon learning this, I no longer saw studying as an obstacle in the way of me fully observing Ramadan but a means to worship Allah by working hard for exams and getting the hasanat at the same time. Two birds, one stone.Read More »