Dukyarian Rectangle – An Interview With the Author



Hayati Magazine: Today, we have a very special guest; Author Babs Soares. Soares is a former high-ranking government official. He also has an extensive international experience, having worked in an international organization for approximately twenty years. As a professor of public administration, he taught at leading universities. He holds a B. A. (Hons) Admin., M.A. (Econ) and doctorate degrees from reputable British universities. He has published widely in his field of specialization.   The blurb of his book we will be discussing today goes as this:


The year is 2085. The world has reached the end of the evolutionary continuum. In this post-evolutionary world, truth and conscience are expendable. In the atheist-dominated world, right and wrong are dictated not by God or His holy books, but by an overreaching World Government Organization. The WGO, as it is popularly known, soon meets its match in, of all places, Dukyaria, a heavily-indebted third-world country, a country brought to heel by corruption and ethno-religious antagonism. Dealing with its Nemesis in Dukyaria of course demands that the WGO play four characters against one another—the moderate Muslim cleric (Salim Kamil), the terrorist Homo Haram leader (Abu Danja Mamba), the Catholic Reverend Father (Basil Okoye), and the business-savvy head of the Abounding Grace Ministries (Pastor Emmanuel Kalu). It is up to Kamil and Okoye to get the four points of the Dukyarian rectangle to stop antagonizing each other and, instead, team up to upend WGO’s plans. The question is how?


Author Babs Soares, welcome to Hayati Magazine! How long have you been writing fiction and non-fiction?


BS: You could say I chose writing as a vocation the day I embarked on an academic career. I could not have risen to the status of university professor of public and international affairs without publishing articles in peer-reviewed journals and authoring full-length textbooks in the field. Of course, that warranted interrogating real-life, non-fictional, mostly, concrete, but perplexing, challenges. I am a late-comer to fiction. I tried my hand at creative writing in 2014. This was in an attempt at liberating myself from the constraints of robotic thinking, the kind imposed by contemporary science’s theory and methodology of knowledge.


HM: How long did it take you to write Dukyarian Rectangle formerly known asDisvolution?

BS: It took me ten years. This is what you get when you combine a new passion with ongoing commitments!


HM: Impressive! Dukyarian Rectangle is a long story but the dark humor skillfully weaved throughout the plot kept us turning pages or should we say swiping the pages from right to left on my reading device. So this brings us to the next question. Do you outline your stories or do you just go with the flow?

BS: Writing a story is like building a house from the ground up. You have to start with a sketch of sorts. You need an architectural drawing. But that is probably where the analogy ends—at least, in my own case. I keep changing the drawing as I move along. I may find myself in a super market where a person’s appearance, comportment or utterance rings a bell. What I generally do in such circumstances is to note how that might move my story along. Many writers get inspired at night. My own inspiration comes early in the morning. I have lost count of the number of times I woke up at dawn to capture an overnight inspiration. I also learn a lot from conflict and tension, more so, as both help me challenge my own assumptions and modify my architectural drawings!


HM: Right. Inspiration is all around us, and writers are anthropologists of some sorts. While the writing muses often strike at night for most writers like you said, it often happens at other specific times during the day. Good stuff, masha’Allah. Now, when will the new edition of your book, Dukyarian Rectangleofficially launch? Readers, you can read a brief review here.

BSInsha’Allah, in May 2018.


HMInsha’Allah. African countries had their own names before the colonialists swung into action there? After independence, many African countries reverted to old names or picked names befitting in the cases of Ghana, Burkina Faso, etc. How did you come up with Dukyaria as the name of this country?

BS: The Hausa word for wealth is ‘dukyar’. In what amounts to linguistic license, I stretched the word and ended up with ‘Dukyaria’, meaning, ‘public property’, ‘Commonwealth’, or, contextually, ‘a state owned by all the People’.


HM: Brilliant! Now, how has your publishing journey been?

BS: Fascinating!


HMAlhamdullilah. When did the idea of writing Dukyarian Rectangle hit you?

BS: It came to me when I was on the staff of an international organization, travelling the world, and interacting with peoples from diverse backgrounds.


HM: All your characters were unforgettable. They were truthfully and sharply cunning. Will we read about Ekineta, Jamie, and the clever clone X300 Sly Fox again?

BS: I am counting on that! For now, let us wait for the readers’ verdict on Dukyarian Rectangle. If they want more, there is more (and better) where that came from.


HM: Sam was also another character with crafty skills. Did you have fun penning him?

BS: You bet! Sam really got my attention. It takes extraordinary skill to turn deviousness into fine art.


HM: That’s very true! The plight of Abu Mamba reminded us a bit of Samory Touré. Are we correct to think so?

BS: You are absolutely correct. Both have a lot in common.


HM: This concludes this interview. Thank you for being with us. The team at Hayati Magazine wishes you great success with your book launch and the book sales. Please share with us your social media links so our readers can get to know you better.

BS: Follow me on Twitter (@balogunjide1 and @BabsSoares1), Facebook (100004412059474@facebook.com and jide.balogun.18@facebook.com), and on LinkedIn.


This article originally appeared at Hayati Magazine here.

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Review—The New Muslim’s Field Guide by Theresa Corbin and Kaighla Um Dayo

Muslim Reads

5128nKyZiVL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Theresa Corbin and Kaighla Um Dayo have written the book they wish they had when they converted to Islam. Drawing on decades of experience and focusing on practical advice rather than information-dumping, The New Muslim’s Field Guide discusses the major issues a new convert to Islam will have to contend with in a fun and friendly way.

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Review of ‘Muslim Girl-Growing Up – A Guide To Puberty’

A Ducktrinor Mom

Muslim Girl.pngSummary: “How can I prepare her for this new phase? I wanted to find a resource that can explain the details of this special stage while also integrating the important aspects of it from the Islamic religion. Being from the West, most books I found only explained the physiological changes. But I found that Muslim girls, especially ones from Western countries, need to know more about the religious implications of this stage. So I decided to write this guide to help young girls understand the basic things a Muslim girl should know about puberty, including the religious aspects that come along with it. However, this guide is just a starter to the journey ahead.  I encourage parents to talk with your teens and pre-teens about this important stage of life to have a full and thorough understanding.” – Natalia Nabil
About the Author: Natalia Nabil is a mother of two…

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POVs and Voice : What You Need To Know

writing 1

A story strikes your mind and you wonder about how to start penning it. You start looking up great authors and novelists to try to mimic their style. Perhaps you do a decent job at it but along the way, you will realize that you need your own voice and your own lane to stand out. When that realization hits you, you’ve finally found your voice; the voice of your characters. The voice they assert to you and you have finally decided to go by. A story normally writes itself. A character’s voice also reveals itself to you if you let it take the lead and listen to the story it wants you to pen. This leads to the POV (Point Of View). Let your characters decide it. Why? Because your story will feel more authentic if you don’t try to force it in a specific mold. There are three main POVs with some sub-genres attached to each of them; first person POV, third person POV, and Omniscient. Other less common types of POVs are second person and the fourth wall. I shall explain.

I’ve used many POVs and voices in my published and unpublished works.

1. The first person POV uses the ‘I’ to narrate the story. The narrator speaks directly to the reader. It allows a close intimacy between the character and the reader. However, you’re limited in perspective. You can’t get into the heads of other characters. You see things through the lens of your main character. To bypass that, you can write your manuscript with alternating strong first person characters so the reader can get their questions answered. If not, make sure your main character is interesting enough to go solo for a full length novel. That’s why, first person works best with short stories. It prevents your story to become trite and your readers to get bored with your main character yapping about for 300 plus pages. Some (see few) authors do it well and others, heh… Tried &Tested is a great story with first person POV by the way. Check out some examples of first POV from two of my short stories below.

A few minutes later, I was sitting in the director’s office. I perused the walls decorated with row upon row of awards and degrees. One of them was the very reason why I chose Kidding Daycare for Najla.


Best Daycare of WFAA

Dallas A-List

The award and their great online reviews made me select them to look after baby girl while I was working. I stared at the award and wondered if awards truly meant anything until I heard her voice. In that moment, I hoped I wasn’t wrong about their services. (Excerpt from The Nanny)


I consider myself decent looking, but not a stunning model like my mother claims at every opportunity. My evenly toned skin and long nose are the trademark features of my ancestors from the Black Sea region. (Excerpt from Fixed Up!)

2. The second person POV uses ‘You’ to narrate the story. It pulls the reader in and make him part of the story. It’s very hard to do in fiction. It works best in non-fiction.

You will have your time to be heard. You can do it after your spouse is done talking by requesting the floor the same way you yielded it without interrupting. (Excerpt from Is Bringing Up Past Arguments Healthy for a Marriage?)

3. The third person POV allows and gives more perspective. Here you use ‘He’ and ‘She’ to tell the story. That said, you can additionally do third-person omniscient or third- person close. In third-person omniscient, you know the feelings of everyone on the page. You will loose on intimacy but you will definitely get the perspective missing with first person. With third-person close though, you’re only privy with the main character’s thoughts. You still use ‘He’ and ‘She’. It’s similar to first person POV with ‘I’ . Again, you have to make sure that your character is interesting enough to go for a full length novel. Choose wisely :). I really like third-person close actually. Why? Because my characters always feel like extensions of me in other ways, and it makes the storytelling personal and genuine in my opinion. I feel like they have trusted me enough to relay their voices. It feels less self-centered and makes me feel more of a djeli, a griote.

BACK IN HER ROOM, Rokeeya was torn about the implications of the members smoking weed. Not only did they risk being kicked out of campus and their charter removed, they could also face slander, and her leadership being questioned. Bad news travelled fast. Right now, no one outside the fraternity and RTL knew that drugs were consumed on campus. She needed to talk to the president of that fraternity but she couldn’t do it alone. She needed someone to accompany her. Fatou would think that was a terrible idea but this sisterhood meant everything to Rokeeya. If it wasn’t for this sisterhood, she would have… She couldn’t bear to think of it as she stared at the ceiling. (Excerpt from Respect The Letters)

4. Breaking the fourth wall works great in journaling and chronicling types of stories. Some YA books do it actually like in tidbits of Whichwood. In this style, the character is aware of its fictional nature when it speaks to the reader. Again here, you have to have a really peculiar character to pull it off in a novel. Check out the example below.

Just a minute, my cell phone is going off. I quit working at the firm but I still talk to the girls. They are probably both calling me to check in on me.  Here we go again, Francis Underwood is back. I ignore Habeeba’s comment and press Answer on my phone. “Hey girl! What’s up with you?” they scream through the phone. It seems like I am on a speaker. (Excerpt from The Hazardous Life of Nilüfer)

Above all, listen to the voice of the character and strive to pen it powerfully. You can only achieve it by being ruthless with your own manuscript. Check out this book to help you in the task.

Follow me ^_^ on Amazon here.

Bestseller 3 6 18

Thank you for reading,




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The African Struggle: A Look Back and a Look Forward


The African Struggle continues to be thought about around the world by Africans and African descendants. While I have religious and non-religious reasons why I think black heroes deserve the spotlight daily, at the grassroots level,  and that attention on these unsung heroes should not be restricted to a specific month, I know that the real world can’t handle ‘Blackness’ on a daily basis. So, Black History Month will have to do.

Every year, for a whole month, the struggles, the mourning, and the achievements of my African ancestors and legacy is recognized.

So why isn’t that enough? Why can’t we all have closure?

In my opinion, the underlying issue has not been resolved, so all parties involved are still not able to move on with their lives.  They remember the shoulders on which they stand in hindsight as they fend off the world that tries to divide them.

I’m a Love & Relationship Editor at a Magazine, and I have a knack for it, alhamdullilah. Relationship issues take many forms but overall, they have the same essence: underlying, unresolved wrongs committed.

We are one nation, aren’t we? And we’re also a messed up, dysfunctional big family, as we were created from one man and one woman. Africans, Americans and Europeans, blacks and whites all come from Adam and Eve.

The beginning of the story

Long before the white colonialists came, Africa was fine, but it had its disagreements and dealt with them in-house. But the Africans’ disadvantage was that they didn’t see the bigger picture or knew what would happen to these slaves at first when they agreed to sell their own blood out of Africa because of petty fights and disagreements in return for fake worldly gains. The colonialist is that member of that dysfunctional big family we are, who is smart and insecure but not creative enough like The African. With all that draining of African resources, they still won’t let the Africans own it.

Most people have no idea that Africans willingly sold their brothers into slavery. Most are under the impression that white Europeans came and stole them from their land without paying anyone for them. But this is not completely true.

When it comes to the African struggle, native-born Africans apologizing to all the displaced Africans around the world is NECESSARY. We have to assume the crimes of our forefathers if we want to build a strong relationship with our displaced African brothers and sisters. These displaced Afro-Caribbeans, African-Americans, etc. need this to have closure. It’s an important and essential step on the path to mending the relationship we have with them.

Currently, Africans and their displaced brothers and sisters have a really bad relationship; that’s old news.We size each other up when we see one other because we bought into the hype that we are different from each other when in reality we are not!

What the colonialist did in Africa was to change the mindset to make people believe that lighter-skinned Africans are superior to darker-skinned. Then, overseas, they did the opposite and planned to further divide Blacks by confusing these mixed-race children, making them feel that they don’t belong to any race.

Additionally, they convinced darker-skinned Africans to gang up on these outcasts and half-castes. See the bigger picture? They planted discord everywhere between us. And shaytaan motivates them with greed and power.

What can you do as a Native-born African (naturalized or not) to stop this vicious cycle that is not helping Blacks move forward?

– Say, ‘This displaced Black person is my people’ when you see an African descendent anywhere. Don’t size him or her up. Accept and love that person that you don’t know upon seeing him or her. Simply change your attitude toward them. I have done that, and it does wonders, alhamdullilah.

– Don’t buy into the hype that they are all lazy. Back in Africa, there are both lazy and ambitious Africans, too. The system purposely put them at a disadvantage because they know the power and creativity Africans naturally have. Allah gave us all privileges. For instance, white privilege, male privilege, financial privilege, creative privilege just to name a few. It’s what you do with those privileges that define you.

Many Blacks have creativity skills, masha’Allah, and our family members and distant insecure cousins, the white colonialists and their legacy of white supremacists, know this. Don’t let them tell you otherwise.

– Encourage the displaced Black person to take an ancestryDNA test to help him get a sense of belonging to resolve their identity quest. Everybody wants acceptance and belonging. One thing we don’t lose is blood. It’s the inherent chemistry of things. Nothing is lost, everything is conserved. At the end of the day, everybody wants to go home; the real home. Help them with their home going process. It’s your duty to help rehabilitate them.

– Don’t stop or prevent them from wearing African garments or ethnic prints. You have no right to deny them their birthright and culture! They came from the motherland too! Also, respect their adopted culture. Africa is a continent with distinct cultures. They want their distinct culture too, and there is nothing wrong with that.

– Let’s seek reparations in collaboration with the African Nations for the crimes committed against the displaced Africans. You are Africa and it’s part of your heritage. Subhanallah, a rush of sadness and betrayal should hit any Native-born African like it has hit me over the years just by thinking of what their forefathers must have gone through. Take a moment to think about it and don’t discount their valid pleas over-simplistically by saying, ‘Let it go, it was over 300 years ago.’ Yes, it was years ago, and it continues to impact their daily lives, and you just need to open your eyes to see it.

The African struggle

I understand that many African immigrants usually feel detached from the slave trade because it’s not discussed in detail in African classrooms. The classroom curriculum just brushes over it with a few historical dates of abolition events and small illustrated reading of ‘Roots’. But it’s not an excuse.

Do the right thing. May Allah help us make things right! Ameen.

What can you do as African-American?

– Stop denying that your roots go beyond the ship.

– Don’t let yourself be bullied by ignorant Africans. School them if you have to so they may ponder on your wisdom later on and come to their senses.

– Please forgive Africans and their forefathers for the crimes committed against you and your ancestors who are most likely their ancestors too.

–  Recognize that Native-born Africans love you, even if they don’t always show it. Displaced Blacks are always put on a pedestal in Africa. Alhamdullilah.

–  Please enlighten Native-born Africans and Millennials when they show ignorance about the way the system has purposely made sure your community stays in poverty while turning around and allowing privileges to immigrant Africans, as long as they don’t interfere with politics and social justice causes.

These suggestions may seem overly-simplistic and are not an exhaustive list, but until we come together and show the white supremacists that we see their game to actively divide us and break apart our families so they can stay ahead of their game, we will always stay behind! A strong and united house is hard to infiltrate. Only success can be in store for Blacks if we come together as a unit.
It will make an excellent Black History moment to look back on, bi’ithnillah.


Originally written by Papatia Feauxzar and published at AboutIslam here.


Bio: Papatia Feauxzar is an American author, barista, and publisher of West African descent living in Dallas, Texas with her son and husband. She holds a master’s degree in Accounting with a concentration in Personal Finance. After working as an accountant for a corporate firm for almost five years, Feauxzar decided to pursue Accounting from home while homeschooling her son. She is currently working toward obtaining her CPA license. Feauxzar then plans to obtain her PhD in Accounting. You can visit her websites at http://www.djarabikitabs.com or http://www.fofkys.com .

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To Get a Marriage License or Not to Get One?



Many Muslim couples wonder if they should get a secular marriage license in addition to their Islamic marriage contract. To answer this question we need to realize that it’s a case by case issue. I have seen many scenarios and only Allah can help you after you make your decision and things don’t pan out along the way.

1.You got the nikah marriage with no secular marriage license

If you separate from your spouse, he can become vindictive and not officially release you. Can you imagine if you were married in a secular institution? The official secular divorce would have dragged forever! The psychological effects of that plus the lawyers fees and alimony and child support (if you have children) than can be brought against you regardless of your gender are tremendous. This happened to a former Muslim coworker I had. Her husband took no pity on her. As a south Asian woman victim of domestic abuse from him, she stood up to him and hustled hard to make end meet and pay him child support. It was money he didn’t even need because he had a well paid job in the tech industry.

2.You got the nikah marriage along with a secular marriage license

This is good when you live in a land where your rights as a wife might be at risks if your husband passes away. Life insurance can set you for life if you guys planned your life that far. That also applies when when your spouse doesn’t disregard Islamic heritage rules  but believes that you’re his responsibility in front of Allah and he will be asked about his duties to you. It comes down to taqwa.

But if divorce enters the picture, the divorce can be quick with the Islamic part of it. It can also drag because it is not unusual to see some Muslim men deny divorce requests from their soon-to-be former wives out of spite or honor protection. This actually happened to my mom. I won’t go deeper. Anyway, dissolving the secular marriage license can drag on here too. Pray to Allah to do what’s best for you and not let you in charge of your affairs even for a blink of an eye. Ameen.

3.You have no nikah marriage contract but you have a secular marriage license

In the eyes of Allah or before Allah, you aren’t married. This usually happens when you’re Secular Muslims. Strive to get a recognized and approved Islamic marriage even if the rule of the land is laic. It’s in your best interest in this life and the next.


Above all, just know that only Allah knows and sees the future and that we need to pray that He removes any difficulty ahead. May Allah, Al-Latif, bless our unions. Ameen.


Thank you for reading,


Originally published at Hayati Magazine here.

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NbA Muslim #BlackMuslimReads Twitter Chat Recap — NbA Muslims

BHM Twitter Chat Promo_with Twitter Handles

Authors and readers converged on Twitter for the NbA Muslims #BlackMuslimReads Black Muslim History Month chat, which focused on the literary contributions of Black Muslims globally. The chat was a celebration of Black Muslim authorship and the essential roles of nonfiction and fiction in fostering positive identities along intersections of faith and race and demonstrating…

via NbA Muslim #BlackMuslimReads Twitter Chat Recap — NbA Muslims



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Children Book Review: Mommy, Who is Allah? Al-Khaliq (The Creator)

via Children Book Review: Mommy, Who is Allah? Al-Khaliq (The Creator)

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How Do You Become A Bestseller Author?

Assalamu aleikum!

The Ducktrinors official book cover eBook 12 19 17

This question is always on writers and authors’ minds. Today I want to tackle the subject and be blunt about it. So how can a writer achieve such a goal?

  1. You can offer your book for free to readers in the hope that they will at least be thankful for the free gift and leave you a review
  2. You can write a BIG check to print tons of copies. Whether or not the books are read is not your problem. You want quantities of books you can display everywhere around the country to mind game the audience.
  3. Organically. This is very rare, and it happens when your book is so UNIQUE and unprecedented that people genuinely go out to buy it. An example of that is with the HP Series, E.L.James’s trilogy (Though I don’t think it’s a great writing piece of art), Black Panther, etc. Only few books or movies sell on their own. Very few do as a matter of fact. The rest are rigged by the publishers. So may Allah increase our rizq. Ameen.Papatia Bestselling authorIn addition, my free story on Amazon  Fixed Up! has over 300 free downloads and you only need 100 to be an Amazon Bestseller. It’s no longer listed above under Bestselling Books because it’s no longer on Kindle Unlimited. As you can see, it doesn’t have lots of reviews.  I can count many books with this problem. Many business and finance books I used during school are actually New York Times Bestsellers and what not. Now, many of my authored books have more reviews than them. So go figure about a bestseller. Read more here.

This also leads to how to get reviews. You can:

  1. Buy readers
  2. Chase readers you know to please perform by leaving a review tenor
  3. Use a paid review service. It will come down to the ethic values you hold.
  4. Advertise. Here you will reward your hosts for their time and effort. In kind or $ .

Having said all that, there is a fine line between all these above. The gray line where you go from organic, genuine, to shady. You make the call.

Ducktrinors Banner-01


On another note, The Ducktrinors Book I & Book II comes out on March 31st, 2018 insha’Allah. Find out what happens next.

Thank you for reading.


Papatia Feauxzar, Author & Publisher


Posted in Faith, Finances, Islam, Muslim Fiction, Reading, Reviews, Writing, Young Adult (YA) Literature | Tagged , , | 15 Comments

#BlackMuslimReads & #MuslimGirlsRead

Assalamu aleikum!

Giveaway Promo_How to Enter

Allah will not change the condition of the people until they do first. To stop the erasure of the contribution of Black Muslim Writers in the mainstream publishing industry, NbA Muslims in collaboration with Djarabi Kitabs Publishing, and Muslim Girls Read, present to you a Black History Month giveaway. Details above and more coming below.

 or if you prefer this one below

Enter the giveaway today! 🙂


Thank you for reading,



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The New Muslim’s Field Guide


For Immediate Release

The New Muslim’s Field Guide

Publication Date: 2/1/18

From the minds behind islamwich comes a new and greatly anticipated book for converts to Islam: 

The New Muslim’s Field Guide

Available on Amazon today, The New Muslim’s Field Guide is a not-so-technical manual for new Muslims, written by people who have been there, done that.

A first-of-its-kind manual written from 20+ years of combined experience from the field, The New Muslim’s Field Guide offers insightful advice on navigating the maze of culture, politics, love, identity, and faith.

This is the guide every new Muslim needs as they take their first steps into Islam.

Converting to Islamin a western country like America can prove daunting and overwhelming, and it’s easy to lose sight of the most important part of Islam: our own individual relationship with Allah. Some of us were blessed to have other Muslims to guide…

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Normalizing Hijab in Western Culture- Is It Happening?


DALLAS — The normalization of hijab by non-Muslim businesses started many years ago but it wasn’t until recently that I felt like it was inclusive. I mean a hijabi in these parts gets many side glances, puzzle looks, some commendable friendly smiles every now and then, and also many stern to blank looks. What can you do? It’s a jihad.

But walking my son to the mall playground and seeing a young African American teenage girl displayed in front of Justice; a popular department store for tween girls made my day.

Imagine my genuine surprise and happiness. I thought, “My direct niece or future daughter insha’Allah will perhaps escape an identity complex if hijab continues to be normalized and inclusion follows its course.”

Wishful thinking! But that’s not all. Not too long ago, during our same homeschooling routine, we stopped at the mall playground again so my son can play outside and interact with children his age. You won’t believe it! I saw another inclusive ad at the Apple store. I stopped in my tracks, amazed, shocked, and highly phased all at once. I didn’t snap a picture of it right away like I did with the previous one but I eventually went back to the mall specifically to snap a picture of it so that I could feel complete about chronicling this single event.

I feel much better that I have curated these instances where diverse and minority hijabis made highlights locally. So, as the country or world is polarized about women who wear hijab and even speculates on their freedom and intelligence, isolated events like these give me hope that our voice is being heard.

They have finally started to unveil the truth about us; we are above all human with diverse needs, passions, and goals. Whether or not, it’s being commercialized or opinions are being made about us, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that we’re moving forward and making ground breaking changes day by day.

Jamilah Thompkins-Bigelow is a children’s book author of Mommy’s Khimar. When asked how she felt about the normalization of hijab as seen lately, she said, “I think it’s incredibly important for Muslim children to see themselves in mainstream places—in books, movies, and other media—and that they should see themselves just being who they are. Too often, people write about Muslims (hijab, especially) in polarizing ways. This can make a child feel like who they are, is wrong in some way—that their very existence is contentious. In Newbery Medalist Matt de la Peña’s new picture book, LOVE, he includes a girl wearing hijab who is exploring the concept of love just as other diverse characters in the book do. Such simple depictions send a powerful message to all children: we are all included, we all have a place here, and there is no contention in that.

Bengladeshi-American Author, Rumki Chowdhury, also relates to us her experience.

“A large billboard image advertised a female model in black attire and a black hijab, in the heart of Stockholm, outside of Sweden´s biggest department store called, Åhlens! That is what I saw as I went down the street of the busiest shopping street of Stockholm City in 2016. As of 2018, the Muslim population in Sweden is gradually growing, but only recently have I discovered an increase in the tolerance of the hijabi.

2016 also meant the year that the theatrical play in which five Muslim hijabis shared their biographies of their brush with prejudice, center-stage, all over Sweden and at the most popular Swedish theater, Dramaten, Stockholm! I went to watch this play and met the inspiring actresses.

Critical acclaim for “Swedish Hijabis” splattered the pages of local and national newspapers, news stations and radio stations. And then there was I, who had been working in a Muslim school for two years before transferring over to teach at an International English School, wondering if the possibility was even there for a hijabi. So, I told myself, the same thing that I said in one of my Hijab Diary videos on YouTube; I reminded myself that perhaps, the interviewer sitting across from me is most likely feeling the exact same way as I am…tentative for many reasons. I wondered if my hijab was normal enough, I wondered if the “normalization” of the hijab was present enough and… it was!

I got the job and I am still there alhamdullilah. On February 1st, 2018 for World Hijab Day, I will be celebrating it with my non-hijabi colleagues: I will be reciting poetry from my latest free publication, an anthology entitled, Unveiled which surrounds the hijab. I feel accepted and treated like a unique individual.”

The hijab effect is polarized indeed and Native-born American author Khadijah Abdul-Haqq has plenty to say. In her own words,

“Philadelphia in Pennsylvania is commonly called the Mecca of the West. Every year, Muslims migrate to Philadelphia to be a part of the city’s Muslim community. It is not abnormal to see women wearing hijabworking in a hospital on various levels or inside of a bank on equal levels. When there is hijab prejudice in Philadelphia, it is covert like something that can be misconstrued as something else like a simple “misunderstanding”.

However, overt hijab prejudice is at a minimum. Hijab in Philadelphia is as mainstream as it gets in the States. Then, I moved to Memphis, Tennessee. This city is the complete opposite of Philadelphia whereas there are very few hijabs that can be spotted in the marketplace or in other public spaces. Moving here felt like a time warp from an early period of Islam in Philadelphia. In Memphis, the prejudice is as overt and obtrusive as it gets. People screaming obscenities from their cars, receiving below average service at the store and having to explain to every public municipal worker that I’m a Native-born American who happens to be Muslim. Truthfully, having this knowledge does not increase them in their customer service; it only confuses them even more.”

Abdul-Haqq goes on and adds more jarring details. “As of recent, Nike has released its burkini and American Eagle has released its cotton jean hijab, and the internet went crazy. Islam is going mainstream were the sentiments, and for a moment I bought it. I thought maybe it was close to the day where my daughters could purchase Muslim permissible clothing at their favorite’s department stores without gluing together a hodgepodge of clothing to don their perfect style; that maybe America finally sees the American hijab-wearing Muslim as part of the fabric instead of aliens.

Then there was the story of the woman who had her face smashed in while dining at a famous restaurant chain; another woman who was choked during an attack of someone trying to snatch her scarf off and other hijabi attacks. The daydream became clear that Nike and American Eagle’s ability to capitalize off a forbidden population was not a symbol for hijab freedom but a chance to cover all available markets, and that the struggle for the American Hijabi would continue to be fought at a grassroots level by everyday women and girls who just want to be left alone to be Muslim and do what their religion calls for, wearing hijab. My hope is that maybe, just maybe my book Nanni’s Hijab can be a part of that empowering movement.”

Bio : Papatia Feauxzar is an American author, publisher, and barista of West African descent living in Dallas, Texas with her son and husband. She holds a master’s degree in Accounting with a concentration in Personal Finance. After working as an accountant for a corporate firm for almost five years, Feauxzar decided to pursue Accounting from home while homeschooling her son. You can visit her websites www.djarabikitabs.com and www.fofkys.com .

This article originally appeared at About Islam here.

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Nanni's Hijab Banner-01 with logo 1 22 18


DALLAS, TX — January 31st, 2018. DJARABI KITABS PUBLISHING officially released  ‘Nanni’s Hijab’ by American Muslim Author Khadijah Abdul-Haqq.

The author has penned many stories but her first children’s book naturally took the lead. In her own words, “The socio-political climate called for a book like Nanni’s Hijab to be written. I honestly believe Allah gave me the story of Nanni’s Hijab because her story—which is the story of many hijabi girls—needed to be told.”

Abdul-Haqq’s wishes? Simple. “I want hijabi girls and future hijabi girls to be proud to wear hijab, and not to feel like victims if they are bullied for wearing it. I want them to feel empowered to resolve matters such as bullying with critical thinking, prayer, and positive action.”— Khadijah Abdul-Haqq

Thankfully, Nanni’s Hijab has received a myriad of praises about the design, the content, and the message amongst other things.

Nanni’s Hijab was beautifully written. I loved the story so much. I am thankful that she (Author Khadijah AbdulHaqq) chose to read to our class. I can’t wait to see more (books) from her.”— Sister Mary Brown, Lead Facilitator for the Mothers Day Out program at Masjid As-salaam

Nanni’s Hijab was a wonderful book filled with lessons suitable for our young children to easily learn. It showed how Nanni was proud to be who she was even when others were putting her down. She showed that there’s more than one way to handle a bad or hurtful situation. My kids, even my teen, loved the book! I highly recommend this as a book that goes in every child’s personal library.”— Sister Gail Fripp, Motivational Speaker

“Nanni’s Hijab… is one of the most beautiful Islamic books I have come across… First, the illustrations will enchant children with full watercolor drawings that embrace the whole page. The expressions on the faces of the characters are vivid and get right through your heart. The soft pastel colors seize the innocence of youth. And the range of characters hints at a new generation of children books that take into consideration the diversity of the world. That’s very exciting. The story is well-written with lyrical prose.” — Sussu Leclerc, Author of Creating Unique Storyworlds

“The best thing about Nanni’s Hijab is that it teaches children how to deal with conflicts by problem solving. There are seven steps to problem solving: 1. Have a calm and clear mind. 2. Brainstorm possible solutions. 3. Make dua (and pray istikharah). 4. Select the best option. 5. Plan the steps needed to carry out the option. 6. Put it into action. 7. Review how it went. Nanni went through several of these steps.”— Jameela Ho, Ilma Education

Join DJARABI KITABS PUBLISHING and Khadijah Abdul-Haqq from January 30th to February 3rd, 2018 for the book launch and blog tours.

About the author:

Khadijah Abdul-Haqq is married and a mother of five. She is a lover of the creative arts including literature as well as her new love, painting. She has written four books, yet Nanni’s Hijab is the first to be published by DKP. Khadijah is a teacher as well as a student of life. She has taught English, beginners and intermediate Arabic, as well as acted as a homeschooling consultant. Khadijah has homeschooled all five of her children for the past twenty years; with the eldest graduating Summa Cum Laude from Lasalle University. Khadijah is also a co-organizer and facilitator of the GEM program for mentoring teenage girls. She is currently pursuing her own bachelor degree as well as homeschooling her younger children. She is originally from Philadelphia, PA, but presently living in Memphis, TN with her husband and three of her five children. You can learn more at her Blog ‘Ramblings of an Unconventional Muslimah’.

Nanni’s Hijab is available on Djarabi Kitabs Publishing‘s website  Amazon on eBook and paperbackformats, and Fofky’s Online Book Cafe.


Djarabi Kitabs Publishing

PO BOX 703733

Dallas, TX 75370


Email: editor@djarabikitabs.com

This post originally appeared at Djarabi Kitabs Publishing here.


Thank you for reading,



Muslim Publisher

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Nanni’s Hijab – Giveaway!

Umm Afraz Muhammed

Nanni's Hijab Giveaway at Umm Afraz Muhammed Blog

I am so thrilled to be hosting my first giveaway! If you haven’t read the review on Nanni’s Hijab yet, run to this link to read.

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Childhood Champions (Book I & Book II) – A Review

A Ducktrinor Mom

Assalamu aleikum,

The projectno ordinary day

I received these two books depicted above by Muslim Author George Green, and I enjoyed reading them alhamdullilah. I can’t wait for my son to be able to read them for himself one day insha’Allah.

Title: No Ordinary Day

Series: Childhood Champions

Author: George Green is a passionate author/ motivational speaker from New York City who inspires with words and his dedication to giving back to the community. He overcame his troubled childhood by leaving the city to attend college at Auburn University. With the love and encouragement of his family, George earned his Bachelor’s degree with a double major in English and Psychology. You can learn more at his website here.

Synopsis: Eight year old Ibrahim and friends win a Quran competition, where the prize sees them scoring tickets to watch an exciting football game after their class is paid a visit…

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‘Nanni’s Hijab’ by Khadijah Abdul-Haqq

#ComingSoon Insha’Allah

Nanni's Hijab Banner-01 with logo 1 22 18.jpg

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Beloveds & Disagreeing Beloveds

Assalamu aleikum dear bloggers,


Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (sallallahu aleihi wassalam) said:

“Souls are like crowds which gather together. The ones who met before get along well. The ones who did not meet before, cannot get along very well and separate.” (Bukhari, Anbiya, 2) 

This hadith always reminds me of a story a beloved recounted to me alhamdullilah. Let me tell you too. I also don’t have the sources to the story, so if you find them, please share them with me so I can know where it’s written insha’Allah.

Anyway, it’s about Khidr, a believer that Allah has favored with knowledge and mystical powers masha’Allah. He is widely known for his encounter with Prophet Mussa (Moses) aleihi salam.

So, Khidr once went to a mosque, and he saw a believer taking a nap while a sermon or prayer was taking place. He tried to tell the believer who had his eyes shut to pay attention. The believer told him to leave him alone, and he went back to his sleeping. Khidr insisted again that the man stopped sleeping and showed some respect by listening to the sermon or prayer. The believer was aggravated and told Khidr to leave him alone. After several interruptions, the believer got highly irritated and told Khidr that if Khidr didn’t leave him alone, he will tell everyone present about Khidr’s true identity.

Khidr was taken aback. He thought, “Who is this guy who knows me but I know nothing about?” Khidr had a log of names of all the beloveds of Allah and those who are also enemies of Allah. Khidr checked the different books, and this believer’s name, who just wanted a peaceful nap, wasn’t listed.

So Khidr went to Allah and asked for the meaning of this encounter. Allah told him that He, Allah, has a book of Beloved Servants that no-one knows except Him. And that in addition, the believer in that mosque was one of these unlisted Beloved Servants. It’s deep right? It makes one ponder for sure.

So when I disagree with other believers in the ummah or simply find them toxic to my person, I try to remember that we are all beloved to Allah even if we don’t agree with each other. I do me, and I let them do them. I forgive them too but I don’t necessarily interact with them if I still find them toxic to my person. Why do I often stay away from some of these toxic people even after I have forgiven them? Because our souls simply just don’t fancy each other. The metaphysical aspect of it, is the explanation, and I truly believe this deep in my core.

So thank you for reading and stay classy folks! #BeYou

Wa aleikum salam waramatulahi wabarakatuhu!


Papatya*— Free-Spirited Thinker, Aspirational Sufi


“The way I see it, some of us are friends to the Creator. Some of us are beloved of Him that his friends don’t particularly fancy while He can be our beloved but we (the friends don’t fancy one another). And life goes on. You do you and I do me.” Papatia Feauxzar

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Book Review: A Tight Rope By Sahar Abdulaziz

My Journey with Hijab


I have read a thriller after a long time and it came out to be the right one , to be more precise it is a political thriller. The chapters in book are well divided based on main Characters in book. The plot is well developed , detailed enough and keeps you hooked till the end. The story gives you an inside view into lives of American Muslims post Trump Era , effects of Iraq and Afghanistan war and the rampant racial profiling and growing Islamophobia. It also highlights the flaws within the muslim society and the division which from the outside world seems so homogenous.

The main Protagonist of story is Nour Ibrahim who is a young African American Muslim woman. Nour is honest, dedicated to her work, have a vision in life and is a good speaker . Recently she has been given a task to organise a…

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6 Children Books To Have For Your Young Muslimah

A Ducktrinor Mom

Assalamu aleikum,

I always wanted to have a girl but Allah gave me a boy, and I’m happy with that. He knows best alhamdullilah. I have blogged this topic here too. Now, I have a niece I treasure dear masha’Allah. Here are some books already on the list of books I have lined up for my Yankee muhajaba. Many have already been shipped to her even though she can barely talk. I always believed that we should instill the mean of hijab to our Muslim girls from the get go without necessarily forcing it upon them. So about the list, check it out below.

1. Nanni’s Hijab by Khadijah Abdul-Haqq

Nanni front cover pdf official 1 2 17 official jpeg

This book will be published by Djarabi Kitabs on January 31st insha’Allah. Keep an eye out for it. To give you more details, Nanni’s Hijab is the story of Nanni, a little girl who loves wearing her hijab…

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Written Vs.Not Written Stuff: A Tribute To Great Muslim Women Leaders Part II

Part II by Moi! Alhamdullilah.

The Human Lens

Part II, Written by Papatia Feuxzar of Djarabi Kitabs Publishing 

“Blindly following ancient customs and traditions doesn’t mean that the dead are alive, but that the living are dead.” – Ibn Khaldun

In part I, my co-author Saadia Haq highlighted amazing women trailblazers in human history. In this sequel, I will showcase the brave and inspiring women of this age who are anchoring the Muslim woman scholarship and leadership forward. Why? Because we can’t know where we are heading as a ummah if we don’t know our history. It’s about striking balance between the two; past and future since we are in the middle also known as the present. Saadia and I, as curators of our time, we take it upon ourselves to debunk important issues and fight this type of oppression on women where we spot it! Best believe it.

So don’t you love the opening quote? It’s a…

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