Tight Rope, by Sahar Abdulaziz

Umm Afraz Muhammed

Tight Rope by Sahar Abdulaziz

“But Nour knew that goodwill and acceptance would never reveal themselves by taking off their hijab because for her or any other person of color, the skin she lived in wasn’t removable and therefore, subsequently, neither were the seeds of hatred.”
Tight Rope, by Sahar Abdulaziz
Djarabi Kitabs Publishing had sent me a hard copy of Tight Rope by Sahar AbdulAziz for review, and masha Allah, it is one powerful book, relatable to Muslims living in the West who undergo bigotry and racist attacks.

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Check out this book! I contributed :) alhamdullilah. Launching today in South Africa!!!

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You can buy it on Amazon here : https://www.amazon.com/Saffron-Collection-Personal-Narratives-Muslim/dp/0639918727

via Family and Women

To watch or listen the book launch select the YouTube or Souncloud links below:

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Jazakh’Allah khair!

Papatya*

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Interview with Paptia Feauxzar

The Imperfect Muslimah

I was lucky enough to get a chance to ask publisher and author Papatia Feauxzar all the questions my curious little mind could come up with and I took full advantage of the opportunity. This interview is a long one – I limited myself a little as I had to but the word count is still above 1500 words. So, settle in to learn a lot about the lovely Papatia who’s just released books 1 & 2 of The Jihad Series (Hanifa and Malik) together as The Ducktrinors.

I’ve written up a quick review of my thoughts on The Ducktrinors and linked it here as well.

1) When and why did you start writing?

I started writing as a hobby in early teen years alhamdullilah. I love storytelling and it has always been a passion. It helps me relax and entertain myself. It also helps logging the…

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Interview with Papatia Feauxzar

Umm Afraz Muhammed

Interview with Papatia Feauxzar1. Tell us your journey from an accountant to an authorpreneur.
It has been intriguing! Rumi said, “What you seek is seeking you.” It was true in my case because Allah put a coworker on my path with whom I started at the same time with at my first accounting job. Her husband is a writer, publisher, teacher and many other things. When she told me that, I immediately realized that she and I met for that purpose. Alhamdullilah. I have always wanted to publish books since I was a teenager but the opportunity to do so didn’t get in my face in such a way until I met this particular co-worker. I capitalized right away on that in-your-face opportunity and sat off to get my work out there. It wasn’t cheap but I invested in my dreams and it has paid off. Overall, it was a blessing masha’Allah

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Book Review : The Ducktrinors (by Papatia Feauxzar)

Be Flawless Muslims 🙂

Book: The Ducktrinors ( book 1 and book 2 of the Jihad series)

Author: Papatia Feauxzar

About the Author:
Papatia Feauxzar is an American author 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 website atdjarabi kitabs publishing. She is also the founder of Fofkys.

Storyline:

The World is under the secular power and the Believers were oppressed. Signs of the Qiyamah were visible everywhere. Amidst all this.. little Ducktrinors. . The young, dynamic and courageous Muslim siblings set for jihad against the Seculars to let free, the Believers. The young miss Hanifa Ducktrinor was the initiator of the plan to fight in…

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Book Review : THE DUCKTRINORS

A Ducktrinor Mom

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The Book: The Ducktrinors (Book I & Book II) (Jihad Series)

Author: Papatia Feauxzar

Available at: Amazon (EbookPaperback), Djarabi Kitabs Publishing

I was eager to read this book-The Ducktrinors – a Muslim science fiction of Young Adult genre because that is a new hybrid genre to get hands on.

First things first. The Ducktrinors is the family of the central characters in the book- a seventeen-year-old girl, Hanifa Ducktrinor and her brother Malik Ducktrinor, an eighteen-year-old boy. The story unfolds through the Ducktrinor family- Dad, Mom, Grandfather and the children.

The Plot

The story happens in the future when the world is running on advanced technology. The world is then divided into two- the religious sect and the irreligious sect. The religion haters are ruling the world and anyone who believes otherwise is hunted down. The Ducktrinors is one of the persecuted family who relocates to Brazil at the…

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Interview With Writer And Blogger Papatia Feauxzar!

The Positivity Filter

I wanted to interview an author who’s not just famous but is also an inspiration. She’s a true symbol of hardwork and determination. She’s none other than Papatia Feauxzar. Papatia is an accountant working from home but also a writer and blogger. I am so happy that my first interview for this blog is with her. Her book “The Ducktrinors” will be out tomorrow so let’s see what she has to say about that and also she’s Amazon’s best selling author.

1) For those who are unfamiliar, can you tell us about you and your books?

I’m a tiny African and American Muslim woman originally from Ivory Coast with big dreams (. Papatia Feauxzar is my pen name as I have mixed feelings about being known. I believe it comes with problems I rather opt out of. That said, every now then, I don’t mind showing my face before going…

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IMMEDIATE PRESS RELEASE : THE DUCKTRINORS BOOK I & BOOK II BY PAPATIA FEAUXZAR

A Ducktrinor Mom

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A MUSLIM YOUNG ADULT BOOK CENTERED AROUND THE DEEN

DALLAS, TX — March 28th, 2018. DJARABI KITABS PUBLISHING officially released  The Ducktrinors Book I & Book II by American and Black Muslim Author, Papatia Feauxzar.

The author has written in many genres but she still feels like a child at heart. “I wrote ‘The Ducktrinors‘ to inspire the Muslim Youth so that they realize that they have more than enough Muslim heroes to fashion themselves after.” — Papatia Feauxzar

DJARABI KITABS PUBLISHING is republishing tome I titled Hanifa with the much awaited tome II titled Malik with this edition.

“Papatia’s work is addicting in that love of the craft is immistakable through her skill. I’m seriously enraptured with the level of detail involved with everything from content to technical aspects of The Ducktrinors and as a word nerd myself I now aspire to the honor…

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Author Spotlight: Papatia Feauxzar & Fofky’s Online Book and Coffee/Tea Shop

MEXICO

    Fofky’s Online Book and Coffee/Tea Shop

Have you heard of Fofky’s Online Book and Coffee/Tea shop with a great selection of Muslim Fiction for adults and children? If you haven’t, don’t worry I’m here to put you on! Last summer I tested out the service owned by prolific Muslim Romance author and owner of Djarabi Kitabs Publishing,  Papatia Feauxzar for you! For $25 I was able to get a brand new Muslim fiction novel (Tight Rope by Sahar Abdulaziz) and an assortment of coffee, tea, and snacks to chomp on while I read! Can  we say Brilliant!!! I had to catch up with our dear sis. Papatia! 

 

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What is Fofky’s and what does the name mean?

Fofky without an ‘s’ is a nickname I earned while I was attending high school in an all girl tolerant Catholic establishment. The name is derived from my maiden name. A last name I have heard is very popular in Liberia even though I’m originally from the Ivory Coast where it’s not that popular. Now, since, the bookstore is mine, I decided to call it Fofky’s (Fof-keys) like people normally do with their restaurants. After all, Fofky’s is a food and beverage business too.

2. Who is Fofky for?

Fofky’s is for your average bookish and bookworm Muslim who wants a balanced dose of deen, entertainment, and tayyab eatery. Fofky’s is also a support system to make Muslim works more visible. In other words, it’s a small attempt to support many unsung talented Muslim writers.

3. What inspired you to start Fofky?

It’s you actually! Masha’Allah. I read one of your post where you were very disappointed by the fact that many Muslim bookstores won’t carry Muslim fiction or give the light of day to writers who aren’t MESA (Middle Eastern and South Asians). I agreed with you and thought that this needs to change. I also thought: “I can make the difference I want to see.” In Africa, they say, “If you think you’re too small to make a change, then you have not spent a night with a mosquito.” I always try to remember that proverb when I am obsessed with an issue I want to resolve. So that inspired me to take the risk and run with the idea. And alhamdullilah, I dealt with concession inventory at my first accounting job so that was a huge plus. I was meant to do this.

4. What are some of the services and products that you have?

Fofky’s offers book rentals at a very affordable rate for readers who don’t feel like buying a book but still want to read it. Fofky’s also has curated boxes aimed at young adults readers, a Half-a-Deen box with a candle and chocolate for people seeking marriage, divorced, or already married but who need intimate advice, new-mom packages which include a Muslim greeting card along with some delicious teas and organic hot cocoas, nikah boxes with cookbooks and recipes, self-affirmations book packages, curated boxes for color enthusiasts, and Muslim homeschooling kits just to name a few.

In the food section, we have amazing book companions like halal and natural macaroons , organic and natural teas, frappes-lattes-cappuccinos-smoothies mixes, organic chips, popcorn, trail mix, etc.

(LOVE THESE  SERVICES!!)

5. How can the Muslims support you?

Muslims can help by spreading the word to those who they think will see value in the Fofky’s business model. I mean not everybody reads. But if you’re a Muslim out there who doesn’t read but you know someone who is bookish, who is a bookworm, etc, please share Fofky’s info with them. Ultimately, when clients come shop, they don’t only support Fofky’s, they also support the ummah writers. So by #buyandreadabookbyamuslim more money is injected back in the community, and we rise as one strong ummah.

6. Do you have plans to expand?

Yes, I plan to expand and put that business degree to good use! Haha! insha’Allah one day.

7. Besides selling books, how can Fofky’s connect readers and authors?

Some Muslim authors have awesome stationary available like signed bookmarks, greeting cards, phone cases, pencils, notepads, backpacks, your typical bookish gear. Fofky’s tries to acquire these from the authors directly or other sources like RedBubble and include them in the curated boxes the readers purchase. So authors need to have a great marketing strategy to allow Fofkys to facilitate the connection and bond between author and reader. I mean, normally a satisfied client will post pictures and tag the author. What author wouldn’t like a new reader and free promo 🙂 ?

8. Anything else that you want customers to know?

Fofky’s is dedicated to support talented Muslim writers and offers easy to make refreshments that are free of high-fructose corn syrup. Let’s iqra in style in a halal and tayyab way!

 

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Bedtime Sunnahs: Emulating the Prophet one night at a time – A Review

A Ducktrinor Mom

Bedtime Sunnahs Launch PosterSummary: This rhyming book outlines several nighttime Islamic practices for kids —and even adults— to implement before going to bed. Fostering a love for the Prophet’s Sunnah, as well as teaching children to practice good deeds consistently. Also includes references to associated hadiths, an explanation of Islamic terminology, and additional advanced practices.

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About the Author: Alia G. Dada was born and raised in Southern California. She graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a Bachelors Degree in Business Administration and a Minor in the Spanish Language. Shortly after, she moved to Cairo, Egypt. After privately studying Arabic she went on to obtain her degree in Islamic Law (Shariah) from the Al-Azhar University. Blessed with a child who has a love for reading, she was inspired to write a book that would help caregivers water the seed of faith and Islamic literacy in the hearts of young Muslims.

The Illustrator: You can read more…

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What Is Halal and Haram in Fiction Writing? Or Is It All a “Grey Area”?

Bismillah,

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I’m not a scholar but I will try my best to shed some light on the matter with some common sense and personal experience. So, let’s rephrase the question a little bit in order to answer this controversial topic in the ummah.

Do you consider the stories your parents and family members told you throughout your life to teach you a morale all lies? Additionally, do you consider the scenarios your teachers gave you in class all lies? Fiction is a series of scenarios (plots) and stories.

Of course when the question is phrased these ways, it’s hard to call your relatives, teachers and even people you hold dear: transgressors. Right? I will answer ‘Yes’ for you. Now, even if they made up the stories, you will realize that there was a reason behind the stories they told you. It was either to solve a problem, to deliberate on a case, to teach you a morale, etc. It truly depends on the intention and it is upon intention we will be judged too.

So what’s the difference between oral storytelling and written storytelling?

In my opinion, there is no difference between the two in essence and in form. Only the means of communication changes; al qalam, the pen.

Allah is the Greatest of Storytellers, and He told the pen to write. He is the Author of all things in this life and beyond. He chose to bestow part of this attribute to selected scribes in this dunya. If you are a writer, you’ve been chosen as a serious scribe. Honor the art and do it justice by penning true and relatable stories.

Therefore, when discussions of haram and halal start about Muslim Fiction, take a moment to think for yourself and do what your fitra agrees with. Do some istikhara if you need to and carry on. Don’t let people even if they appear religious and are ‘deening’ tell you what’s right or wrong. Go by what your gut tells you. That’s what matters at the end of the day for the sake of your happiness. Don’t be afraid to stand out. Allah didn’t create you to blend in anyway. This is to say that only His opinion of you should take the front seat; nothing or no-one else’s opinion.

Writing is maroof, a good deed. It has always been one. Through fiction, Muslim writers have always extended dawah, entertained as we have to uphold a life that reflects five before five, and portrayed a realistic lifestyle.

Why should that be or treated haram when the reader can relate with the experience and often strive to hold on to his or her deen better as a result of reading a good piece of fiction?

Muslim Fiction is usually written with a purpose. What I actually think is haram is writers and editors trying to portray a Muslim who has no jihad of any sort. If you write a perfect character when there is no human on earth who is perfect, subhanallah your writing is haram to me. Yes, I flipped the table.

Why? Because you’re lying to your reader and to yourself. Be real when you write. Don’t sugarcoat it. Showcase the truth out there. Pen a story that will motivate a reader to do good, to do better, to know that it’s human nature to err and that Allah is oft-forgiving.

Additionally, purify your intentions and strive to weave in Al-Ghaffar and Al-Ghafoor in your plot in a subtle way so that your work doesn’t turn off the reader right off the bat. How do you think secularism in the ummah became so predominant today? It’s because of the material we’ve been exposed to. From TV to shows and norms, almost everyone has learned to remove Allah from the picture like we  just appeared here on our own.

It’s ungrateful and that’s the reason sometimes people aren’t truly happy and successful. Wittily and genuinely include Allah in everything you do, and success will run after you subhanallah. Well, your definition of success that is. Anyway, it’s how you will show your gratitude to Allah in subtle ways for creating you and letting you take things for granted.

Muslim Fiction is very  powerful and let me give you some personal examples. I read an okay story about a djinn a few years ago and it helped me better my deen. Before reading that story, I was never consistent with saying dua before entering or leaving the bathroom. It was a raunchy and eerie comment made by that character djinn that prompted me to never-ever forget to say dua upon entering and leaving the bathroom alhamdullilah.

Let me give you another example. In this one, you will realize that Muslim Fiction fosters research. I briefly read about a character giving seventy excuses to another Muslim character and that made me ponder that day. I had never come across a scripture mentioning something similar. I sat off to research the authenticity of this mention and I found the basis and foundation behind those words. See, a subtle dawah mentioned triggered something in me that day and I pursued more ilm. Five before five and when you go by that motto, you will find Allah in all these outlets bi’ithnillah. And there are many countless instances like these two I ran into. Alhamdullilah.

Now, let me dive in a little deeper.

Can we talk sex in religion class and not in fiction?

Again, let’s be real. Is everybody doing it or not? If yes, it should be addressed in fiction too so that the readers know that the characters are aware of intimacy’s etiquettes. Why would you address everything else in fiction when Islam is a balanced way of life and keep the sex out of it? If you keep it out of it, again you’re doing something haram by portraying wrong facts. Your prudity has nothing to do with hayya.

I can understand if as a writer you expertly close the bedroom door, don’t feel bold enough or if you just don’t feel comfortable penning such material. Besides, we all can’t write about the same saturated stuff. This just entitles you to your opinion. Absolute and unanimous ijma in the ummah has never been a realistic thing to shoot for according to the sacred texts anyway. Allahu alim. It also means that you simply can’t declare erotic content in Muslim works totally haram when other writers feel bold enough to dab that way and test their creativity gifts. I just won’t go along with it.

Spirituality and sex merge in REALITY. And here is why; it’s an act of worship.

Don’t you praise your Lord to guard you from Shaytan before the act? If not, look up the dua.  The dua asks Allah to preserve the possible offspring from the devil too.

Imagine a non-Muslim picking up such a book and realizing that Islam is so beautiful that it has an etiquette for something as misunderstood like sex. Imagine the class and intellect it portrays to that person when they read about Muslims who have manners and put thoughts in things they do. Imagine them coming to the conclusions that good Muslims aren’t animals when they copulate. Imagine them thinking that real Muslims aren’t vapid. Finally, imagine them realizing that Muslims actually have fun while having sexual intercourse. Ponder!

Muslims have ways to do things and carry themselves and that’s what we should all realize. So what you should get from this post is that Muslim Fiction or halal intimacy in Muslim Fiction is halal and maroof in my opinion. It falls in the category of good deeds. Take it as sex education in a private setting, outside the classroom and in a more fun context. For me, it becomes haram when the truth is not portrayed well or at all.

In that moment, you’re bordering on lies and that’s haram. Allahu alim.

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Dukyarian Rectangle – An Interview With the Author

 

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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 our 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

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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.

KIDDING DAYCARE

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)

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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.

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Thank you for reading,

Papatya*

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The African Struggle: A Look Back and a Look Forward

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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?

Bismillah,

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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,

Papatya*

Originally published at Hayati Magazine here.

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NbA Muslim #BlackMuslimReads Twitter Chat Recap — NbA Muslims

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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!

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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.

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https://www.amazon.com/Fixed-Short-Story-Papatia-Feauxzar-ebook/dp/B00M67TBFK

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.

Wassalam,

Papatia Feauxzar, Author & Publisher 

 

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