F116. Don’t Ask Me Where I’m From: Exploring Beauty and Bravery in Stories About Muslims

Meeting Room 1, Marriott Waterside, Second Floor
Friday, March 9, 2018
9:00 am to 10:15 am


In response to the current political climate, writers from Muslim backgrounds, especially women, are often called on to discuss who they are rather than what they do. This panel will talk less about hijabs and regimes and more about the courage to write freely and the transformative power of art. Discussion will focus on the telling of daring, beautiful, and impactful stories about Muslims, asking the question: Can stories about people from marginalized communities ever be viewed as universal?


Kirin Khan is a fiction writer/poet based in Oakland, California. A 2016 VONA Voices alum, 2017 PEN Center USA Emerging Voices Fellow, and 2017 Grotto Fellow, her work has appeared in many publications, including Uproot, sPARKLE & bLINK, Your Impossible Voice, and 7x7.LA. Kirin is working on her first novel.

Sarah A. Harvard is a reporter at Mic, covering religion, race, and politics. Her work has appeared in The Guardian, The Atlantic, and Slate. Sarah has appeared on CBS, BBC, HuffPost Live, The Intercept, and Columbia Journalism Review. She is the cofounder of the Muslim American Journalism Association.

Taz is an activist, storyteller, and politico. She cohosts #GoodMuslimBadMuslim Podcast and was honored in 2016 as a White House Champion of Change for AAPI Art and Storytelling. She is published in Modern Loss; Good Girls Marry Doctors; Love, Inshallah; and Coiled Serpent.

Mohja Kahf’s books of poetry are Hagar Poems and E-mails from Scheherazad. She is the author of a novel, The Girl in the Tangerine Scarf. Kahf, who teaches at the University of Arkansas, has a manuscript of essays on Syria and two poetry manuscripts ready for publication.

Zahra Noorbakhsh


March 7–10, 2018
Tampa, FL

Tampa Convention Center & Marriott Tampa Waterside