Perfuming the dead

‘Have you ever lost somebody before?’ he says to me. My nine-year-old cousin, with crossed legs and gel in his hair, has a solemn look on his face as he talks to me about grief. Little Sofia, otherwise known as Choppy, is less conscious of this weight when she asks me ‘why is people dead... Continue Reading →

The Maanu Diaries: mosque moments

Friday afternoons taste of biryani. Or at least, they used to. Without the constraints of a school timetable, ‘gap yah’ Fridays were for jummah prayers at my local mosque. They sell aluminium boxes filled with biryani outside, and my grandfather knows I like it, so he’d buy three tubs in a blue plastic bag and... Continue Reading →

Randomly Searching For Truth: reflections from across the pond

The disembodied lady makes an announcement. ‘Passengers on the BA 292 flight to Baltimore, please make your way to the boarding gate.' 

I've come with my most non-threatening scarf, pale pink with paisley print. It's not good enough. 'Irfan' is announced on the loudspeaker. I feel special. The disembodied voice knows who I am...

Why I don’t need ‘empowering’

So, my school slapped my face onto a marketing poster. It's a (mostly) candid photo of me studying outside with my earphones in, head down, rocking a peach headscarf that just screams 'we have diversity!' My initial reaction was naturally your typical teenage-girly embarrassment, before alarm bells went off in my head, as I noticed... Continue Reading →

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