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Samina Ali: Muslim Women and Digital Activism

Wednesday February 17, 2016


Agnes Arnold Auditorium 2

Co-Sponsored by: Center for Public History, and Abdel Razzaq Takriti, Arab-American Educational Foundation Chair in Modern Arab History

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Samina Ali

Samina Ali is an American Muslim author who was born in India. For over a decade, Samina has worked on diverse projects with the aim of promoting gender justice.

Her critically acclaimed novel, MADRAS ON RAINY DAYS, is about a young, Muslim woman trapped between American and Islamic expectations. It received the Best First Novel Award (Prix du Premier Roman Etranger Award) from France and was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award in Fiction. Poets & Writers Magazine named MADRAS Best Debut Novel.

Samina went on to curate an internationally acclaimed art exhibition for the International Museum of Women (now part of Global Fund forWomen), Muslima:Muslim Women's Art & Voices. The revolutionary exhibition showcases Muslim women from around the world: from the first Muslim woman to receive the Nobel Peace Prize and the first American Muslim woman to translate the Qur’an into English, to graffiti artists involved in the Arab Springs and provocative young ‘zine creators.

Samina has worked with the State Department to help build bridges in certain European countries with their Muslim populations. In the U.S., she led a peaceful five-woman march into a mosque to demand women's equal treatment in the prayer space -- which was granted later that same year as a result of her activism.

Samina has been featured in a diverse range of media, including The Economist, The Guardian, The Sunday Guardian, Huffington Post, and Vogue Magazine, as well as Voice of America and several times on NPR. She is a blogger for the Huffington Post and Daily Beast.

She lives in San Francisco with her family.