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Hope Ablaze – Sarah Mughal Rana

Jun/07/2024 / by Team Seema

In this dynamic debut, reminiscent of All My Rage and The Poet X, the plot dives into the life of a Muslim teen navigating her identity in post-9/11 America. Nida has long been recognized as Mamou Abdul-Hafeedh’s niece, destined to step into her uncle’s poetic shoes after his wrongful incarceration during the war on terror. Yet, for Nida, exposing herself to a world prone to stereotyping her faith and her hijab is not a viable option. The turning point occurs when Nida experiences an illegal frisking at a Democratic Senatorial candidate’s political rally. In response, she pens a searing poem about the politician, going viral just before Election Day. To her surprise, Nida discovers that her poem has claimed first place in a national contest she never entered, thrusting her quiet life into chaos. 

About the Author: Sarah Mughal Rana is an author and student who completed her bachelors with honors at the University of Toronto and is now at Oxford University, in Area Studies, working at the intersection of human rights and policy.

SEEMA’s View: Drawing from her personal experiences growing up in Wisconsin in the wake of 9/11, Rana presents a emotional narrative that resonates with the diaspora. She skillfully explores themes of identity, belonging, and resilience. The book includes elements of her own experiences into Nida’s journey, creating a narrative rich with authenticity and emotional depth.

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