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A Conversation about Love: Queer & Straight Muslims Talk about Love & Dating

December 9, 2016 @ 4:00 pm - 6:00 pm

The co-editors of Love, InshAllah and Salaam, Love will join a panel of contributors to and readers of these groundbreaking essay collections in a university-wide conversation about love, sex, and intimacy.  Stay after the event for a reception with the speakers, where copies of the book will be available for purchase.

Speakers will include:

  • John Austin is African American/Japanese American. He converted to Islam fifteen years ago. He is a graduate of George Mason University and runs a small interactive design company in the Washington, DC, area. When not designing, he writes fiction and essays. “Planet Zero,” his contribution to Salaam, Love, is his first foray into nonfiction.
  • Ayah Eldosougi ’16 is a Sudanese Jamaican American student in Columbia’s School of General Studies class of 2017 studying Human Rights. She is the Community Outreach Chair for the Muslim Student Association (MSA) as well as a co-President of Project Naas, MSA’s subcommittee dedicated to social justice and community outreach and a member of MSA’s Muslim Protagonist Literary Symposium planning committee. Ayah is also co-president of Columbia University Students for Human Rights as well a Peer Advocate in the Sexual Violence Response Office. Beyond the classroom, poetry, spoken word, and open mics are among her favorite hobbies.
  • Ayesha Mattu is a writer and co-editor of two groundbreaking anthologies – Love, InshAllah and Salaam, Love – featured by global media from the New York Times to the Jakarta Post. She was selected a ‘Muslim Leader of Tomorrow’ by the UN Alliance of Civilizations & and has served on the boards of IDEX, the Women’s Funding Network, and World Pulse. Ayesha is an alumna of VONA/Voices writers’ workshop and a member of the San Francisco Writers’ Grotto. Her work was most recently anthologized in Good Girls Marry Doctors, which was selected by Entropy as one of the best books of 2016.
  • Nura Maznavi, co-editor of Love, InshAllah and Salaam, Love, is an attorney, writer, and Fulbright Scholar. She has worked with migrant workers in Sri Lanka, on behalf of prisoners in California, and with a national legal advocacy organization leading a program to end racial and religious profiling. She lives in Chicago.
  • Haroon Moghul’s 2006 novel, The Order of Light, tells the story of a young Egyptian who lights himself on fire and sparks a wave of Middle Eastern revolutions. Haroon has been published at CNN, Time, Washington Post, and Haaretz. His memoir, How to be a Muslim: An American Story, will be released in June 2017. Haroon is a Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Policy and the Muslim Leadership Initiative Facilitator at the Shalom Hartman Institute. He is a graduate of Columbia University.
  • Yusef Ramelize is a New York City-based Activist and Graphic Designer who hold a BFA in Electronic Design & Multimedia and is currently pursuing a Masters in Strategic Communications at Columbia University. He is the founder of HomelessForOneWeek.com, an initiative he started to raise awareness about the homeless epidemic in NYC. In 2011 former Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer honored him with a proclamation as Artist and Activist against Homelessness. Born in Brooklyn he currently resides in the Bronx with his 10 month old daughter and wife of five years.
  • K. Soraya Batmanghelichi (moderator) is a women’s activist and feminist scholar. She is Post-Doctoral Research Scholar at IRCPL and an associate faculty member at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research.  She has lectured at Leiden University in the Netherlands and the W.E.B. DuBois Scholar’s Institute, held at Princeton University. In 2013, Soraya earned her PhD in Middle Eastern Studies from Columbia University, where she also completed two Master’s degrees in Human Rights and Middle Eastern Studies. Her research focuses on contemporary women’s movements, sexuality and gendered public space in the modern Middle East, and her recent publications on sexuality, government morality, cyberfeminism, and women’s activism in Iran can be found in the Journal of Anthropology of the Middle East, Gender and Sexualities within Muslim Cultures, and Feminist Media Histories Journal.

Copies of Love, InshAllah: The Secret Love Lives of American Muslim Women and Salaam, Love: American Muslim Men on Love, Sex, and Intimacy will be available for purchase at the event.

This event is co-sponsored by the Institute for Religion, Culture, and Public Life; the Institute for Women, Gender, and Sexuality; the Middle East Institute; the Affect Studies University Seminar; and the Muslim Students Association.

This event is the first in a series on aspects of Muslim sexualities.  This Spring 2017, we will continue with “Intimacies I: Sexuality in Contemporary Muslim Societies” and “Intimacies II: Exploring Queer Affects in Contemporary Muslim Societies.”


December 9, 2016
4:00 pm - 6:00 pm
Event Category:


Library, Italian Academy
1161 Amsterdam Ave
New York, NY 10027 United States
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