We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir

Viking. Jun. 2019. 240p. ISBN 9780735235007. pap. $18.95; ebk. ISBN 9780735235014. MEMOIR
In this poignant memoir, Habib (Just Me andAllah: A Queer Muslim Photo Project) relates her life as a young immigrant in Canada. At age ten, the author left Pakistan with her family to flee religious persecution. Raised as a devout Muslim, Habib learned painfully early how to navigate the social cruelties meted out by her peers. The bullying she experienced from her elementary school classmates resulted in feelings of loneliness and frustration. In high school, things started to turn around when Habib attended a more diverse school and met students with backgrounds similar to her own. However, as a young teenager, she discovered she had to accept an arranged marriage to her first cousin. It was only after this marriage that Habib realized that her sexual identity did not mesh with her parents’ plans. Ultimately, she broke free of the relationship and found her authentic self.
VERDICT Habib’s story will resonate with those who have faced similar challenges of finding their place in a culture different from their own. For all readers, it will illuminate the immigrant experience.

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