“Coming to middle America as a woman who had spent eleven years on the East Coast of America but also fifteen years living in Pakistan, the divides were more obvious to me.” -Bina Shah, Pakistani writer
“In Pakistan, as well as in Egypt and other countries like the UAE and Saudi Arabia, the government faces the same kind of debate in a society that has grown ever more aware of its collective voice, and ever more eager to use it.”
Some of us choose to write things that may only offend family members, because we believe our blood ties will save us from their retribution. Others choose to take the risk of provoking religious extremists because they believe the risk is worth it.
Instead of zones based on Muslims and non-Muslims, Muslim communities have no-go zones for women. These no-go zones have existed for much longer and been much more accepted than the fictitious no-go zones of Paris or Birmingham.
Muslim leaders all over North America have been vocal about their condemnation of extremism. But all the condemnation, disavowals, and apologies seem to be disappearing into thin air, heard and witnessed by nobody.
Sampsonia Way is an online magazine sponsored by City of Asylum/Pittsburgh that seeks to protect and advocate for writers who may be endangered, to educate the public about threats to writers and literary expression, and to create a community in which endangered writers thrive and literary culture is a valued part of life.