As a young girl, published author Rahma Mohamed moved with her family from Somalia to Canada where she struggled with learning a new language but eventually tackled it and became an avid reader, writer and today, a published author, publisher and a TedEx speaker. Her mission? “Normalizing Black Muslim Stories.” Read how:
R. I have to begin by asking, “normalizing Black Muslim stories” is right under your name on Instagram! Tell me more! I also understand you have two published books, “Little Brother for Sale” and “Muhiima’s Quest?”
Ra. When I say “normalizing Black Muslim stories,” I mean I want them to be so common that it won’t feel like it’s part of a “diverse literature effort.” As a Black Muslim woman, I am a minority within a minority, and with that intersection comes unique struggles that need to be vocalized and shared. I make it a mission to normalize our stories and our unique perspective on current events or just showcase our everyday life. Being Black and Muslim isn’t always about my skin color or faith; sometimes, it’s just me as a mother, sister, friend, neighbor, and person. I want our stories to be part of mainstream media and books in such a way that our children don’t need to point out in amazement there is a Black Muslim character present.
R. It’s inspiring that you want to help fellow writers reach their full writing potentials. How can you help writers “own their narrative” as you say?
Ra. Shortly after publishing my two books, “Muhiimas Quest” (2017) and “Little Brother for Sale” (2018), I began to receive many questions about self-publishing, marketing and just writing. This year, I decided to help other authors start their journey in self-publishing. I want to empower aspiring authors to write and publish high-quality books that will be part of their legacy. For further details, please see my IG page:@Selfpublishlegacy
R. Who is Rahma? If I were to ask someone how to describe you in three adjectives, what would they be and why? Also, is there a little bit of Rahma in each of your books?
Ra. I hope people would describe me as someone who is not afraid to chase her dreams, someone who is determined and resilient. I believe, as an author, there is always a piece of us in each story. Writing is so intimate and requires so much energy that I don’t see how a part of you could not seep into the story. As for me, both Muhiima’s and Asma’s stories could have been me at their age. Stories about my heritage, faith, community, family, and all through the lens of these beautiful Black Muslim determined little girls.
R. How can we purchase your books and follow your journey?
Follow me on Instagram @rahmarodaah
Ra. To purchase my books, please visit my website:
R. When did you first become interested in writing?
Ra. I believe I always loved writing; as a young student, I excelled in writing assignments and always wrote more than necessary. Even while reading, I would admire beautiful written phrases or metaphors. I wrote poems and little sayings everywhere in my notebooks. In short, reading and writing have always been near and dear to my heart.