I am from there. I am from here.
I am not there and I am not here.
I have two names, which meet and part,
and I have two languages.
I forget which of them I dream in.
– Mahmoud Darwish
Hello, salam! We are Mojdeh & Yasmina and we would like to welcome you to our little corner of the web. What follows is a little introduction of who we are, what we do and why we do it.
I was born in Iran and my name was picked right out of a poetry book. It wasn’t just a random poetry book, it is to this day one of the most important books Iranians own: the Hafez – written by Khwãja Shams-ud-Dîn Muhammad Hafez-e Shīrazī and considered the pinnacle of Persian literature. In Iran we turn to this book for advice and Hafez was thus also consulted for my name, which means ‘good news’. It was then probably not a surprise that literature became the passion that makes my heart beat faster. But literature is not the only passion I have. Feminism has become to be one of my main drives in life and I want to have more equality in the world. In my opinion, feminism approached from any other way than intersectional is not really feminism. This is then what you can expect from me on this blog: a critical view on books written by people in the margins, inclusive language use and feminist critique on society. I studied English literature together with Yasmina and my area of expertise includes identity, second-wave feminism, science fiction/speculative fiction and American culture.
Born to a Moroccan father and a Dutch mother, I have always considered identity as a fluid concept. Neither belonging here, nor there, I have learned to create a third culture: a perfect mix of both cultures, merging into the person I have chosen to become. I have a master’s degree in Literatures in English and a master’s degree in Education. In my day-to-day life I am a teacher of English and it comes to no surprise that devouring books is my favorite activity when I am not in front of a white board. I am passionate about equality, inclusivity, representation, female empowerment and education. I have a great interest in diaspora of all kinds of peoples and multicultural societies. You’re allowed to wake me up in the middle of the night for Spoken Word, Jane the Virgin, good music, tropical fruit flavored tea and an honest heart-to-heart. I hope you’ll enjoy our little, but genuinely important, corner of the internet. Don’t be afraid to contact us.
What do we do and why do we do it?
Our blog sheds lights on books written by marginalized groups, whether it’d be based on ethnicity, gender or sexuality. Ours is not a mere display of diverse books, but we aim to be as inclusive as possible when it comes to the correct representation of people living in the margins.
We have started this blog because we were looking for a space where we’d find ourselves represented, and failed. During our studies, we were presented with many books and poetry, yet did not relate to most of what we were offered. This does not mean that we did not love what we were being taught, but we found ourselves wanting more.
So here we are, creating a space for those who would like to see themselves represented. For those who are looking to broaden their horizon and perspective. This is for you, who did not see themselves represented in textbooks or required reading.
Yasmina & Mojdeh