Take me home yaqay

Teaching my Mother how to give Birth by Mojdeh Feili Yaqay – Somali word used to emphasize emotion/urgency in speech. Such a beautiful word that describes how I felt reading through the chapbook of Warsan Shire, called Teaching My Mother How to Give Birth. She was born in Kenia, to Somali parents, and lives in London. I am amazed by her poetry, even more so than Rupi Kaur‘s. Shire brings new meaning to the phrase ‘bearing your soul’. Yasmina gave me this book for my birthday a couple of months ago and I had not picked it up yet. Of course, I already … Continue reading Take me home yaqay

Bookstore magic: De Nieuwe Boekhandel

De Nieuwe Boekhandel By Mojdeh Feili & Yasmina El Hilali We have our little routines. Whenever we meet, we usually decide for endless conversation over a cup of coffee or tea at our local coffee franchise Bagels & Beans. However, our meetups are never complete if we do not end our day with a visit to our favorite bookstore that is just down the street: De Nieuwe Boekhandel. As a kid, libraries were my favorite place to play hide and seek: this usually meant I disappeared between the racks of books and left my mother searching for me. When the … Continue reading Bookstore magic: De Nieuwe Boekhandel

Suitcase of Wonders

    Suitcase of Wonders by Yasmina El Hilali & Mojdeh Feili We haven’t posted in a while, and one of the reasons is that we are both busy. Yasmina is a superhero by day (read: teacher) and Mojdeh handed in her thesis finally (she’ll gladly send you a copy in the hope someone reads it other than her supervisor). However, that is not the only reason. We both have many ideas and we want to develop them the right way. Today we finally found a day we could both spend some good time on it -and finally see each … Continue reading Suitcase of Wonders

Exit West

Exit West by Mojdeh Feili I don’t judge a book by its cover, but I do form a preset opinion on whether I want to read it by reading the back cover. As always, I went into the American Book Centre in Amsterdam just to have a look because I had some time to kill. However, these kinds of ‘looks’ never end with walking out of the store and NOT buying anything. I came across Exit West and thought, hmm, let’s see. I read the back cover of this edition and thought: Ugh, a love story? Thanks, but no thanks! … Continue reading Exit West

A Thousand Splendid Suns

A Thousand Splendid Suns by Yasmina El Hilali “One could not count the moons that shimmer on her roofs, Or the thousand splendid suns that hide behind her walls.” When I was a fourteen-year-old wide-eyed kid, I hadn’t yet heard of the empowering and bold Jane Eyre. Living everyday life between the confines of my home, high school and the library, I was searching for a sense of identity. It would take a while before I’d find it. On the shelves of the local library, I stumbled upon Hosseini’s A Thousand Splendid Suns. And long before I would know miss … Continue reading A Thousand Splendid Suns

Between the World and Me / The Beautiful Struggle

Between the World and Me / The Beautiful Struggle by Yasmina El Hilali “And then he was swinging away, channeling a chi ancient as Equiano. The power was passed down from mothers guarding their sons from the lash, and later from the pyre, rope, fat sheriff. My father swung with the power of an army  of slaves in revolt. He swung like he was afraid like the world was closing in on him, like was trying to save my life” In my last year of university, I was looking for a thesis topic when my professor suggested I look into … Continue reading Between the World and Me / The Beautiful Struggle

Rupi Kaur’s poetry

Rupi Kaur’s poetry by Mojdeh Feili My introduction to Rupi Kaur’s work was through her first poetry collection called milk and honey. I had heard several people mention it and had no idea what to expect. I ordered the book because it was on sale, thinking I could give it a chance. Soon, I fell in love with her poetry. First, let me tell you a little bit about Rupi Kaur herself. She was born in Punjab, India and moved to Canada with her family when she was only four years old. She published milk and honey by means of … Continue reading Rupi Kaur’s poetry