From poignant to comedic, a Syrian-American woman’s poetry is aimed at dismantling stereotypes of Islam.
Some of the topics of Mohja Kahf’s writings may surprise you.
“We just won’t spell it out, but there’s another fast that happens in Ramadan that no one ever talks about,” she says during a recent reading at the Houston Public Library’s downtown location. Kahf is referring to Muslim couples who practice celibacy during the holy month. The poem is titled, Ramadan Granny Panties.
She came to read her poetry for a small crowd as part of the program, Bridging Cultures: Poetic Voices of the Muslim World.
In a religion known to be very conservative, the Syrian-American pushes the envelope on issues some consider edgy and provocative. She says she’s anything but “old school” and represents the progressive end of her religion. She’d like to see more acceptance of female prayer leaders, or imams. “And of clearing the field for having LGBTQ-friendly communities and mosques and spaces,” she adds.
But not all of her writing is comedic. Many of Kahf’s works are centered around poignant issues such as the Syrian Revolution.