How Islam Made Me a Feminist:
November 2013, TEDxWarwick
Picking two topics as polemical as Islam and Feminism was risky, I felt like I made myself open to attack from both Islamophobes and misogynists. I’ve had some terrible criticism but the response has also been staggeringly & overwhelming positive with strangers messaging me from all over the world telling me they were inspired and encouraged. The most empowering of them were other Muslim women who told me it gave them strength. I’ve always averred that I never want to speak for someone but hearing that women in similar situations identified made me feel like I was doing something right.
March 2014, TEDxWarwick
I delivered the second talk at the TEDxWarwick main event to an audience of 1200 people, most of them fellow Warwick students. The other speakers were incredible, some of the world’s heavyweights and it took me a while to feel like I’d earned the opportunity to be there. The speech itself is about immigration, identity and a homeland and its links to poetry and many people approached me afterwards to say it resonated with them – a humbling thing to hear. I guess the subject was all the more pertinent in our globalised world. When I got home the day after the conference my mum had bought me a sign that said ‘It’s not easy being the queen of everything’ and put it on my mirror. I guess that was her way of telling me she was proud.