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I Speak for Myself: American Women on Being Muslim (I Speak for Myself)

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  207 Ratings  ·  36 Reviews
Muslim American women are the subject of endless discussions regarding their role in society, their veils as symbols of oppression or of freedom, their identity, their patriotism, their womanhood. Yet the voices and life experiences of Muslim American women themselves are rarely heard in the loud rhetoric surrounding the question of Muslims in America. Finally, in I Speak ...more
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Published April 1st 2011 by White Cloud Press
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Jun 23, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I feel like this is a really important book, and I am glad that I read it. This is a collection of 40 essays written by American women who are Muslim and under the age of 40. The editors did an excellent job of selecting a wide diversity of women who are inspiring and courageous yet not so far removed from the everyday life of you and me. Many of these women are my contemporaries, and I vacillated between feeling camaraderie and awe... and jealousy for the impressive accomplishments that these e ...more
Jennifer Jacobs
Sep 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: islam, my-reviews
I loved this book!
This is a comprehensive volume which encompasses a wide spectrum of Muslim American women and their lives.
Due to terrorism in the name of this religion,Islamophobia has become a major problem and is a legitimate concern all over the world.I never support any Islamist causes like Gaza/Palestine or Kashmir,but stigmatization of 1.6 billion people who follow Islam is atrocious and should be called out!

Women bore the maximum brunt of this.Many who claim to 'free' Muslim women from
Anisa Ali
Jun 26, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a fellow American Muslim woman, I had been wanting to read this book for quite some time. I'm glad I finally did, as I can very easily relate to many of the personal anecdotes given by the numerous contributors. As the title suggests, each woman describes a little bit about what it meant for her to be a Muslim woman raised in the US. Each account is unique and meaningful in its own way, although I could see how it may seem a little redundant to readers who may not be able to personally relate ...more
Chris Aylott
Dec 12, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first of two books collecting short essays about being Muslim; the second one is about men and I ended up reading that first. As a result, one of the things that stood out to me were the differences in subject and style.

The women's essays feel more personal, more focused on the practice of faith and the women's individual relationships with God. The men seemed more concerned with social issues and and the more communal aspects of Islam. That wasn't always the case, of course, but it did see
Bree Riley
I appreciate that they included stories from a variety of women but I wish they had included a few less and allowed each woman to write a longer piece. Each piece was around 4 or 5 pages and a lot of them touched on very similar ideas -- such as struggling to make sense of their dual identities. Because of this the book began to feel a bit repetitive. ...Think I'll have to find a book that goes into more depth about Islam & how people have incorporated their Muslim traditions into American l ...more
This book offers a nice array of voices, from liberal to conservative Muslims. Maybe even some progressives, though at least one author who seemed progressive explicitly disavowed that label (as well as the label "feminist"). I especially liked the few pieces that did discuss feminism, especially one by a woman I would have assumed to be conservative had I met her on the street. The best of the essays were those that don't explicitly tackle identity issues, because that topic got redundant after ...more
Kay Mcgriff
Feb 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I first learned of this book when one of the contributors spoke to the youth Sunday School class I teach. She shared with us what it is like to grow up Muslim in America and answered questions from our teens. After hearing her speak, I wanted to know more and downloaded the book to my Kindle.

Forty American women tell their stories in brief essays. Many of them share similar themes: being caught between two cultures, learning to claim their faith as their own, deciding whether or not to express t
If I could do half stars, I'd probably give this 3.5. 3 seems kind of low, but 4 just felt too high. The thing is, overall I liked reading the words of all these amazing, smart, interesting women and learning about all the various paths they've walked as American Muslims. But I really feel like the editors overshot a bit, and that the book as a whole would have greatly benefited from fewer essays of longer length. Most of the pieces are quite short and read more like blog posts, which is fine, b ...more
Enjoyed this book but wanted more depth. The pieces were all so short that it was hard to remember which piece I was reading (who the narrator was, where she was from, etc.). I can imagine using one of these pieces in an educational context (e.g. to teach people about Islam from the perspective of American Muslim women), but otherwise, because of the brevity, there were only a few pieces that really touched me at a heart level.

As a side note, the subtitle would be more accurate if it were "Young
Jun 10, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Definitely a quick and easy read with quite a few interesting stories about very accomplished Muslim women (seriously, I felt like I needed to find a cure for cancer or something after reading some the introduction blurbs for the various authors). However, some of the stories did seem to focus on the same theme of "identity/culture crisis" and of being caught "between two worlds." I got a little tired of reading about that theme since it seemed to pop up multiple times in a lot of the stories. O ...more
Rawa S.
Apr 13, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not sure if it's because this is the first time I've come across such a book, but I was very much excited while reading it - the forty American Muslim women each inspired me, as they explained their journeys through Islam and the intersections between being American, Muslim, and in most cases, of a Arab or South Asian background.
I'd give this book five stars, if the narratives had been slightly longer. It felt as though each one was abrupt in some way, finishing too soon after it started.
I r
Jun 09, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: islamic, memoir
This book was got a little redundent though....there were 40 women telling their stories of what it's like to be a Muslim American, but I could boil it down simply: they struggled with their identity, they struggled with whether or not to wear hijab, and they struggeled with their faith. I think it would've been better had it been fewer women and those they had included went into more detail about their lives.
Sandy H
An excellent collection of essays to help one understand what it means to navigate American culture as a Muslim and as a woman, and navigate Muslim culture as an American and a woman, and navigate womanhood as a Muslim and an American. I thoroughly enjoyed this book--certain phrases and storied experiences will stick with me for a long time.
May 17, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I gave this 4 stars due to it being written by the women themselves.

I find the book uneven but the writers were allowed to write about whatever they wanted, some essays are much stronger and coherent than others as a result.

All of the essays were interesting and the perspective is one I don't know/hear much about.
Deni Aria
Dec 29, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is really a compelling book which I have come to realize about getting real freedom in the freedom and democratic country such as United State is not that too easy for Muslim and Women & Arab, it is really an uphill battle to stand up for the true identity in order to survive. A very thorough collection of the ambassador for Islam in America !
Cristina Garcia
Jun 29, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read_in_2011
This book was an enjoyable read. These women's stories inspire me to go after my own dreams and pursue my beliefs with all I have. I definitely recommend this book to anyone interested in the Muslim woman's experience.
ayesha Akhtar
Basic, introductory level of Muslim American women living normal lives. I found most of the essays to be short, end abruptly, with no point. If there were half the number of essays, and they were longer, I would be more intrigued.
Oct 02, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Awesome stories of women telling how they connect and reconnect to their Muslim religion as American citizens. I'm not Muslim, but I checked it out because it was part of a Muslim poetry display at my public library and this title stood out to me.
Apr 01, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
The book was very interesting because it shows Muslim women doing amazing things in America. However after getting one fourth of the way into it I was getting tired of reading "I'm Muslim, I'm awesome and it was hard for me to integrate." A bit repetitive.
Sep 30, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
Absolutely wonderful!
This collection of narratives is compiled of first-hand account of experiences dealing with personal, cultural and societal issues that Muslim women of America deal with. This book was easy to follow, and difficult to put down as soon as started.
Quite possibly one of the best books I've read yet -- Really opened my mind about the diversity of Muslim women in America. Highly recommended.
May 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Must read for today's environment
Feb 06, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book showed the diversity of Muslim women very well but half way through the book I felt the stories were redundant in theme and a became uninteresting.
May 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting with common themes among our Muslim sisters and with us. It just is a variation on the same themes
Havah Shah
Jan 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Really enjoyed this book, bought it because a friend of mine wrote a story in here... Was sad when it was over. Hope a sequel is put out, I would read it
Jun 01, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent book, representing an impressive array of perspectives and identities. Very enlightening and challenging, as well as inspiring.
Good concept to have stories told by American Muslim women, but the stories were somewhat repetitive due to a high number of storytellers from the same background. There weren't many from African or South Asian (outside of India) descent and all were heteronormative and young perspectives. While important to give space for these stories to be heard, am interested in hearing those other voices within the Muslim community as well.
Koleksi American Corner UGM
Maria M. Ebrahimji and Zarah T. Suratwala, I Speak for Myself. (United States of America: White Cloud Press, 2011).

Judul : I Speak for Myself

Penulis/Editor : Maria M. Ebrahimji, Zarah T. Suratwala

Ringkasan : Buku ini merangkum tentang kisah-kisah para wanita Muslim yang hidup di tengah masyarakat Amerika, memuat empat puluh kisah personal yang mereka alami dalam menjalankan ritual keagamaan atau dalam sekadar menjadi seorang wanita Muslim di masyarakat yang didominasi oleh non-Muslim.

Daftar Isi
Bookshelves and airwaves are full of voices that describe Islam as a monolithic religion, and Muslims as a homogenous body. This could not be further from the truth. Muslims are an extremely diverse worldwide religious group, and in the U.S. that diversity is especially pronounced. When we overlook diversity, we render invisible our fellow humans. With the book I Speak for Myself: American women on being Muslim, White Cloud Press highlights and lifts up the voices of individual, diverse Muslim w ...more
Nov 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Amazing read. Each piece was beautifully written, which is unsurprising given the extremely high levels of education attained by each contributor (I'm not kidding, many skipped grades, graduating from college incredibly early in life before moving on to PhDs and all that).

Basically, a great way to look at a portion of the Muslim community in a context controlled by Muslim women. The mass media doesn't usually offer such a perspective; take advantage of it where you can!

I'm totally willing to le
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