CaseyTheCanadianLesbrarian's Reviews > We Have Always Been Here: A Queer Muslim Memoir

We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib
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An amazing memoir. Habib recounts her childhood as an Ahmadi Muslim in Pakistan, where her family had to hide to stay safe in the face of Islamic extremists and then how this pattern of hiding combined with sexism and homophobia followed her to Canada, where she felt forced to hide her femininity and queerness. Beautiful thoughts about art, activism, spirituality, and more. Passages about her finding her people, other queer Muslims, made me cry.

I think my only quibble is I wanted a little bit more in terms of character. A few people, like her siblings, felt too opaque, but perhaps she intentionally didn't write much about them.
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Reading Progress

June 14, 2019 – Shelved
June 14, 2019 – Shelved as: to-read
June 14, 2019 – Shelved as: poc-canlesbrarian
June 14, 2019 – Shelved as: canadian
June 14, 2019 – Shelved as: to-review-for-canlesbrarian
June 14, 2019 – Shelved as: nonfiction
June 14, 2019 – Shelved as: memoir-bio
June 14, 2019 – Shelved as: queer
June 14, 2019 – Shelved as: muslim
June 14, 2019 – Shelved as: religion
July 8, 2019 – Started Reading
July 8, 2019 – Shelved as: own
July 8, 2019 –
page 74
32.74% "Azaad is a funny word in Urdu. In most instances, it means 'freedom.' But when used to describe a woman, it implies she is too wild to be tamed by those who have the right: her parents & all the men whose honour it is her duty to prioritize before her desires. It's also used liberally to slut-shame & put down a woman who shows autonomy or independence.
One day I would wear the title of azaad like a badge of honour."
July 9, 2019 –
page 144
63.72% ""I wasn't quite ready for the girl bar yet. I was still processing the fact that I'd just come out to a stranger. I hurried off, as though recovering from a fall I hoped nobody had witnessed.""
July 11, 2019 –
page 169
74.78% "A black trans woman in her twenties got up from the floor to give a beautiful recitation of adhan, the call to prayer. I discreetly surveyed the room to see whether anyone else shared my emotional reaction to this powerful reclamation and profound queering of the traditional call to prayer. I tried to hold back my tears--for the first time I was witnessing a version of Islam I could be a part of."
July 11, 2019 – Finished Reading
July 12, 2019 – Shelved as: south-asian

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