Deeply disturbed by the 2007 murder of teenager Aqsa Parvez, I recognized that young Muslim women needed safer spaces to connect. I was one of the co-founding members of the award winning grassroots arts collective AQSAzine in 2007. AQSAzine provided opportunities for young Muslims to express themselves through writing, art and design. For four years we the collective published four issues of an internationally-distributed magazine celebrating Muslim women and trans people’s writing and art.
I’m an avid lover of illustration and writing, so in 2011 I wrote a mini comic Zuby with illustrator Somya Singh. From this collaboration I co-developed Heartbeats: The IZZAT Project with Roxanna Vahed. This expressive arts project worked with young South Asian women to challenge how “izzat” or “honour” has been used to rationalize violence against them. Throughout 2012, I co-facilitated workshops and collectively wrote six stories with young South Asian women which were illustrated by artist Somya Singh and Selena Wong into a graphic novella. The comic book Heartbeats: The IZZAT Project was launched at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Dec 2012. The book has been internationally distributed and is being used in educational settings in Canada and the United States. Throughout 2014-2015 we went on tour with the comic and short play throughout North America with the Tahirih Justice Centre “Honoring Our Heartbeats: A Tour To End Forced Marriage”.
Currently I am working on a stop motion video short “ Five Things”.