Talker: Hatice Sari
This month we have a guest from Australia. She is not only a lawyer, but a novel writer who is writing about Muslim girls life. She has a 7 novels that`s published. We talked with Randa Abdel-Fattah about her books, Turks in her novels and her writing life.
First of all can you tell me about yourself please?
I was born in Sydney in 1979. I`m a Muslim of Palestinian and Egyptian heritage. I grew up in Melbourne and attended a Catholic primary school and Islamic secondary college where I obtained an InternationalBaccaularetate. I studied Arts/Law at Melbourne University during which time I was the Media Liaison Officer at the Islamic council of Victoria, a role which afforded my the opportunity to write for newspapers and engage with media institutions.
What is the reaction of your readers about your books? Mostly "does my head look big in this?" I ask this because in Turkey, after our first interview I get a lot of email about how getting your books in Turkey. Its title is so interesting.
Wonderful responses. I have so much positive feedback from around the world. I am so blessed to have been able to connect with my readers.
How you research the girl`s life who wear hijab? In Turkey, there are a lot of writer who actually doesn`t wear scarf, but when they write a book about scarf, they wear hijab.
I wore it throughout my teenage years so I know exactly how it feels to be a teenager and wear it in public. I drew on my personal experiences.
My third question is about hijab problems in the world. You said there is no problem in Australia. Do you get any email or message about problems from all over the world?
There are problems in Australia in terms of being judged or harassed for wearing hijab because some people, who hate or fear Islam, unfortunately target Muslim women. Also, Muslim women who wear hijab are more likely to encounter discrimination and prejudice.
I want to learn that; after reading your books, do you have any message from your readers who want to wear hijab? In Turkey, as I said lots of people was interested in your books about this way.
My only message is to be true to yourself and make a decision based on your own convictions and relationship with Allah, and not out of pressure, or because it is a trend or cultural expectation perhaps. It has to be a personal decision based on conviction and free will. In that way, you will wear it with pride and dignity.
In your last book (no sex in the city) you write a Turkish woman. This is amazing for us from Australian wiev. How and why did you decide to choose to write a Turkish woman (in and with these women)?
Well, I grew up with Turkish friends at the Islamic school I attended and have always had a close association with the culture. My sister is also recently married to a Turkish man. I wanted to write a book about a Muslim girl but I did not want her to be Arab background. I just felt right to explore a Turkish girl`s experience.
How did you see Turkish Women?
Like all communities, there is a deeply rich and diverse range of personalities, life experiences. I have amazing, strong, principled, beautiful friends of Turkish background whom I admire and respect deeply.