Tales present extra than simply leisure. They current an openness to assist individuals perceive the world and perceive the individuals and locations which are totally different from their world. Therein lies the worth of studying for kids. Kids might uncover that they’ve extra in widespread with others than they ever imagined. And that was a part of the aim of launching Salaam Reads, the primary version devoted to completely that includes Muslim characters and tales.

The imprint, celebrating 5 years within the Simon & Schuster household, had two functions. One was to “sow seeds of empathy” in non-Muslim readers. The opposite equally or maybe extra essential goal was to supply Muslim kids the prospect to see themselves mirrored in literature, one thing hardly ever supplied to younger individuals.

“To my data, this was the primary version from a serious writer to concentrate on cheerful, constructive, and various portrayals of Muslim characters and tales,” says Deeba Zargarpur, editor-in-chief of Simon & Schuster. “I nonetheless bear in mind the announcement in 2016 when Editor-in-Chief Zareen Jaffery and Writer Justin Chanda launched the imprint. Seeing the imprint come to life impressed me to pursue a profession in publishing.

Books revealed through the 5 years of Salaam Reads have bought 1 million copies. This yr, the publishing home is releasing seven titles, together with the not too long ago launched one by SK Ali Love from Mecca to Medinaa sequel to his vastly standard 2019 younger grownup romance Love from A to Z. Ali enjoys the liberty that Salaam Reads permits him to make his characters “be Muslim in an unfiltered manner.”

She explains, “By unfiltered, I imply not responding to an outdoor gaze that expects Muslims to be ‘x, y and z’ as a result of standard perceptions based mostly on media constructs exterior of our communities. And it is precisely what I’ve heard from Muslim readers and critics: that they will count on actually genuine storytelling for our communities (I ought to point out right here, varied communities as a result of Muslims are essentially the most various spiritual group in North America) from Salaam Reads.

All this by inviting the whole lot readers, together with those that have by no means interacted with Muslims, whether or not in tales or in actual life, in keeping with the imaginative and prescient of the imprint’s founder, Zareen Jaffery.

Salaam Reads books cowl totally different genres and totally different age ranges. Hena Khan writes the Zara guidelines sequence, about an lively Muslim woman who loves journey. Readers find out about his religion organically by way of his interactions together with his household, together with his grandparents, and thru his every day actions.

“Zara’s Muslim id is simply one of many many issues that make her who she is and which is woven all through historical past, alongside together with her Pakistani heritage,” notes Khan. “It isn’t one thing she has to wrestle with, however like so many kids, it is an essential and constructive facet of her life and her household.”

Salaam Reads additionally publishes non-fiction books. Linda Sarsour, one of many co-founders of the Ladies’s March, has revealed an adaptation of her memoir (We aren’t right here to be spectators) for teenagers. We’re in the identical boat focuses on her childhood and younger grownup experiences that led Sarsour to turn into a widely known activist who advocates for politics and laws.

She needed to put in writing for the imprint as a result of it concentrates Muslim voices. She believes that visibility stays important for the group.

“Because the horrific assaults of 9/11, Muslim Individuals have skilled an alarming improve in hate crimes and incidents of bias, and sadly, it nonetheless exists right now. These incidents escalated once more after the Trump presidency, the place essentially the most highly effective man of the period engaged in blatant anti-Muslim sentiment and infrequently translated it into coverage corresponding to banning Muslims” , stated Sarsour. She knew she needed to share her story with younger readers.

“For my group, particularly younger Muslim ladies who put on the hijab, it was inspiring and instilled in them braveness to see a lady sporting the hijab combat loudly and proudly on their behalf. Even by way of all of the hate and the threats I acquired, I nonetheless moved ahead as a result of I knew that the little Muslim ladies of the nation and the world have been watching me, and so they wanted me to be courageous in order that they could possibly be courageous.

Zargarpur hopes that as Salaam Reads continues, the varied character portrayals will assist extra individuals see that the Muslim group just isn’t a monolith. Salaam Reads is a starting however not an finish.

“There is no such thing as a lived Muslim expertise,” she says. “We’re a fantastically various group, and that must be mirrored within the literature revealed by and about us. Whereas it has been encouraging to see a rise in Muslim illustration throughout all editors, there’s all the time extra work to be completed, and as an editor I’m all the time striving for our listing to extra totally mirror the unbelievable number of what being a Muslim can imply.”

Supply : https://www.forbes.com/websites/tonifitzgerald/2022/11/23/for-salaam-reads-publishing-muslim-stories-for-five-years-and-counting/

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