Khanversations

Rukhsana’s thoughts on her journey of life, writing and sometimes—when she dares—a bit of politics.
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Impact…

Some times you’re so busy just trying to write the next book that you forget that your work is out there in the world. Someone might be reading it even as I’m writing this and it’s having an impact. Insha Allah it’s having an impact. It’s not like I haven’t received fan mail over the […]

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“I’ll forgive you Donald Trump…”

“…if you forgive me ISIS.” This is a sentence I wrote to a friend of mine Brent Olsen (a former pig farmer) who writes a fabulous column called Independently Speaking. I’ve known him for decades. After reading his Christmas and New Year columns, I felt a lot more hopeful! That’s what Brent does. He can […]

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“Wanting to have written”

I read an interesting article about the creative process recently. I’m always curious about other people’s processes, comparing them to my own, trying to imagine how they came up with an idea and then how they developed it so the story was properly executed. So I came across this article written by a person charging […]

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When the kids surprise you…

I really wasn’t planning on blogging again about the Downsview Public Library residency, but after what happened yesterday, the last day of the residency, I simply can’t resist. I did the last two workshops with the kids yesterday. At 1 pm, we did the writing workshop. I’d begun with an imaginative scenario that the kids […]

It’s the last week of the residency…

And I’m already feeling nostalgic. I’ve come to know so many of the people, the kids, the teens, the adults, the seniors. In each program there are a few people that have really stood out! I look at the progress I’ve seen in the teenagers from the time they first started the public speaking program. […]

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What a week!

I had been dreading this week! Six days, non-stop. Not easy. I’m still processing it. On Monday I visited a small town outside Toronto. No Muslims in the school that I could see, only one or two brown kids! Part of me wondered if they’d cancel, considering the devastating attacks in Paris the Friday before. […]

Last week I did two out of town trips in one week! I shouldn’t be surprised that I got sick, sick, sick, as a dog! The first trip was down to Windsor, to one of my favorite schools: Al Hijra Academy. I tried something new, did a workshop on my new book with Pearson Educational […]

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It’s just amazing!

When you see the light go on in the eyes of someone whom you’ve been guiding along on a process! Today I feel like I had not one, but two breakthroughs! One of my sessions at Downsview Public library is attended by one boy mostly, who’s been coming pretty darn regularly. When he first began […]

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Assessing engagement…

I guess I have to change the way I measure how engaged the kids are when I’m storytelling or presenting. I’ve always looked at how much they move. If I can hold them completely spellbound, where they forget to even move, so they all start stretching when the last word is said, then I thought […]

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Mid-residency…

Time flies when you’re really busy! And having fun! The second statement, the ‘fun’ one, I’m not so sure about right now. You know how when things are so intense, you’re just trying to keep everything straight, that you can’t really know if you’re actually having ‘fun’ or not. Well that’s where I’m at right […]

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