One Voice: Wajahat Ali

One Voice: Wajahat Ali

"As a Muslim American writer of Pakistani descent, I've tried to encapsulate the tensions and divides that exist within the community but are rarely aired…"

Wajahat Ali
Fremont, CA
Islam

I am the author of The Domestic Crusaders, one of the first major American Muslim plays which is premiering in New York on 9-11-09. Undoubtedly, the "Muslim world" is a wonderfully diverse and endlessly fascinating network of communities with a myriad of unique stories divided at times by race, language, politics, and geography but united by faith.

In recent times, Muslims have emerged as an "exotic" community that is often discussed but rarely been given the "conch" to speak in our own voices about our own experiences. As a Muslim American writer of Pakistani descent, I've tried to encapsulate the tensions and divides that exist within the community but are rarely aired — either due to hesitation by those who fear "airing dirty laundry" or a media that has not afforded them opportunities to speak outside of sensationalist stories focusing on terrorism or the burqa.

It has been a herculean and rewarding effort to stage one of the first major Muslim American plays. I'd love to talk about our experience and the new wave of Muslim American art that is enriching our culture with trailblazing contributions to theater, art, cinema, novels, and spoken word.

About the Project

"The Muslim world" is a phrase that lumps together a complex and diverse group of people and cultures, but one that rarely humanizes the personal and cultural expressions of Muslim identity. On Being’s First Person initiative is an attempt to better understand adherents of the faith by asking each individual to share his or her perspective of what it means to be a Muslim living in the 21st century.

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