Sunday, January 18, 2009

Lilith Magazine

Even though I am now a Muslim, I still receive one of my favorite women’s magazines from my “former life” before my reversion to Islam from Judaism, called Lilith.

Lilith, “independent, Jewish & frankly feminist,” reminds me of Azizah Magazine for Muslim women. Both magazines overflow with religious and secular nourishment for the Jewish and Muslim female soul.

I eagerly devour each issue of Lilith from cover to cover, savoring the articles, essays, poetry, fiction, and book reviews that touch an aspect of my ethnic Jewish character that will never change even though I am now a Muslim.

One of the book reviews in the winter 2008-09 (vol. 33, no. 4) issue jumped right off the page at me. In a section that unfolded “what young adult fiction talks about now,” a review of Does My Head Look Big in This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah was predominately featured among those of seven Jewish authors.

A review of a book written by a Muslim woman about the religious coming out of a Muslim-Palestinian teenager being included in a magazine for Jewish women?

In this political climate?


After I recovered from my initial astonishment, I thought to myself, Why not?

I spiraled into a daydream where I visualized a Jewish teenager, her interest piqued by the review, going to and ordering Randa Abdel-Fattah’s book. Like the Muslim teenager, Amal, in Does My Head Look Big in This?, perhaps the Jewish teenager also prayed for peace. Maybe she, like Amal, dreamed of the time when both Palestinians and Israelis would one day enjoy the same rights, freedom, and dignity.

There is so much hate coming from both sides at the current time. Jewish women may not understand how much they have in common with Muslim women. I think that all women want pretty much the same thing. Peace and security. A safe environment for their children. Thriving communities. Good neighbors.

Reading stories and magazines about each other, learning more about each other as women, sisters, mothers, daughters, aunts, grandmothers, wives - well, it may be a start, Insha Allah.

Lilith has once again succeeded in living up to its “independent, Jewish & frankly feminist” distinctiveness.

Mazal tov Lilith!


Yasemin said...

I really like the idea of this magazine Safiyyah. Even though I'm also not Jewish, I've always been really empowered by Jewish women who are so capable of realizing their dreams. I may just have to subscribe!

Anonymous said...

Assalaamu alaikum Safiyyah. Interesting post. I once watched a movie called "Arranged" about a Jewish woman and Muslim woman becoming friends. The title of the movie gave me the impression that it would be full of stereotypes, and although there were some, it suprisingly had many accurate truths to it.

BMW said...

Asaalamu Alaikum,

What a great post, MashAllah. When it comes down to it, you hit it on the nail, all women want the same things in life. I was thinking about this when I was reading your post. Since we live a time where a lot of Muslims are angry and hostile towards Jews, as a whole, do you ever feel personally attacked being both Muslim and heritage wise Jewish? :)

@ Iman- I saw Arranged and it was an excellent movie. It showed the similarities rather then dwelling on the differences. I enjoyed it.

- Ihssan

mezba said...

I have to read that book now... too many people are recommending it!