Storyteller: Farhiya Samatar

Farhiya is a university student pursuing a BA in English Literature. When she’s not writing papers for classes, she writes her own novels. Farhiya is currently working on a YA contemporary based in Toronto’s large and vibrant Somali community. She can usually be found in the back of her lecture halls, sneaking words into her manuscript while her professors teach literary and cultural theory.

How will Muslim children see themselves in your stories?

“I envision Muslim children seeing themselves as worthy of the role of protagonist in my stories. Muslim children have seen the harmful representation of their religion in the media so often, and are consistently combating the idea that being a Muslim is oppressive. I envision them seeing themselves as joyous and free, and deserving to be the main character. Most of all, I want to inspire Muslim children to understand that they are allowed to be the protagonists outside of issue stories, whether that be thrillers, romance, or fantasy. There is endless diversity in our experiences as Muslims, and I want them to see that represented on their bookshelves.”

Farhiya Samatar

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The Highlights Foundation positively impacts children by amplifying the voices of storytellers who inform, educate, and inspire children to become their best selves.  Learn more about our impact.