Program Committee Member: Narmeen Lakhani
Narmeen Lakhani is an Ismaili Muslim writer and educational media producer in the children’s media industry. Having begun her professional career in the international development sector, her creative work aims to show the value of a pluralistic world in which people of different faiths and cultures benefit from a multiplicity of narratives that are connected in their search for common truths. She is currently working on a middle-grade novel on the themes of identity and family. Learn more at http://www.narmeenlakhani.com.
“The sense of community with others here who share my vision for children’s literature is an integral opportunity to shape a better world through more narrative representation. Highlights have given me the courage to pursue an otherwise intimidating creative endeavour and continue to demonstrate both its confidence in and its unyielding commitment to my success as a Muslim storyteller.”
How will Muslim children see themselves in your stories?
“I hope that in addition to experiencing laughter and joy, which is a welcomed blessing in Islam, that children will see the world for all of its magnificent imperfections and recognize the support of friends, family, community, and faith on their journey to self-discovery. Inherent in my work are themes of social justice and pluralism, the pursuit of which are often difficult and take conscious effort, for both kids and grown-ups! I want readers to see themselves reflected in a 1400-year intellectual tradition that encourages us to actively engage with the societies in which we live, build bridges for peace, develop empathy for each other’s world views, and work together to achieve common goals for progress. To feel like a fish out of water and come to the ultimate realization that every fish is on its own journey to the same vast and unknown ocean, is a trademark narrative of the Middle-Grade genre, but which so effectively also represents the Islamic humility of our accountability to each other and the world in which we leave our mark as transient beings.”