Author of Canada Reads 2020 winner We Have Always Been Here, defended by Amanda Brugel
About Samra Habib
Samra Habib is a journalist and photographer based in Toronto whose work has been featured in publications like the New York Times, the Guardian, the Washington Post and Vanity Fair. Her first book, We Have Always Been Here, is a memoir about her childhood in Pakistan, arriving in Canada as a refugee and coming out as a proud queer Muslim woman. Habib is also the creator of the photo documentary project Just Me and Allah, in which she travelled the world to document the diverse stories of LGBTQIA Muslims.
CBC Books named Habib a writer to watch in 2019.
- Why Samra Habib wrote a memoir about growing up as a queer Muslim woman
- 19 Canadian writers to watch in 2019
"I saw a lot of benefit in being honest about my experience. I think there's a lack of queer Muslim narratives and one of the reasons could be that many fear persecution. It's not safe to be an openly queer Muslim person in a lot of different parts of the world, but I don't have to fear. I think I am relatively safe and I thought, 'OK, I can do this without risking a lot.'
It was while writing the book that I realized that, even when it came to embracing the fact that I'm queer, I was hiding for a long time.- Samra Habib
"It was while writing the book that I realized that, even when it came to embracing the fact that I'm queer, I was hiding for a long time. I was staying in these relationships with straight men or not sharing who I was with people who I was close to. I was still hiding, even though I didn't need to hide anymore. What I'm left with now is the question: What are some of the other things in my life I'm still hiding?"
Interviews with Samra Habib
- Alayna Fender defending Small Game Hunting at the Local Coward Gun Club by Megan Gail Coles
- Akil Augustine defending Radicalized by Cory Doctorow
- Amanda Brugel defending We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib
- Kaniehtiio Horn defending Son of a Trickster by Eden Robinson
- George Canyon defending From the Ashes by Jesse Thistle