As Co-Founder of the “I Speak for Myself” book series, Zahra has found a way to combine her love of writing with her desire to pursue projects that truly effect change. Volume 1 of the ISFM series, “I Speak for Myself: American Women on Being Muslim,” was released in May 2011 and was named #2 on HuffPo’s list, Best Religion Books of 2011. Volume 2, “All-American: 45 American Men on Being Muslim” was released in June 2012 and immediately received a coveted Starred Review from Publisher’s Weekly. The ISFM series continues to grow with a new volume coming out each year. Volumes 6 and 7, released in 2015, joined the series in sparking dialogue across the country and abroad as well.
Zahra’s articles have appeared in various publications including Patheos, Elan Magazine, AltMuslimah, and Feminist.com. In September 2012, Zahra was invited by the U.S. Department of State to travel to several cities in Thailand and Cambodia and speak to various communities there, in an effort to engage in cross-cultural dialogue and break down stereotypes about American Muslims. When she is not writing and editing, Zahra is also on the faculty at Elgin College, where she is a Professor of English.
Zahra obtained her Masters of Arts degree in English Literature from Loyola University Chicago. She has lived in Bangkok, Thailand and in Cairo, Egypt, and has negotiated her identity as a Muslim American woman in both the US and abroad. When she is not working, she can be found causing a ruckus with her husband, son, and daughter. If home is where the heart is, her home is firmly placed in their hands.