Our Ancestors Did Not Breathe This Air
By AFEEFAH KHAZI-SYED, ALEENA SHABBIR, AYSE ANGELA GUVENILIR, MAISHA MUNAWWARA PROME, MARIAM EMAN DOGAR & MARWA ABDULHAI
Paperback, 192 pages
Release Date: June 15, 2022
Six Muslim women. One poetry collection exploring family, identity, and homeland.
Our Ancestors Did Not Breathe This Air brings fresh voices of poignancy and a much-needed representation in modern poetry. From the scents of a bustling street market in India to the warmth of stories rooted in Venezuela to snippets of college days shared at MIT, the poetry in this book features an ache for grounds no longer walked upon. With a range of distinct styles and voices, the poets’ nuanced self-expression amounts to a piece that is both a prayer and a rebellion. Their words, introspective and reminiscing, witty and thoughtful, are an ode to that which makes them who they are and where they come from. Simultaneously, their voices are a rejection of dangerous stigmas, cultural taboos, and oppressive systems. In both verse and image, Our Ancestors Did Not Breathe This Air is a bold and unfiltered collection recounting moments, tears, and dreams that have been generations in the making. The poems in this collection are accompanied by full-color illustrations and photographs.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Afeefah Khazi-Syed, Aleena Shabbir, Ayse Guvenilir, Maisha M. Prome, Mariam Dogar, and Marwa Abdulhai met as undergrads at MIT, where they often wrote poetry in each others dorm rooms. Now, they're scattered across the country for graduate studies as they train to be doctors, engineers, mathematicians, and scientists. While the six write poetry from different backgrounds and expertise, they share the common goals of redefining literary spaces and breaking barriers through poetry. The poets hope their anthology will foster empathy and mutual reciprocity for the many intersectional facets they encapsulate.