I am from there. I am from here.
I am not there and I am not here.
I have two names, which meet and part,
and I have two languages.
I forget which of them I dream in.
– Mahmoud Darwish
Who are we and what’s in a name?
Mojdeh was born in Teheran. When she was born they didn’t know what to name her so they turned to the Hafiz (written by Khwãja Shams-ud-Dîn Muhammad Hafez-e Shīrazī and considered the pinnacle of Persian literature). The first poem they opened the book to, started with the word “Mojdeh”, meaning “Good News”. No surprise then that literature became the passion that makes her heart beat just a little bit faster, as she continues to carry it in her name and soul from the day she was born.
Yasmina was born in Amsterdam, a mix of Dutch and Moroccan blood; always neither here nor there but everywhere at the same time. Zellij is the characteristic Moroccan mosaic art, made from individually chiseled geometric tiles, set into a plaster base. This creates a colorful spectacle. This phenomenon is, therefore, the embodiment of what happens when individual pieces connect and thus also embodies Yasmina.
We first met each other in 2012, during our Bachelor English Linguistics and Literatures at university. Yasmina told Mojdeh to sit next to her and laughter ensued for the rest of our studies. Now, approximately five years later, we are two women with a Master degree in Literatures in English. Connected by our friendship, love of books, a shared passion for those marginalized and a great love of learning about all kinds of cultures, we decided to take both prominent aspects of our cultures and merge them into the name of our blog.
What to expect?
We live in a day and age where the representation of marginalized and diverse groups can no longer suffice as a convenient afterthought: it is a necessity. With our blog, we mainly aim to put diverse books and poetry in the spotlight. We choose books and poetry that deal with topics that have anything and everything to do with diversity: literature that rips the marginalized away from the sidelines and, instead, puts them front and center.
So, if you are looking for ways to diversify your curriculum, looking for books that do represent you or that could inspire you or if you are just out here to learn: we welcome you to our blog. You might also pick up some new travel destinations and favourite bookstores on your scroll.