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
Hello, salam! We are Meltem, Mojdeh and Rania. We would like to welcome you to our little corner of the web. What follows is a little introduction of who we are, what we do and why we do it.
Hi dear reader! My name is Meltem. Born and raised in The Hague. You may think: ‘Why did her parents name her Meltem?’ Well, my mother and father thought ‘wind breeze of the sea’ suited me. They were right. Fun fact: ‘Meltemi’ is a wind that reoccurs every year over the Aegean Sea. Since the age of five I started devouring books. My mother took me and my little brother to the library every Sunday to get books for the upcoming week. I always took eight home to keep me satisfied. I still have a library card. My taste has somewhat developed since the age of five, but I still like reading comic books. A lot. No shame in that. But not only comic books have my attention; I also love to read any type of poetry, ‘Emma’ from Jane Austen, youth literature and modern literature.
Salam everyone! Mojdeh over here! Kind of an odd name you might think. Well, I was born in Iran and my name was picked right out of a poetry book. It wasn't just a random poetry book, it is to this day one of the most important books Iranians own: the Hafez - written by Khwãja Shams-ud-Dîn Muhammad Hafez-e Shīrazī - which is considered the pinnacle of Persian literature. In Iran we turn to this book for advice and Hafez was thus also consulted for my name, which means 'good news'. It was probably not a surprise that literature became my passion in life. My other passion is intersectional feminism. So I read a lot of non-fiction on that topic, I also love feminist science-fiction and I know my way around the classics. What you can expect from me on here is a critical view on books written by people in the margins, inclusive language use and feminist critique on society.
Bonjour, people! Rania here, business queen by day and book worm by night. Born and raised in Paris by my lovely Tunisian parents, I have always been part of multiple cultures and worlds including fictional ones. Every wednesday afternoon, the library was my gateway into other cities, countries and worlds when I still needed a parental slip to go to the zoo. I speak French, Arabic, English and have basic understanding of Spanish and German (also working on Dutch but shhh). I’m a sucker for a happy ending and pop culture, so if you see a book that says « soon to be a major motion picture », chances are I’ve read it and have many opinions about it. I devour books the way I eat my chocolate : greedily, unfortunately way too fast and will not let any crumbs behind. Coming in hot hot hot on this blog from yours truly - honest, strongly opinionated pieces and puns galore!
What do we do and why do we do it?
Our blog sheds lights on books written by marginalized groups, whether it’d be based on ethnicity, gender or sexuality. We don’t merely want to display diverse books, but we aim to be as inclusive as possible when it comes to the correct representation of people living in the margins.
Founder Mojdeh studied English literature and during her studies she read many beautiful books and poetry, yet she did not relate to most of what was offered. In search of a space where she could find herself represented, but in failing to find one, she started this blog.
We started with the motto ‘Voicing diversity’, but came to the realization that this is too often used without having true inclusion in mind. We moved on from being #diversebookbloggers to #inclusivebookbloggers. For us, this means that we only discuss books that are written by the marginalized: everyone else but white, cisgendered heterosexual men. We don’t hate them, but they have enough representation.
With that growth, also our team changed. Meltem and Rania joined to bring you amazing content. So, this is for those who are looking to broaden their horizon and perspective. And most importantly, for those who did not see themselves represented in literature or required reading.
We hope you’ll enjoy our little corner of the internet. Don’t be afraid to contact us!
Meltem, Mojdeh and Rania