Sahar Mustafah

Sahar Mustafah is a Palestinian-American writer and teacher. She has gained international recognition for her work exploring the experiences of Arab communities in the US diaspora. Her debut novel, The Beauty of Your Face, was named a The New York Times Book Review Notable Books of 2020 and a Finalist for the 2021 Palestine Book Award.

Sahar Mustafah earned her MFA in Fiction from Columbia College, where she was a Follett Graduate Scholar. She was a Willow Books Grand Prize Winner for Code of The West (2017), was named one of the 25 Writers to Watch by The Guild Literary Complex of Chicago, and is a member of Voices Protest and the Radius of Arab American Writers.

Her debut novel, The Beauty of Your Face, focuses on the journey of Afaf Rahman, a Palestinian-American woman and principal of a Muslim school in Chicago. She grapples with issues related to her identity and experiences of racism, alienation, and Islamophobia. It was long-listed for the Center for Fiction First Novel Award and chosen for Los Angeles Times' "United We Read."

Mustafah's work contributes to the literary canon of contemporary Arab American authors and aims to represent and amplify the voices of her immediate community.

"As a writer, I am always writing for my immediate community: Palestinians, Americans, and Muslim Americans. So these are the audiences who are in front of me as I am writing. When you are thinking about the audience, it is easy to be worried about how something you are creating is going to be received. What I feel is certainly a responsibility with the creative process. I say responsibility because, when you look at the industry, we [Arab authors in the Diaspora] are still very limited," Mustafah said.

Her writing has been well-received internationally, with her work being translated and published in Italy and England.

Sahar Mustafah lives in Chicago with her family.

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Ranjha Fairyhas quotedlast year
She’s so young. Would you not let her blossom a bit more?
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