Established in 2006, MWA is an internationally-based collaboration of Muslim women writers and advocates working together to counter negative and inaccurate perceptions regarding members of the Muslim community and the Islamic faith.


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Sunday, January 4, 2015

Normal Calm – An Interview with the Author, MWA Member Hend Hegazi

By Papatia Feauxzar
December 29, 2014

Our first interview in this Love Stories category is with the Author of the masterpiece Normal Calm; Hend Hegazi.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I have enjoyed writing since the third grade, and ever since that time, I've dreamt of writing a novel. But to be honest, I thought it would be too hard, too time consuming. But I loved to write…so I wrote short stories. Then one day I thought to myself, "You've always wanted to write a novel…why not just expand on this story and turn it into a novel." So with lots of time and dedication, that's what I did.

The idea for my novel 'Normal Calm' stemmed from a common belief I noticed in the Arab community around me, that somehow a raped woman was at least partly to blame for this crime which had been committed against her. I felt the need to stand up and say how very wrong that thinking was, and I thought that putting it in the shape of a story was an effective way of doing just that. Since writing the book, I've learned that victim blaming is truly an international crisis. I hope that writers and activists will be able to remove these unjust stigmas that societies all over the world have painted on rape survivors. (read more)

Amina is an Arab American woman attending one of the best universities in the US. During the spring of her junior year, Amina is raped by one of her friends, making her essentially un-marriageable in the eyes of her parents and, possibly, the entire Arab community. When her mother experiences a nervous breakdown, Amina fears that she is to blame for her mother's condition. Eventually she falls in love with Sherif, but his reaction to her rape proves him to be unworthy. Deciding to forgo love, Amina focuses on her career. When her best friend introduces her to Mazin, however, she sees in him only good qualities. He is successful, kind, generous…but she feels no love for him. When Mazin asks for her hand in marriage, Amina struggles with the idea of settling for a man she does not love. Knowing that he, too, may abandon her when he learns of her rape is another burden she continues to bear. Available at Amazon
Hend Hegazi was born and raised in Attleboro, Massachusetts. She is a graduate of Smith College (2000) majoring in biology with a minor in religion. She moved to Egypt in 2002 where she lives with her husband and their four children. She is also a member of Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA).

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