Things that I’m most proud of: the publication of Love, InshAllah and Salaam, Love and passing the California State Bar.
Who are you?
I am a Sri Lankan American California girl – I grew up in Southern California and have bounced around a bit since college, including DC, San Francisco, Sri Lanka and now Chicago. I’m an attorney with a background in civil rights and public interest work. It’s taken me a while to embrace the label of “writer” but writing is what I enjoy. Right now my work is focused on the screen – both TV and film. Things that I’m most proud of: the publication of Love, InshAllah and Salaam, Love and passing the California State Bar.
What Ayat of the Qur’an do you hold close to your heart? Why?
The beginning of Surah Duha, verse 3: Thy Sustainer has not forsaken thee, nor does He scorn thee.
The context of that verse is so powerful; the first few verses of that surah were revealed to the Prophet after a long period of silence. It’s a reassuring reminder that God is ever present.
What Hadith do you wish more non-Muslims knew about? Why?
Forget non-Muslims, I wish more Muslims knew (or fully embraced) the sunnah of the Prophet being kind to others – like the neighbor who threw trash on his home or the man who peed inside the mosque.
1. What is your favorite book?
Anything and everything by Jane Austen (Pride & Prejudice has my favorite heroine, but Persuasion is Austen’s best love story)
2. Who inspires/inspired you?
My little sister (who is almost 30 years old but still my little sister). She’s a trooper and has an upbeat, optimistic outlook on everything.
3. What is the best lesson your mother/mother figure taught you?
Not to be a flake. My mother is the most reliable and dependable person I know – if she says she’ll do something, she does it.
4. What advice would you give your 13 year old self?
Work hard – there’s no real value in achieving something unless you’ve worked hard for it.
5. What are your hopes for your daughter(s)?
Good health – as I’ve gotten older, I’ve come to realize that this is the biggest blessing in life.
6. What is the biggest trial you went through in your life and how has that changed you?
Long periods of waiting and searching, specifically for jobs and for a partner. It’s hard to not feel anxious or despair when things don’t seem to be going in your favor. But when I reflect back on those times, I realize that things always work out in the way and in the time they were meant to (and for the best).
7. Any regrets? What’s something that you wish you’d thought about more before you did it?
Actually, no. Everything we do has its place and even things that may be mistakes are opportunities to learn and grow.
8. How do you stay grounded in your work and/or spiritually grounded?
A supportive husband, a painfully honest family, and a wonderful community of friends – I make sure to have a halaqa (study circle) in every city I live in.
9. How do you bring about real change?
Be authentic and sincere and keep a check on your intentions.
10. What do you hope to be remembered for?
As someone who was a joy to be around (basically, not a Debbie Downer).
Video trailer for Salaam, Love:
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