It’s interesting how that painful day became the seed that would later become Unveiled. Art can sometimes be inspired by the things that are ugly and scare us.
Who are you?
Growing up in London, as the daughter of South Asian immigrants, racism was intense. When I turned fifteen, I moved to Chicago. The racism of London was difficult, but nothing prepared me for the backlash after 9/11 in the US. Everybody had a story, which ranged from silly to bone chilling. People were murdered because they were Muslim or because they were mistaken for Muslim. As ugly as the backlash was, it inspired me to write Unveiled. The first story was personal; it was based on a painful incident at my friend’s wedding, where I was pushing my double stroller, with my baby and toddler, and a man began to insult me. He had a problem with my veil. The incident almost turned to violence and felt like one of the worst days of my life. It’s interesting how that painful day became the seed that would later become Unveiled. Art can sometimes be inspired by the things that are ugly and scare us.
Give us your favorite quote and tell us why it means so much to you:
I love the poem by Saadi Shirazi, the famous Persian poet. I quote his poem at the end of my play, because his words are powerful and I try to live by them.
I love it because it reminds us that even if we fail, God’s mercy is always near.
What Hadith do you wish more non-Muslims knew about? Why?
A person came to the Prophet (PBUH) and asked: “Who among people is the most deserving of my fine treatment?” The Prophet (PBUH) replied: “Your mother.” He then asked, “Who next?” The Prophet (PBUH) replied: “Your mother.” He asked again: “Who next?” The Prophet said again, “Your mother.” He again asked, “Then who?” The Prophet (PBUH) said: “Your father.” [Sahih Bukhari].
1. What is your favorite book?
Anything by Imam Al Gazali.
2. Who inspires/inspired you?
Artists of all mediums.
3. What is the best lesson your mother/mother figure taught you?
Treat others how you want to be treated
4. What advice would you give your 13 year old self?
The teen years are tough, but hang in there. High school will end and the world is yours to explore.
5. What are your hopes for your daughter(s) and/or son(s)?
I hope my kids get a great education because education is the solution, but to also travel and see the world.
6. What is the biggest trial you went through in your life and how has that changed you?
I had to deal with a sick family member and it made me grow in ways I could not have imagined.
7. Any regrets? What’s something that you wish you’d thought about more before you did it?
I always have regrets about things, but it’s important to move on and learn from it.
8. How do you stay grounded in your work and/or spiritually grounded?
Prayer, fasting and giving
9. How do you bring about real change?
I do my part and leave the rest to God.
10. What do you hope to be remembered for?
A kind heart.
Message from Rohina:
“Dear Sisters, Asalaamu alaykum.
We live in a world where plenty of people burn down bridges,
find your own, unique way to build bridges.
It may be over a cup of tea, or an event, or a smile.
But we must build bridges. We must extend our hand
and teach others who we are.
Remember, if Muslims don’t speak up, others will speak up for us.
And that’s a big part of the problem.
So speak up, build bridges and study and know your deen.
Lots of love and salaam
A little bit about “Unveiled:
More about Rohina:
Learn more about upcoming shows:
Rohina Malik Interview Youtube clip
Exerpts from “Unveiled” Youtube clip