“I've always loved writing, and the impulse for me is storytelling. I don't sit down and think: 'What political message can I sell?' I love the creativity of it.” – Randa Abdel-Fattah
Born in June 1979, Abdel-Fattah is a native Australian of Palestinian-Egyptian heritage, bringing an interesting cultural mix to her writing. She started writing and had her first published work as a 6th grader. “I’ve been writing stories since I was a kid,” she said. “I love writing stories.”
She wrote numerous short stories as a teenager and by age 18 produced the first draft of Does My Head Look Big in This? later to become her 2005 debut novel. The tale of a 16-year-old Muslim girl who decides to wear the hijab full-time, it’s a story of life choices, bias and abiding friendships. The book and a play based on it have won numerous awards and accolades.
A champion for social justice and human rights, she is a frequent speaker and writer on and regular broadcast commentator on those topics. She also is a regular guest at schools around Australia addressing students about her books and the social justice issues they raise. And she loves celebratory events from all cultures and religions.
“Religious celebrations, and the good will, high spirits and generosity that mark them, are wonderful occasions for understanding the potential of 'everyday multiculturalism,’ and how people from diverse faiths can connect and show they care, rather than go down parallel, sometimes hostile, roads.”
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