Speaking to high school students from across Melbourne about my writing in ‘Coming of Age: Growing Muslim in Australia’ along with Osamah Sami, author of ‘Good Muslim Boy’ at the @melbwritersfest. 

Superbly moderated by the brilliant Angela Savage. We shared the impetus behind our diverse stories, sharing vignettes from childhood and hopes for the future.

Shattering stereotypes appeared to be a deliberate and incidental reality for both of us. Also fielded some impressive questions from the audience – not without numerous colourful anecdotes, in language and form!  Highlight of today’s panel occurred during the signing session when a year 7 student from a public school approached me to ask:

“I consider myself a feminist, and am aware that intersectional discrimination with gender and race happen in a big way. What are your views?” 
YEAR 7 PEOPLE!!. I wanted hug him to pieces (but that may have been wrong!). Instead I beamed him my ‘You’re an amazing kid’ smile and explained the fact he was even asking this question, suggested that by the time my daughters were my age, the barriers may be way less. 
I am stunned and relieved that the plurality of identity is being considered by some as young as 13- to a point they acknowledge their privilege over others and want to make a difference. What a spectacular kid. #hope 

A thoroughly rewarding session enabled by @hardiegrantbooks and #melbwritersfestival

#melbournewritersfestival2016 #acmi #tasneemchopra #crossculturalconsultant #author #comingofage #howihappened