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Muslim Writers Publishing awards first ever Islamic Fiction emblem
Young Adult novel combines American history, Islamic values
TEMPE, AZ – July 19, 2008 – Author Najiyah Diana Helwani’s novel, Sophia’s Journal: Time Warp 1857, has become the first ever to bear Muslim Writers Publishing’s Islamic Fiction emblem. The seal is awarded to creative Muslim-authored books that feature real-life situations and moral dilemmas within a framework of Islamic values.
Sophia's Journal: Time Warp 1857, is a genre-crossing science fiction tale and coming-of-age story. Sophia Ahmad is an American Muslim high school sophomore on the verge of getting her driver's permit and embarking on a summer of mall visits and evenings at Café Damascus with her friends, when she falls into the Kansas River and is washed downstream. Sophia emerges, sopping and water-worn, in the year 1857. Her experiences there combine Kansas history and a unique coming-of-age with her heroine’s Islamic faith. The result is a story that weaves itself around readers’ hearts, whether they are Muslim or Non-Muslim, native born American or immigrant, young or old.
“Before 9-11 most Americans had had little or no contact with Islam,” says Helwani. “So when negative images began to fill their newspapers and TV screens, they were understandably frightened and put off. In reality, though, Muslims are a productive and peaceful part of the American landscape. Fiction can help Americans relate to their Muslim neighbors on an emotional, human level - and that is where peace begins.”
Helwani's love of her American roots blends beautifully with her Islamic faith, and readers will be delighted to discover how well the two compliment each other. Raised on the prairies of central Kansas, Helwani's connection to and research of frontier life and Bleeding Kansas makes Sophia's adventure a great addition to any history or social studies curriculum. Teacher Study Guides are scheduled to be released in early October, and the book itself includes a glossary and several recipes that are specific to its period in history.
Author Bio: Najiyah Helwani is a teacher and freelance writer whose published credits include poetry, magazine features, and newspaper articles. Her recently published short story “Carnage” can be found at Damazine.com – The Literary Magazine of the Muslim World. Sophia's Journey: Time Warp 1857 is her debut novel and the first in a planned series of historical fiction. Najiyah currently teaches English and writing in Damascus, Syria, where she lives with her husband and six children. When she is in the USA she conducts workshops on Islam and the history of United States' relations with the Middle East.
Publisher Contact: Linda D. Delgado, Muslim Writers Publishing, 480-894-6014 , and publisher@MuslimWritersPublishing.com
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MWP is a traditional publishing house dedicated to promoting quality Islamic fiction and non-fiction.