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Janette Grant puts the spotlight on MWA member Ruth Nasrullah
"I have realized that of all the things I have done in my life, practicing Islam is the only one that I didn't do for any reason except that it was right." -Ruth Nasrullah
By: Muslimah Writers Alliance
As the debate about Muslim women's rights rages in many Islamic countries around the world, it is more important than ever for the modern Muslim woman to not only have a voice, but for that voice to be heard amongst the conversations taking place. One such voice local to the Houston area is that of Ruth Nasrullah, a freelance writer and blogger and a founding member of the Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA) based in Washington DC. She has covered various topics in her writing, from fundamental issues exposing some of the flaws in American society to clever, informative essays about her experiences as a Muslim woman in America.
Ms. Nasrullah has had articles published in many Islamic and mainstream magazines and online publications and she currently writes for the Houston Belief section of the Houston Chronicle. In addition to her many writing endeavors, she has recently started a company called Written to Perfection, which offers writing and editing services to small businesses and students.
She began writing professionally while earning her master's degree in Journalism in 2002 and primarily writes nonfiction. Her passion is learning people’s stories and about the way individuals function both singularly and as a society. She especially enjoys writing true crime which is illustrated in her profile piece published by the Emerson College Graduate School Program, Roxbury: Breaking the Cycle about ending the cycle of crime in the Roxbury Massachusetts community.
Her writing interests include religion, health care/medical issues; and public speaking. Ms. Nasrullah earned her master's degree in Print and Multimedia Journalism from Emerson College and is beginning her Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Non Fiction at Goucher College in the summer of 2012.
As a member of the Society of Professional Journalists Ms. Nasrullah also presides as vice president of the Houston chapter. She is also a member of the Religion News Writers of America, the American Medical Writers Association and the Muslimah Writers Alliance. She joined the MWA in 2007. MWA was founded by Aishah Schwartz in 2006 and is an internationally based collaboration of Muslim women writers and advocates working to counter negative and inaccurate perceptions of members of the Muslim community.
Ms. Nasrullah began practicing Islam in 1985 and although she never said formal shahadah, or declaration of faith in front of witnesses, she is quoted in an article on her blog for the Houston Chronicle, The Straight Path: "I have also realized that of all the things that I have done in my life, practicing Islam is the only one that I didn't do for any reason except that it was right, and that I haven’t failed at (in fact, because of God's great mercy, it's almost impossible to fail at Islam)."
She had stopped practicing Islam for a time, but the events of September 11 inspired her to return to observing the tenants of Islam, primarily because of an inspirational interfaith prayer service that she attended. The idea of prayer led her back to Islam.
Ms. Nasrullah is currently working on articles for Azizah magazine: one on epilepsy which will be published in their well-being section, and one on couples who have been married for 50+ years; the publication's current issue features her article on scholarships for Muslim women.
Houston Belief readers can look forward to Ms. Nasrullah's return to blogging for the Houston Chronicle and can also find her writings with Muslim Matters, a nonprofit organization that provides educational material, social commentary, and religious inspiration related to Islam and Muslims through its group blogging platform. She hopes to have more of her Houston Chronicle blog pieces run in the print section of the Chronicle as well.
Her words of wisdom to aspiring writers are edit, edit, and edit. She says, "Use as few words as possible when writing, especially prepositions. Avoid adverbs. Do not use the passive voice. Above all, if you are writing news or nonfiction, report and research way more than you think you will need."
In addition to the chronicle of publications found at http://issuu.com/
Her other websites networking sites are:
The Straight Path on Houston Belief - http://blog.chron.com/
Written to Perfection - http://writtentoperfection.wordpress.com
Ruth Nasrullah on Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/
Ruth Nasrullah on LinkedIn - http://www.linkedin.com/
Ruth Nasrullah on Twitter - http://twitter.com/
Ruth Nasrullah on Wordpress - http://ruthnasrullah.wordpress.com/
Ruth Nasrullah at MuslimMatters - http://muslimmatters.org/
Isahah Janette Grant is a founding member of Muslimah Writers Alliance (MWA), where she serves as the organization's membership coordinator. She also runs her own small business, Mindworks Publishing Inc., in addition to writing for the Houston Islam Examiner on Examiner.com. Ms. Grant is also the author of the children's book, Sameerah's Hijab and the First Day of School and is in the process of completing her first work of fiction. She also enjoys writing poetry. She studied at Boston University in Massachusetts, majoring in print journalism and currently resides in Missouri City, Texas, just outside of Houston, with her son and husband. Ms. Grant can be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/