Chosen for Summer 2019 PEOPLE’S BOOK PRIZE COLLECTION for Fiction.
Foreword by Fiyaz Mughal OBE, founder of ‘Tell MAMA’, a national faith hate crime reporting project.
An extract from Elizabeth’s interview with Phoebe Aurelia on Croydon FM:.
“[In a town in the US] all the Jewish community stand outside one of the mosques with plaques like ‘we’re here for you’ showing that support, that sense of community, no matter what religion … seeing these little glimmers of hope that’s the important thing and I feel like your collection of poetry just adds to the glimmer of hope … We’re definitely a big supporter and we’ll stay supporting.”
A child bride paralysed by fear, a man trapped in a life of slavery, a couple imprisoned for simply loving one another, a woman who refuses to bow to social pressure. For many, such nightmares are unimaginable: however, across the world, these struggles are all too real.
These evocative and thought-provoking poems draw back the curtain on the men, women and children who suffer in silence, giving a voice to those whose rights, freedom and wellbeing are so often compromised. The hard-hitting realism of Arif-Fear’s poetry uncovers the reality of child marriage, modern slavery, female genital mutilation and many other forms of abuse, and presents such issues in a way which is direct and uncompromising.
The subject matter ranges from women struggling to break free from restrictive socio-cultural norms, to communities in conflict and under repressive rule. Social cohesion and justice are often compromised in the name of religion, culture or for financial and/or political reasons. Arif-Fear uses her wealth of experience campaigning for human rights and a more just society to express these global injustices through poetry based upon real people and real issues.
Elizabeth Arif-Fear is the Founder and Editor of Voice of Salam – an internationally recognised human rights and interfaith platform for which she won the Young Sacred Activist of the Year Award in 2019 from St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace. A longstanding activist and campaigner, she works with a variety of non-profit organisations to tackle a range of human rights, interfaith, social and cultural issues including FGM, child marriage, modern slavery, interfaith and intrafaith cohesion, LGBTQI exclusion and Islamophobia. She has also been selected to be part of the United Nations Alliance of Civilizations Fellowship Programme 2020. “What If It Were You?” is Elizabeth’s debut poetry collection which seeks to raise awareness of the struggles fought by many – including herself – and to call for peace, justice and humanity across the globe.
Visit her website at: www.voiceofsalam.com
“It’s uncomfortable reading, the visual imagery is raw as if Ms Arif-Fear has cried her way through each stanza. The poetry is gripping; it’s a book which draws us through it at an incredible speed, as if you are on a train passing through the very worst and occasionally the best of human nature.”
She Speaks We Hear.
“Arif-Fear speaks about the sickening realities of child marriage, female genital mutilation and modern slavery and picks up on issues that are affecting many, many lives across the globe and in the UK … She is fearless in her drive to expose the socio-cultural norms that have been imposed on people and the injustices which many men, women and children continue to face worldwide.”
Foreword, Fiyaz Mughal OBE
“This book leaves you feeling that you have travelled the ambit of human exploitation and misery in the hands of an inspirational guide.”
“…makes what can seem remote, almost academic, very very real.”
From 5* Amazon reader reviews