TwentyFifteen Collection 3: Deen Books

OumissaInspire

This part of my library is special as most of the books are hard bound tomes that cost more than most of the others. They are guarded jealously for their value is inestimable. Never a light read, perusing them can be tedious as I try to jot down words of wisdom and so I just give up and soak up the goodness.

About these pearls. They can be found in millions of homes and libraries around the world.

The Sealed Nectar is the winner of a writing contest about the Prophet.
Women Around the Messenger by Muhammad Ali Qutb is a collection of essays on the female companions. Stories extolling their grace, wisdom, courage, loyalty, honour and piety.
Enjoy Your Life by is a treasure by Muhammad Al Arifi Let it hold your hand and show you the beauty of life in the obvious and the hidden
Don’t be Sad by Aidh Al-Qarni. Well, that speaks for itself. It is a modern day classic that has impacted the lives of millions around the world.
Why Women Are Accepting Islam by Muhammad Shahid explores the many reasons reverts to Islam in the West are mostly women. .

In the years since, I have read more Muslim books written by Muslim women to have a more complete experience. This is very important as more women need to see their perspectives being recognized, and girls need to learn that this religion encourages them to seek knowledge and teach it.

Award winning writer, Naima Robert is a contemporary example of Muslim women writers. There are countless women in Islamic history with great knowledge who authored treatises and taught notable scholars. Starting from Aishah bint Abu Bakr. We should read more of them and share their work.

What is your favourite Muslim classic?

________

With love,

Oumissa.

150419

TwentyFifteen Collection 4: My First Adichie Book

OumissaInspire

I can’t look at this book without memories of my days spent in the University of Lagos bookshop when I would enjoy those moments with only the books for company. No one disturbed me on my long walks down the shelves, looking at shelves and shelves of books, reading pages out of some and shaking my head at how inadequate my allowance as a hundred level student was.

They were intimate moments that made me feel at peace. I had a glimpse into the minds of great men and women in blissful solitude as there were few other buyers at the times I went which often were my breaks between science classes.

…who live in Chimamanda’s

favourite setting; the university

community of Nsukka,

I did sacrifice many a lunch to save up and buy a few books there. This cost five hundred naira and has remained a favourite . She lords it over the other books in my collection like “I am not your mate. I am not only older but I was borne of hunger for food and for building a library”

It is a coming of age tale about Kambili, a young girl based in 1980s South-Eastern Nigeria. Her growth is a mix of living in a home ruled by the tight grip of a fanatical Christian father, finding respite in holidays with her lecturer aunt and her children who live in Chimamanda’s favourite setting; the university community of Nsukka, falling in love with a priest, finding her voice, a family’s survival through tragedy. It is honest and gripping.

The themes transcend Kambili’s specific circumstances and resonates with many across ethnic, nationality and religious divides

This book fast became required reading material for secondary schools exam boards in West Africa and is one of the most notable debuts by any author.

What are your thoughts on Purple Hibiscus?
______

Oumissa

150419

Okada Books Town Hall Meet – UX research with small chops

A touch of yellow

The Okada Books Town Hall Meeting held Sunday 7th April, 2019 at GTB You Read Library, Yaba, Lagos.

Marlon James’ A Brief History of Seven Killings (ManBooker Prize Winner) was my touch of yellow for the event. A big and heavy book that was the perfect accessory. My fashion mantra is “You’re never fully dressed without a book.” It’s such a beauty to photograph and a sweet gift from a dear friend. I have the best people, Alhamdulillah

A few years ago, another friend gave me How Intelligence Kills by Okechukwu Ofili @ofilispeaks (Founder, Okada Books), I enjoyed it. It was funny while questioning our collective consciousness towards academics, excellence, respect, belief etc. The perceptions we hold so dearly to can be improved upon if we must achieve growth.

It wasn’t a surprise therefore to see him along with his fantastic team to be open, honest and welcoming of criticism from their community of authors and readers. All of this was noted down. Hopefully the recommendations, complaints and comments culminate in a stronger company and a better experience for us all.

More Nigerian brands need to inculcate this. For me, I learnt so much more about the brand even though I check their IG posts daily. The business structure, the opportunities for authors, the accessibility it provides readers but most of all, the keenness for growth made me consider writing my own book. Dreamy huh?

They were great with time management and there was ample opportunity to network with authors, publishers and readers.

Is it even a Lagos event if there is no small chops? There was a lot to go round with @wilsonslemonade and water. See ehn, that chilled water and few hours of air conditioning was a relief from this angry Lagos sun roasting brilliant ideas along with skins.

Lastly but not leastly, it was a delight to meet the creative persona behind the @okadabooks page. Well done and thank you for the daily bursts of yellow happiness.

_________

With love,

Oumissa

080419

TwentyFifteen Collection 2: Lagos Books And Arts Festival 2013

Bought this at the Lagos Books and Art Festival (LABAF) 2013. At @freedomparklagos. A fun day with @aeesha__t .

We attended the book launch (The Accidental Public Servant) of Nasir El-Rufai @nelrufai former Federal Capital Territory Minister and current Governor of Kaduna State.

People we met and had interesting conversations with
-a cheerful South African lady with blond hair, blue eyes and a welcoming smile who was excited to see two Nigerian sisters in hijab. Exchanged stories about our schooling and her work. Contacts were exchanged but we haven’t spoken since then.

-Tolu Ogunlesi @toluogunlesi a journalist, poet and blogger whose work I read in print and on Twitter. He is now Special Assistant to the Nigerian President on Digital/New Media It was interesting to learn he was a pharmacist by training. I was a medical student in love with literature. A combination of health sciences and writing? Here was another person who got it!

It is a classic that explores everyday American life.

-Fodeh Baldeh a Gambian author who was thrilled to see two Muslim girls that loved books. He told us about the value of education and confidence in our culture, faith and interests. We bought his book Fate of an African President.

Briefly met veteran Nigerian filmmaker, @tkelani as we left the event to search for a mosque. I didn’t know until then that he was Muslim. His awardwinning productions like Saworo-Ide were the highlights of school holidays.

We were driven to Jumu’ah prayers by a man who didn’t ask for our numbers or any of those things Lagos men with Jeeps liked to do. We later found out he was a legislator. He didn’t even wait for us to say thanks.
________________
Would you believe it if I said I haven’t read this book for close to the 6 years I’ve had it? It’s not hoarding if it is books right? It is a classic that explores everyday American life. In elevating the ordinary, Mark Twain makes these stories easy to relate to and this endeared him to millions around the world. He also highlights social conditions of the masses. Many decades later, his books are still in high demand. He is perhaps best known for his witty quotes.

What is your best Mark Twain book?

Have you read this book? What did you think about it?

_________

With love,

Oumissa

060419

Twenty Fifteen Collection : My Early Bookstagram Days

What to do with old things?

Four years ago, when I newly discovered this amazing community Bookstagram, I took a series of pictures and only posted a few. For many reasons, some straightforward, others weird, they laid deep in an onion ring of folders.

Many post-its later, fast forward to a few minutes ago, I faced the digging I’d been postponing and would be sharing them.

A lot has happened since then, my presence here has evolved and I have learnt quite a lot.
This community has grown in delightful ways and many of those whose pictures inspired me then have gone on to become award-winning book influencers.

I wasn’t called a nerd derisively here, I could just be me. I didn’t have to field ‘All these books you are reading sef, is a waste of energy when you will end up in a man’s kitchen’ type of comments

These three are part of a series of medical thrillers by Ted’s Gerritsen. I loved them! I was dreaming of becoming a physician and I had a love for literature some told me was incompatible with medicine. Thus, finding a New York Times bestselling author who was a doctor too was exhilarating in so many ways. Of course I used to enjoy Michael Crichton and Robin Cook but they were not female like me so it wasn’t as perfect as Tess. Representation matters.

My early days were thrilling. A community within Instagram where what I loved to do was shared by so many around the world! I remember the joy of having my photos liked by someone in Brazil whose page was all in Portuguese. Thousands of miles apart in distance yet bonded by our love for books.

I wasn’t called a nerd derisively here, I could just be me. I didn’t have to field ‘All these books you are reading sef, is a waste of energy when you will end up in a man’s kitchen’ type of comments. Not like these comments dented my spirit in anyway but it was exhausting having to put these ‘educated’ people in their place.

@aeesha__t, @bookminimalist @thatothernigeriangirl, @theguywiththebook, his sister @sumaiyya.books, their friends @pardonmywritings @ilhamreads and @i.reads and @alliyah.riaz all shaped my early experience. Many of them still do today. I was a silent observer of their discussions, their reviews, book shopping trips, and Lord, was there some drama! I’m happy to see they have all undergone remarkable growth. Thank you all for making Instagram pop for me.

When did you join Bookstagram?
What were your early days like?

______

With love,

Oumissa

060619

Health and Books – My Social Media Week Lagos Experience

KhamisLifestyle Read a Book and Go Offline

The two books I just fell in love with at the KhamisLifestyle Social Media Week Lagos Event. I read a few pages from each and was enthralled!
(Mistress of Nothing by Kate Pullinger
And A Platter of Gold by Olasupo Shasore).

Two days ago, I hosted a session as CEO, KhamisLifestyle – Story Story: Read a Book And Go Offline with Spa Pampering At Home for its Offline Wellness Studio at the Social Media Week Lagos event. It was all shades of amazing. I had a great time with great participants.

Last Thursday was one of the most hectic and yet rewarding days I’ve had. All morning and afternoon was for the Hellocare Nigeria Telling Great Stories in Healthcare, a Social Media Week Off-Campus event which held at Doctoora Health hub at Surulere.

that smile is what everyone deserves to have.

Then came the rushed cab ride through Costain and Island traffic to Landmark Event Centre, Victoria Island to host the KhamisLifestyle event. I wish I had a helicopter! Of course I got there behind schedule but I had the best facilitators and participants who got things started. (Thank you!)

It was fun being on teams organizing two Social Media Week Lagos events in one day! I thought it was impossible at first but with a solid support system and positive affirmation I pulled through ( This throbbing headache is worth it!)

Harnessing the power of social media to change lives

I am immensely grateful to every single person who helped me do this. The donations, the kind words of encouragement, the listening ears, the backbreaking work, networks , flurry of calls and emails and so much more make me believe that humanity is alive and thriving.

Perhaps the greatest lesson I’ve learnt this past week is “Believe in yourself and your power to do great stuff. Don’t worry, Allah’s got it.”

_________

With Love,

Oumissa

090219

Book Review

Title- What It Means When A Man Falls From The Sky
Author- Leslie Ann Arimah
Winner ,Commonwealth Short Story Prize for Africa
Publisher- Farafina
………
This is a collection of short stories delving into a rich mix of human experiences. The book has a strong Igbo presence of characters giving valuable insight into the culture, language and contemporary life.

The themes range from immigrants, class divides, naughty children, folklore, Biafran/Nigerian Civil War, family tensions, finding and staying in love, a dash of fantasy, to a futuristic story about a mathematician with a secret formula for emotions.

Racism, sexism , poverty and mental health are some of the issues Leslie Nneka Arimah explores in this book. She twists reality to tell us what we already know but are refusing to accept, and that is perhaps the most powerful aspect of her work.

I did enjoy some of the stories. But still think it was over hyped. Like I should have been allowed to discover this book sans the heavy marketing, I may have liked it a little more.

It has a fresh take on many pressing issues.and I like the use of futuristic and fantasy to retell stories we are all familiar with, relive experiences and show the struggles we face as women , children, blacks , immigrants, Igbos etc.

What did you think of When a Man Falls From the Sky?
My favourite story was the one that shares titles with the book.
Yours?

_______

OumissaInspire

260818