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
Outline contents: Foreword, What If It Were You?, I Am a Woman, Cut, Your Guilty Secret, Covered, Free, Double Standards, Family Reunion, Dry Wounds, Strength, Fear, Why Do You Hate Me?, Fragile, Home, Just Like You, Hope, What Do You See?, Empty Streets, Coconut, I Am Not Human, Hypocrisy Is Spelled with a Y, Idol of Oppression, Binaries, Two-Faced Feminist, Blind Hearts, Invisible, Warriors of Barbarity, Steps of Hate, Angel beneath the Ground, Ya Suriya! (Oh Syria!), Shattering the Glass, My Prophet, Inhuman, Not You, Honour, Undesirable Muslim, The Jungle Never Dies, Weapon of War, #Me Too, Kafir, What is Freedom?, Further support and information, About the author.