Canada Reads @ the Library: We Have Always Been Here by Samra Habib

Defended by Susie Moloney, EPL Writer-in-Residence

We Have Always Been Here, Samra Habib’s memoir about growing up and growing into being a Queer Muslim Woman is about as Canadian a story as you can get. It’s an immigration story, a spiritual journey, a story about seeing snow for the first time, and about coming into your own identity in Canada’s largest city. Habib walks through her challenges and takes them out of Canada and into the larger, global world, to commune with her Muslim sisters, her Queer sisters, and her Sisters, to gain perspective and to offer her own (there’s also a moment in the memoir where she finds identity in a leather jacket and a great pair of boots that I found particularly relatable). Habib’s story is broad, global, open, new, female, queer, fashionable, and spiritual. That ticks all the boxes on the Canadian BINGO card. We Have Always Been Here should be what Canada Reads, because it’s what Canada aspires to be–a place for everyone. Samra Habib is Canada as we’d like to see ourselves.

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