Three young Somali-Canadian women are challenging the negative position Islam experiences in global media & society with Qurtuba Publishing House, their tool to publish and promote the positives aspects of a Muslim lifestyle.
Qurtuba Publishing House is the brainchild of Hodan (25), Ilhan (20) and Ayan Ibrahim (23), three sisters with a vision of changing the prevailing negative discourses of Islam by publishing pro-Islam literature with a difference.
Ilhan Ibrahim explained to All Things Somali how the idea for the company came about: “All over the globe, Muslims are suffering from social polarization, economic decline, and political turmoil. Mainstream media has immensely contributed to the negative portrayal of Muslims, creating a narrative that is neither factual nor representative of the global Muslim community. These challenges are increasing daily, and it is becoming exceedingly difficult for Muslims to reconcile what Islam teaches and the dynamic context of our world today. As any Muslim, we felt that we had a social and religious obligation to counter these growing challenges.”
One night, we were discussing how awesome it would be to have an accessible resource for Muslims that focused on discussing relevant issues that Western Muslims are facing. Although there are many resources for Muslims out there, we felt there was a void between the acquisition of knowledge and implementation of knowledge in Muslim communities. We thought about creating a platform for Muslims that not only produced insightful publications, but to provide Muslims with practical tools to be able to develop solutions to the various issues Muslims are faced with. Ideas started blooming as we let our imagination run wild. We spent the rest of our night brainstorming and building upon this new idea, and by the end of the night, Qurtuba Publishing House was born.”
The books they seek to publish will attempt to own their history as Muslim women while creating a narrative that is more representative of the global Muslim community. The topics covered the publishing house’s books range from leadership to health, fitness and entrepreneurship.
Some of their forthcoming titles:
They named the publishing house after the city of Qurtuba (also known as Cordoba) which was a hub of tolerance cultural diversity and technological advancement in what is known as the “Golden Age” of Islam.
“Qurtuba was a city distinguished for its cultural diversity and technological advances, as well as some of the most outstanding and paramount accomplishments in scholarship,” explains Ilhan, “What truly inspired us to name our publishing Qurtuba was the fact that Qurtuba was titled the most tolerant and cultivated society of its time, which allowed for the exchange of knowledge and religious diversity.”
With the forthcoming titles and current call for writing, this company is definitely one to keep a close eye on.