A Heat Storm Is Coming
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“We Are All Birds of Uganda” by Hafsa Zayyan, Penguin Random House, London, 2021
Opinions

A Heat Storm Is Coming

An Unheard Literary Voice
Paulina Wilk
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time 6 minutes

Hafsa Zayyan, a young lawyer of Asian African background, has woven an innovative and brilliant story that the world hasn’t heard before – since there was no space for it. Her beautiful debut heralds a new era in literature, marked by the emergence of previously unheard voices.

Born to a Nigerian father and Pakistani mother, Zayyan lived in the United States, Singapore, and Saudi Arabia before her family settled in Great Britain. She holds degrees from the Universities of Cambridge and Oxford, specializing in dispute resolution and international arbitration. Currently, she is working in London. Although still in her early 30s, she’s already been ranked among the 500 key lawyers in the UK. Shortly before that, in 2019, she received a literary award: #Merky Books New Writers’ Prize. This recognition enabled her to sign a publishing contract for her debut novel We Are All Birds of Uganda, which came out at the beginning of 2021. The new prize was launched by British grime artist Stormzy alongside Penguin Random House UK to empower new authors for whom it is hard

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Nobody Home
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“The Next Great Migration: The Beauty and Terror of Life on the Move” by Sonia Shah, Bloomsbury, London, 2020
Opinions

Nobody Home

There’s Nothing Wrong with Migration
Paulina Wilk

How did we start associating the word ‘migration’ with danger and problems? After all, the history of animals and plants are all a tale of one great journey. Life on our planet is in constant movement along many surprising paths. And yet for centuries, scientists and politicians have been painting a dark vision of the perils of being in movement. Sonia Shah claims that it’s time to change our tune.

Information services all over the globe are teeming with migration news: overpopulated refugee camps in the south of Europe and by the borders of Bangladesh; more and more pontoons and haphazardly made boats taking off from the shores of Libya or sent away from Australia; growing numbers of people moving from villages to larger towns and cities every day; families walking the desert to try and cross the border from Mexico to the US. Recently, the attention of the world has focused on reports on the migration of the new coronavirus that transferred from wildlife to Homo sapiens, and in a flash, spread across the entire planet. It isn’t hard to see the common denominator of all these stories is their negative perspective, presenting migration as something pathological and unwanted.

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