Published May 7 2022

These Six Muslim Women Met At MIT. Now, They’ve Published A Poetry Collection.

From the scents of a bustling street market in India to the warmth of stories rooted in Venezuela to snippets of college days shared at MIT, the poetry in this book features an ache for grounds no longer walked upon. With a range of distinct styles and voices, the poets’ nuanced self-expression amounts to a piece that is both a prayer and a rebellion. Their words, introspective and reminiscing, witty and thoughtful, are an ode to that which makes them who they are and where they come from.

Simultaneously, their voices are a rejection of dangerous stigmas, cultural taboos, and oppressive systems. In both verse and image, Our Ancestors Did Not Breathe This Air is a bold and unfiltered collection recounting moments, tears, and dreams that have been generations in the making.

Now medical students and graduate students by day, the poets hope their anthology will foster empathy and mutual reciprocity for the many intersectional facets they encapsulate. Copies can be ordered from our publisher at the below order link.


“A timeless collection that tells the story of all … I find
myself reading Our Ancestors Did Not Breathe This Air
anytime I want to feel connected with my ancestors and myself.”

— Nehan Shujaat, Author of Here’s the Chai


“Reading this book is like entering an intimate, enlivening conversation between friends. The writers’ compassion for and trust in each other is evident throughout its pages. And in reading it, you too will feel cared for.”

— Musa Syeed, Screenwriter and Director of Valley of Saints


Our Ancestors Did Not Breathe This Air is a beautiful collection of poems from brilliant Muslim women. It touches on things many are unable to perceive. Through a rich journey of thought and ideas, each poet captures highly personal imagery that none of us can afford to ignore. I strongly encourage the reading and studying of this vital work.” 

— Suhaib Webb, Resident Scholar of Islamic Center at NYU



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