Saturday, August 08, 2009

MC Spotlight #8: Does My Head Look Big In This? by Randa Abdel-Fattah

It's YA Fresh MC Spotlight #8!

Does My Head Look Big In This?

Sixteen-year-old Amal makes the decision to start wearing the hijab full-time and everyone has a reaction. Her parents, her teachers, her friends, people on the street. But she stands by her decision to embrace her faith and all that it is, even if it does make her a little different from everyone else.

Can she handle the taunts of "towel head," the prejudice of her classmates, and still attract the cutest boy in school? Brilliantly funny and poignant, Randa Abdel-Fattah's debut novel will strike a chord in all teenage readers, no matter what their beliefs.

Click here for a PDF excerpt.

Randa Abdel-Fattah was born in Sydney in 1979. She is a Muslim of Palestnian and Egyptian heritage. She grew up in Melbourne and attended a catholic primary school and Islamic secondary college where she obtained an International Baccaularetate. She studied Arts/Law at Melbourne University during which time she was the Media Liaison Officer at the Islamic council of Victoria, a role which afforded her the opportunity to write for newspapers and engage with media institutions about their representation of muslims and islam.

During university and her role at the ICV, Randa was a passionate human rights advocate and stood in the 1996 federal election as a member of the Unity Party-Say No To Hanson. Randa has also been deeply interested in inter-faith dialogue and was a member of various inter-faith networks. She also volunteered with different human rights and migrant resource organizations including the Australian Arabic council, the Victorian migrant resource centre, Islamic women’s welfare council, Palestine human rights council, asylum seeker resource centre, to name a few.

Randa has used her writing as a medium for expressing her views about Palestinian human rights. Her articles about Palestine, Australian muslims and the misunderstood status of women in islam have been published in the Australian, the age, the Sydney morning herald, the Canberra times, new matilda, le monde (France).

Randa is frequently sought for comment by the media on issues pertaining to Palestine, Islam or Australian Muslims. She has appeared on SBS’s Insight, ABC’s First Tuesday Book Club, ABC’s Q & A, Channel 7’s Sunrise and Channel 10’s 9am. Randa is also a regular guest at schools around Australia addressing students about her books and the social justice issues they raise. Randa has also been a guest at Sweden’s Gothenburg and Litterlund book festivals (2007 and 2008) and Kuala Lumpur’s Book festival (2008). She has also toured in Brunei and the UK.

Randa is currently living in Sydney with her husband and two children aged 3 ½ and 9 months. She works as a lawyer specialising in commercial and property litigation. Visit the author's website,

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