We Have Always Been Here is an honest and revealing coming-of-age memoir of a queer Muslim woman’s struggle with identity, faith and family. Beginning with her childhood as a young Ahmadi Muslim in Pakistan and continuing into her adult life as a successful photo journalist in Toronto, Samra Habib describes how her experiences, beliefs and relationships have shaped the woman she has become.
After her family moves to Canada to flee religious persecution, Habib struggles to claim her identity as a strong and successful artist/journalist/activist, daughter and queer Muslim woman who wants to be recognized by her faith and society at large. Habib shines a light on Pakistani culture, Muslim faith and Canada’s ‘multiculturalism’ that has given Canadians a false sense of inclusion while continuing to marginalize groups of people by promoting our passivity for queer rights, particularly LGBTQ people of colour.
This book will promote good discussion, making it a clear choice for book clubs. By sharing her story as a queer Muslim woman who loves her faith and wants to be her authentic self, Habib has opened a dialogue that will hopefully validate those who have similar struggles and encourage those of us without similar experiences to sympathize with people who continue to feel unseen and underrepresented in our society.
— Laurie P.