Fourteen years old and growing up in the Middle East, Lamya is an overachiever and a class clown, qualities that help her hide in plain sight when she realizes she has a crush on her teacher--her female teacher. She's also fourteen when she reads a passage in Quran class about Maryam, known as the Virgin Mary in the Christian Bible, that changes everything. Lamya learns that Maryam was untempted by an angelically handsome man, and later, when told she is pregnant, insists no man has touched her. Could Maryam be... like Lamya? Spanning childhood to an elite college in the US and early adult life in New York City, each essay places Lamya's struggles and triumphs in the context of some of the most famous stories in the Quran. She juxtaposes her coming out with Musa liberating his people from the Pharoah; asks if Allah, who is neither male nor female, might instead be nonbinary; and, drawing strength from the faith and hope of Nuh building his ark, begins to build a life of her own--all the while discovering that her identity as a queer, immigrant devout Muslim is, in fact, the answer to her quest for safety and belonging.
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