Samaa Eldadah was a senior at Sandy Spring Friends School in Sandy Springs, MD when she wrote I am the Night Sky. High school taught her a lot about the power of youth voices, and one of her immediate goals is to translate the organizing she’s done in school into programming for her Muslim peers. Her long-term goals include college, potentially, law school, and making a local political impact.
Samaa is also a second-generation Middle Eastern American. Her mom’s side of the family is from Iran, and her dad’s side is from Iraq. Her grandparents on both sides have offered her glimpses into worlds completely different from her own – worlds that are often painted in negative lights by Western media.
“For me, the NWMI x Shout Mouse collaboration was a celebration of nuanced identities. I’ve always been the only hijabi in her school and, as a result, I’ve always been the de facto representative or all things Muslim for my non-Muslim peers. I’ve felt pressure – often self-imposed – to be more ‘American’ or more ‘Muslim’. Recently, I’ve realized that it’s OK to be both without compromise. My hope is that this book can be an homage, not just to the American Muslim teen experience, but to the experience of all minority American kids as we navigate the world at the intersection of our identities.”
BOOKS BY SAMAA