By Erin-Leigh Hoffman, Writing Intern
When author Farah Dualeh began writing her book, Taking Control: A Muslim Woman’s Guide to Infertility, she realized that there is a plethora of resources available to women who are struggling to conceive or are dealing with infertility. Many resources were faith-based, but the representation of resources on infertility available to Muslim women struggling to concieve was practically non-existent.
“I feel like as a Muslim woman, I felt like I could only tap into what was existing, only had like, part of it, only part of it made sense to me and my lifestyle and my values. And then, and then it felt really lonely,” Dualeh recounts.
Since she felt that what she could get out of these resources was limited, she decided to make a change to this underrepresentation of Muslim women in these resources. The idea to write a book came to her within the first year of her and her husband trying to conceive which was unsuccessful.
Dualeh reflects on this inspiration to write the book saying, “I said regardless of where this is headed, I want to write a book one day. I want to create something tailored for the Muslim woman.”
Fast forward two years since she began writing her book in 2020, Dualeh is now celebrating the publication of her new book, Taking Control: A Muslim Woman’s Guide to Surviving Infertility. Now that the book has been released, she’s been able to reflect on the process of writing this book and appreciate the feedback from readers.
For the process of writing her book, she had moments of surprise that ultimately she feels really grateful for. Her initial plan was to self-publish the book on Amazon until she got into contact with an editor who recommended she seek a publishing house instead.
“I did a quick Google search, and I found six publishing houses that I thought would be suitable for this kind of work,” Dualeh explains. She sent the book to a mix of both Islamic publishers and non-religious as well. “After those six, three wanted the book.”
For Dualeh, the fact that three publishing houses wanted to publish a book about a Muslim woman’s struggle with infertility was an incredible achievement. “It was like – they get the importance of this message, so it’s been amazing” Dualeh reflects.
Now that the book is out for readers to enjoy, Dualeh has already received very positive feedback from people. One Goodreads review says, “Reading this book has put a huge smile on my face as I know how many Muslim women worldwide will benefit from this message. A thoughtful, well written, introspective piece of art.”
Dualeh also had someone reach out to her directly to express that reading the book was almost like a conversation, which was Dualeh’s goal whilst writing the book. Others have expressed that this book is suitable for a variety of readers, with activities and advice that can be taken anywhere.
When it comes to the message she hopes readers take away from the book, she hopes readers realize “You can have a great marriage. You can have a beautiful life whilst struggling to conceive and you don’t have to pause everything until you have that baby, and that baby’s not guaranteed. So we really need to know that this whole thing is enough, and we really need to internalize that and really believe that to our core.”
For Dualeh, You Press has been a major asset in helping her get to where she is now. She began working with You Press in 2012 during her post-graduate studies. She’s been able to attend and host workshops that provided her with the knowledge and resources that eventually helped her in the process of creating her book. Now that Dualeh has published her book, You Press has been able to offer help in promoting her story, including providing a space with the Good Hotel for her books launch party that was on Saturday 25 June.
“They’ve helped on such practical levels, as you can see, and they’re always one phone call away as well,” Dualeh says about her relationship with You Press.
If you are interested in reading Taking Control: A Muslim Woman’s Guide to Infertility, you can purchase a copy on Amazon, and WHSmith. Photo credit: Farah Dualeh