London Author, Farah Dualeh, Publishes New Book on Faith & Infertility

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

Merium Bhuiyan of CakeFace Makeup on Self-Expression and Community

By Erin-Leigh Hoffman, You Press Intern

Here at You Press, we specialise in helping people find their voice in their creative field and give them the opportunity to be heard. We offer resources to achieve this mission to a variety of people from different backgrounds. We offer the space for people to express themselves through creative arts in any way that they can imagine.

CakeFace Makeup, a makeup service owned by makeup artist, teacher and You Press partner, Merium Bhuiyan, is an example of what creative self-expression and entrepreneurship can look like.

Bhuiyan created CakeFace Makeup back in 2012 when she began to do makeup on a diverse range of clientele looking to use her services. She has experience doing makeup for special events like weddings and has also done makeup for TV, stage, and film. She also hosts makeup workshops available for anyone to attend. 

“It’s quite inclusive which is really fun and just a great way to bring people together to help them look and feel their very best,” Bhuiyan says about her services with CakeFace. 

As part of these makeup workshops, Bhuiyan created Club CakeFace which is a space where women can come together to learn about makeup and feel safe in an environment that is accepting of who they are. Its also a space that Bhuiyan has created for young Muslim women to feel comfortable either covering up or letting their hair down. For Bhuiyan, this is very important as it has the element of representation.

 “I get a lot of women who come to me and they feel happy to see somebody that looks like them in this kind of position so that is a major part of it for me” Bhuiyan reflects. “It’s really important to empower yourself and those around you.”

Bhuiyan feels that CakeFace is a unique creation not just because of the environment it has created, but because the idea of CakeFace takes a more holistic approach to beauty that goes beyond just the makeup itself. 

“My business is not about solely making money. It’s about helping people. So it’s more of a social enterprise I would say. It sounds funny, because it’s makeup, but through makeup, I’ve had some really powerful conversations, and people have told me about how you know, makeup has changed their lives and made it better,” Bhuiyan explains. “It’s kind of all encompassing, and it’s a welcoming space.”  

Since the creation of CakeFace Makeup in 2012, Bhuiyan has seen much success in her brand. In 2017, the next big part of CakeFace Makeup began with Club CakeFace that came from a small idea into a viral hit with coverage from the BBC. This coverage of Bhuiyan and her brand stemmed from Bhuiyan’s activism by speaking to young people about terrorism in light of the Finsbury Park Mosque terrorist attack as Vice Chair of the Islington Faith Forum last November which attracted the attention of journalists from the BBC. 

“I kind of said to the journalist, I’m a bit bored talking about it in terms of whenever Muslims are mentioned in the media, it’s usually in a negative light or about us being victims. And I said, if you don’t mind, can we talk about more positive things that Muslims are doing because it far outweighs the bad? And then I told her about the Club CakeFace and it kind of took off from there,” Bhuiyan recounts.

After that point, the coverage helped CakeFace Makeup and Club CakeFace take off even further. People from around the world were reaching out to her with messages of support and some offering to help get tickets for women who could not afford to attend.

“It was just incredible. I’m really riding the high from that one, and hoping that it can continue to grow,” Bhuiyan says.

Throughout Bhuiyan’s journey with CakeFace Makeup and Club CakeFace, You Press has been there to support Bhuiyan and her brand’s mission of inclusivity and self-acceptance. 

“You Press linked me up with several organisations, and I’ve travelled the world with them, so that’s definitely been huge,” Bhuiyan explains. “It just feels so beneficial not only to the young people, but also to myself as a trainer and facilitator, so I can only say good things about You, Press and recommend them to everyone I know,” Bhuiyan says 

CakeFace Makeup is offering services for a variety of occasions with rates available on the website. You can find CakeFace Makeup on social media via the CakeFace Makeup website or get into contact with Merium Bhuiyan via email at