two BLM booksI found out about Huda Fahmy’s brilliant cartoons on her Facebook “Yes I’m Hot in This” page via a fellow-editor and was instantly hooked. This is her first book, “Yes, I’m Hot in This: The Hilarious Truth about Life in a Hijab”, published in 2018, which I immediately rushed to buy – she has a new one out, “That Can Be Arranged: A Muslim Love Story” which I am also planning to get hold of. If you want to see your experience mirrored in a book or if you want to learn a  bit more about someone’s life that’s different from yours, I highly recommend this amusing and instructional book.

Huda Fahmy – “Yes, I’m Hot in This”

(20 August 2020)

Divided into six chapters, from “Yes, I’m Hot in this” through “Yes, People Actually Say This Stuff to Me” to “It Never Hurts To Hope,” we get to look at meta-Huda’s life at work, explaining over and over that she was born in the US, looking at how films could represent her, talking about her marriage, and combatting all sorts of crap, especially that coming from her colleague, Susan, pictured on the front cover. No one gets her name right, and she can only hope for waiters who understand about dietary restrictions, but there is hope at the end in the form of the nice people she meets who are genuinely interested in her as a person. Some themes are universal – buying clothes online and being disappointed – some take memes that have been going around and twist them to her experience – Ramadan: what my mom thinks I do, what non-Muslims think I do, what I think I do, what I really do – and some are horribly specific, like her epic response to someone throwing bacon at her in a supermarket.

I particularly liked the page where she questions White people – “Are you cold in that?” “Does your Dad make you wear this?” and the picture of what might go on under a hijab (A fan! Protective snakes!) and it’s all good-humoured and self-deprecating but also confrontational and provocative at times. A glossary at the back helps the less-aware reader (but is also very funny: read the bit about jinns!). I would share pages but that seems unfair when you can go and look on the Facebook page mentioned above and also Huda’s Instagram. It’s got a good lot of substance with 192 pages and as I said, highly recommended.