• Sahar Abdulaziz

Let's Start Talking

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The Broken’ Half’s vine [15 seconds] and full length book trailer had a very successful debut. After watching, many people felt comfortable to share, promote, or reach out. Subsequently, I received many positive messages of encouragement from people who were deeply thankful a book trailer like this was put together because it allowed, in less than three minutes, a visual connection and clarity to a serious and devastating crisis and discussion. There are two polarized camps of thought concerning book trailers. Those that are for them and think they are a good way to promote a book, and those who don’t think they work, and aren’t worth the effort or expense. There is probably a third camp, made up of those who are not necessarily for book trailers, but won’t say nay to one that makes an impact. Before I set out to bring The Broken Half book trailer to fruition, I was in most definitely in base-camp three. However, my objective in using these two marketing tools, the short vine and the longer trailer version was not for book sales in as much as exposure. The goal became to use a realistic and fact-based visual mode of language to encourage people to discuss this uncomfortable and tragic subject. I wanted a visual correlation between the intensity of this subject matter to the topic of The Broken Half, but most of all, because of the real possibility of impending baseless controversy, I wished to present my own platform as an author before others decided to do it for or about me, using the opportunity to shatter any knee-jerk responses, and misconceptions- especially with those who wish to deflect discussing this topic truthfully. Domestic violence and sexual assault are global deadly issues, and not just ‘a problem of the Muslim community’.

Domestic violence and sexual assault are two closely interrelated topics with the innate capability to bring many other pertinent areas of concern and debate front and center. Because this subject matter is highly complicated, discussing all the nuances, complications and obstacles can become equally as emotionally and politically messy. Tensions naturally run high, strong and deep. As a multi-dimensional and dangerously painful topic, victims of abuse are all too often maligned or highly misunderstood, and any inaccuracy or typecast can feel like an attack on a victim/survivor’s integrity. I could not and would not allow this transgression to manifest.

I pray this trailer helped to convey strongly that no group or individual is immune from this experience if the ‘right’ conditions present. Although this particular book is centered on a Muslim young woman, this main character could be interchangeable with any other woman, given the right circumstances. People from all backgrounds and beliefs can find themselves victimized.

Lastly, my intention in writing this book and making this trailer was to reinforce the concept that domestic violence is a universal oppressor. That ‘just leaving’ a violent relationship is not as easy has been made out to be, and quite frankly, it can be a deadly proposition.

The Broken Half is a tale about what happens when a diseased heart is allowed to manifest unchecked, when good men do nothing, and the lethal, residual consequences that can follow. It is a story that aims to shed light on what can happen when a woman is abused and oppressed, and cannot find the help necessary to break free from the shackles that bind her. [The Broken Half, 2015]

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Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said

“The strong is not the one who overcomes the people by his strength, but the strong is the one who controls himself while in anger.”

(Bukhari :: Book 8 :: Volume 73 :: Hadith 135)

Let’s start talking.

No more deflecting.

No more excuse- making.

No more polarized discussions.

Let’s throw all our cards on the table and call domestic violence and sexual assault exactly what it is- an inexcusable CRIME perpetrated on both an individual and their humanity. Change can only happen when everyone recognizes the severity of these deplorable and heinous acts.


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