• Sahar Abdulaziz


Updated: Jan 1, 2020

2019 brought with it this honor––Tight Rope awarded Best Muslim Fiction 2019 by Daybreak Press Global Bookshop and Gathering Space. This recognition is especially significant given our precarious and dangerous political climate. And while this story is fiction––its tale is weaved with disturbing truths––truths just as formidable and disconcerting as when they were first published, and sadly, maybe even more so. And here, belies the heartbreak.

However, pushing all that momentarily to the side, I am deeply honored by this award, grateful to those who read this story and felt the impact of its words. I am also indebted to all those who joined me on this writing journey, encouraging me to write this harrowing story even when I wanted to hide from its crushing emotional weight. Thank you to my editors, my publisher–– Djarabi Kitabs Publishing, my Beta readers, my early readers, and my Family for your continued support. YaAllah, I couldn't have done it without you.

Tight Rope unpacks a multitude of difficult, horrifically real issues that are a clear manifestation of racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, sexism, hate, and bigotry. The story reveals how there is no hiding from the truth, no matter how uncomfortable it is. While a fiction thriller, the story is all-too-real, all-too-accurate–– a disappointing and tragic sign of our times, past and present.

The time to face this fetid immorality is now. Call it what it is, make no more excuses for it, and crush it. No more hiding behind entitlement. No more pretending these issues don’t exist. No more blaming the oppressed for their oppression, or trying to dictate the parameters of those directly in the line of fire to self-protect. No skirting around uncomfortable issues all because YOU feel threatened.

I am honored by this award because it means that this story, despite the dark murky depths it pranced through, found a place in people's hearts. And for that, I am eternally grateful.

Tomorrow, January 1, 2020, we begin a new decade. I pray that change is in the air, making Tight Rope forever obsolete. However, until then, I will continue to write and expose––and encourage all Warriors of the Pen to do the same. The insipid power of hate cannot be left to manifest without challenge, and the Power of Truth cannot thrive without the illumination of light. May all our pens bring light. Ameen.

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