I was requested by Guernica Magazine to let them publish my six-person interview series on Muslim womanhood, sexuality, symbolism and diasporic politics. I placed a heavy emphasis on the nostalgia we experience while carrying our homes with us in faraway lands; in the form of songs, literature, fruits, scents, jewelry, fabric, sights, and more. Given such an attachment these women have with their motherlands, I asked each one to bring with them an item from their native origin that shaped their identity and provided them with a gentle memory of home (and yet their displacement) but also pushed against preconceived notions and stereotypes about Muslim womanhood which remain destructively limited to viewing us within the tropes of veils, beards, and bombs. What happened after was [[poetry.]]Seelai and her [[anaar.]] Afghanistan. Nerdeen and her [[rumaal.]] Palestine. Asma and her [[diyu.]] Ethiopia. Shiva and her [[Rumi.]] Iran. Kawthar and her [[bad-nazar.]] Sudan. Maryam and her [[rickshaw.]] Pakistan.Pomegranate. Resistance. Her mother's smile. The seeds. The tree in Kandahar before the invasion. The roots of the tree after the invasion. "Being Afghan means listening to people justify war in your country. They only know about the bad stuff but they will never know how beautiful our anaars are. I mean, come on, look at these seeds. You can grow universes with them. Ruby red universes. And that keeps me going. The red says something else too: My home isn't your playground." <img src=http://40.media.tumblr.com/7059ecef61862481f19d0d4b19f782bb/tumblr_njzkfu8nq11uo9adlo6_1280.jpg>Wallet. Handkerchief. Check post. Rejected entries. Home away from home away from home so away from home. The mirror casting reflection on her ummi. Her mother. "I haven't been home in six years now and whenever it gets too much, I just hold this next to my heart. One time a man tried ripping my hijab off and I felt like crying and screaming but the only thing that calmed me down was this (embroidered handkerchief). It's amazing how a small thing can control a flood." <img src=http://41.media.tumblr.com/2fee3d2c369e0a30887617fbafcacbe3/tumblr_njzkfu8nq11uo9adlo5_540.jpg>Warm laughter. Tea. Gossip. Form and decorum. Secrets. Hot summer evenings and breezy dawns. Habesha songs and poetry. Cultural appropriation. Angst. Relief. Napping in your sister's arms and promising everything will be okay. "I carry Ethiopia in my heart at all times, and sometimes it gets heavy." <img src=http://40.media.tumblr.com/05703360908fef40f9b9466217810f53/tumblr_njzkfu8nq11uo9adlo4_540.jpg>Shiraz and its wine. Tehran and its rugs. Persian beats and streets. Rumi in the West and Rumi in the East. "You know, the Rumi in the West is not the Rumi we know. He wasn't about that get-drunk and bang-ya-girl life. Rumi was on another level, joon. Rumi wasn't about petty shit. The Rumi in the West is not the Rumi we grew up with." <img src=http://40.media.tumblr.com/91bdf6ea3826a5a1f50ee542cbdd7405/tumblr_njzkfu8nq11uo9adlo3_1280.jpg>Protection against evil eye. Hang the necklace by the door. Khartoumi dinners and full bellies. "I take it with me everywhere. It's not just a reminder of Sudan but also that I'm feeling vulnerable here in New York City. I'm Black. I'm a Black woman. Life is not easy for my kind. I carry this with me and I feel like, 'Yo. I got this. I'm good.' You know?" <img src=http://40.media.tumblr.com/5e24e7a3c90fd836d4b2ad51123fccd4/tumblr_njzkfu8nq11uo9adlo2_1280.jpg>Bhangra. Run wild and free. Mangoes and oranges and apples. Fruit chaat. Uncles arguing over politics and cricket. Falling asleep under the open sky. "When I was little, my dad and I would go on the rickshaw to the football stadium in Lahore and we would take rounds around the whole place and I remember the rose water ice cream he would get me. Cotton candy. Loud drums. Happy faces. But if you tell someone about that here, they don't believe you. They'll go, "What about the turmoil?" What about it. There's tons of turmoil here, too. But God forbid I mention it." <img src=http://40.media.tumblr.com/1ef182ad8f2ad44fae37a37e00a564d7/tumblr_njzkfu8nq11uo9adlo1_1280.jpg>