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Today, we have an opportunity to talk to Mojgan Azar. Mojgan Azar has written the book, A Lullaby in the Desert. I am super excited about this book, because it speaks to something that is very close to me.
I spent a good bit of time in the 1990's working with and for refugees. I worked primarily in Africa (Rwanda and Kenya in particular). Azar is from Iran and not Africa, but her story gives voice to people who often do not have voices.
Mojgan, can you tell us a little about yourself ? When did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing stories since I was a child. I would write short stories and give them to my classmates to read them and give me their ideas. When I grew up, I was too busy with studying and work to think much about writing. That was until my husband encouraged me to continue, because writing is the only way I can speak to the world and share the story of how Middle Eastern women fight for freedom.
Where do you get your inspiration, information, and ideas for books?
What is your favorite part about writing?
The end. I’m kidding! My favorite part is sitting on the chair and starting to write without hesitating or doubting whether what I’m writing might be a good idea. I think you can make progress by just sitting down and doing it.
Please tell us about your current release.
A Lullaby in the Desert represents the multitude of voices barely heard. This story is about women’s rights, fighting for freedom from oppression, social conflict, and the dangers pushing so many to flee their homelands to become refugees. The book is fiction but based on fact. Women, children, and men are too often forced to place their lives in stranger’s hands as they are smuggled across the desert into an uncertain future. For many, their fates are far worse.
Can you read / provide us with a small excerpt?
Susan looked over at Heja, who was staring out the slit in the fabric and watching the hills roll by. “Hey, Heja. Come look here.” She motioned with her hand. “Can you see outside? Can you tell where we are?” Susan noticed Rima straining herself trying to hear what Susan was saying but it was clear she couldn’t make out the words.
“Uh, yeah. It’s the desert,”
“I know.” Susan rolled her eyes. “I mean, do you think we’re in Iraq still, or Syria?”
“Well we’ve been on the way for hours.” He looked at his watch. “Yea, we’ve got to be in Syria by now.” He shifted uncomfortably; his leg having fallen asleep. “We’re heading straight for the heart of evil, straight to Da’esh. I don’t know if you can see from where you are but we aren’t on the road anymore. Haven’t been for a while. We’re driving across the open desert. Looks like we’re heading straight west.”
Susan stared intently at Heja. She wasn’t sure if she should share her idea with him. “Do you want to escape together?” She blurted it out without thinking.
That was excellent! What advice would you give someone who wants to be a writer?
Just write! Listen to other people’s stories and tell your own.
Anything additional you want to share with the readers?
I’d love their support by promoting or purchasing my book because I’m donating part of my sales to help refugees. We can make a difference by supporting each other and caring for one another. Kindness is the key to doing the most good for the world.
Perfect! Well, I wish you all the best! Thank you for speaking with me.