Sultana's Dream

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Sultana's Dream
May 2011


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Contributing Writers - May 2011 Issue
  Durkhanai Ayubi is a senior policy analyst of Afghan origin who migrated with her family to Australia in the 1980s, at the height of the Soviet-Afghan War. She believes that the pen is mightier than the sword; this spurs her passion for social commentary and writing about the experiences of minorities. She is ‘a lover of all things challenging and a rejector of all things dull’.  She holds a Bachelor of Science, and an Honours degree in Chemistry from the Flinders University of South Australia, and is currently undertaking a Masters in Business Administration at RMIT.
Tasneem Chopra is Chairperson of the Australian Muslim Women’s Centre for Human Rights. ‘Equality without Exception’ is the centre’s ethos. This new human rights organisation was formerly the Islamic Women’s Welfare Centre of Victoria, and Tasneema’s involvement goes back almost twenty years to its inception. She's an advocate for social justice issues as they impact upon Muslim women and a strong proponent of the contributions they have made, and continue to make, to broader society.
  Inas Hassan was born in Alexandria and came to Australia in 1967. She spent her early years growing up in Bendigo. She attended Melbourne University where she did a BA (Hons) majoring in Middle Eastern Studies and Psychology and also studied Administrative Law at the Australian National University. Before returning to Egypt she worked in Canberra as a Legal Advocate for the Department of Veteran Affairs and the Department of Administrative Affairs. Inas lives in Cairo with her husband and three children.
Dr Shakira Hussein is undertaking a McKenzie postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Melbourne on Muslim women, gendered violence and racialised political discourse. She completed her PhD at the Australian National University and contributes regularly to New Matilda and Crikey on issues including gender, multiculturalism and Islam.
  Amra Pajalic is an award-winning author born in Melbourne's Western suburbs to parents of Bosnian background. A life-long reader, she realised early on that books representing her kind of story were rare: books about being from a migrant background and the family expectations that come with this, while at heart being ‘Aussie’. In her writing she relates stories that might not otherwise be heard. She holds a Diploma of Arts in Professional Writing and Editing and a BA.
Brynna Rafferty-Brown is passionate about languages and travel as tools to help her better understand and help make a difference in the world. She has spent time living in Indonesia, Morocco, Syria and Spain and has travelled throughout Southeast Asia. She speaks fluent Indonesian and can hold what she calls ‘a decent conversation’ in Arabic and Spanish. Brynna initiated the ‘Lombok Kids’ project, working with refugee and underprivileged children in Indonesia, and is currently employed as a research officer at the La Trobe Refugee Research Centre at Melbourne’s La Trobe University.
Shamim Samani lives in Perth where she works at the Office of Multicultural Interests. She comes from Kenya and completed her Masters in Ecologically Sustainable Development at Murdoch University and her PhD at Curtin University, Perth. Her doctorate examined challenges facing Muslim women especially in a post-9/11 world. Shamim describes herself as passionate about the empowerment of women and works as a volunteer in the community.
Professor Samina Yasmeen is Director of the Centre for Muslim States and Societies and lectures in Political Science and International Relations in the School of Social and Cultural Studies at the University of Western Australia. She is a specialist in political, and strategic developments in South Asia, and the role of Islam in world politics. She has served on numerous government committees and was an active member of the Australian Multicultural Advisory Committee. Her research on social inclusion, and exclusion dynamics, focuses primarily on Muslim women and Citizenship in Australia.