Sultana's Dream

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Sultana's Dream
May 2012


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Contributing Writers - May 2012 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.

Dr Ann Black is a lawyer and academic at the Law School of the University of Queensland where she teaches courses on: Introduction to Islamic law, Asian Legal Systems, Criminal Law and Legal Method. Her main research interests are the two Sultanates of Brunei and Oman, and the role of Islamic law in common law nations, like Australia.

Hanifa Deen is an award-winning author who writes narrative non-fiction and lives in Melbourne. Her books include: Caravanserai: A Journey Among Australian Muslims; Broken Bangles; The Crescent and the Pen and The Jihad Seminar. Her latest book is Ali Abdul v. The King (UWA Publishers 2011).

Previous appointments include: Hearing Commissioner, Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission of Australia, the Board of Directors, Special Broadcasting Services (SBS) as well as senior positions in WA and Victoria in ethnic affairs bureaus. Currently she writes full-time and is an Honorary Fellow at the National Centre for Excellence in Islamic Studies, University of Melbourne.

Maysaa Fahour is a primary school trained teacher and holds a Bachelor of Education from the University of Melbourne where she majored in Philosophy and Imaginative Teaching. She is currently serving as Chairperson on the Islamic Museum of Australia’s Board. She believes it’s essential to reinforce positive roles and community values for Muslim youth living in 21st century Australia. Maysaa has three wonderful children.

Salwah Kirk leads a charmed working life of interest and variety, and now lives quietly in retirement with her family, her garden and enough time to read.

Dakhylina Madkhul is a practising psychologist who hopes that nobody will hold that against her. She works as a counsellor with families and children from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, including new and emerging communities. She is actively involved in the educational and community welfare sectors, with a particular focus on women and young people. She was also a regular panel member appearing on the popular SBS TV show Salaam Café.

Miriam Mortimore is a third generation Australian Muslim of Pakistani and British heritage. She has a Bachelor of Economics and a Graduate Diploma in Information Studies. Based in Perth, she has over twenty years experience managing research libraries in the public and private sector. In addition to her library expertise, Miriam has also worked in the information and knowledge management professions. Born to Generation X, Miriam is a passionate advocate of post modernism and where possible approaches her work life in non traditional ways, often deviating from established practice.

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.

Mona Said is currently working in the United Kingdom. She prefers using a pseudonym to write her articles and is also working on her first novel. She is a great traveller and a strong believer in global citizenship and hopes to return to Australia one day in the future. She is a strong advocate for Palestinian rights.


Silma Ihram is an educator and trainer. She has for many years been active in the field of education through the establishment of pre-school, primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. She holds a Master of Arts Hons. and is a community advocate for the Muslim community. She is currently the Director of Diversity Skills Training in Auburn, SW Sydney.