Samina Ali is an award-winning author, activist and cultural commentator. Her debut novel, Madras on Rainy Days (Farrar, Straus, Giroux), was the winner of France’s prestigious Prix Premier Roman Etranger Award and a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award in Fiction. The book, about a young American Muslim woman’s arranged marriage and political awakening, was partly inspired by Samina’s real-life experience growing up bi-culturally in Hyderabad, India and St. Paul, Minnesota.
At the heart of Samina’s work is her belief in personal narrative and art as a vital force for achieving women’s individual and political freedom – and in the power of new and traditional media as platforms for social transformation. As the curator of the groundbreaking, critically acclaimed virtual exhibition, Muslima: Muslim Women’s Art & Voices, Samina illuminated the multi-dimensional realities of women’s lives to challenge fears and misconceptions of Muslims and Islam within and beyond Muslim communities.
Based in San Francisco, Samina has spoken extensively at a wide range of universities, from Harvard and Yale Universities to community colleges, as well as at other institutions internationally. She has been featured in The Economist, The Guardian, Vogue, National Public Radio (NPR) and elsewhere. A regular contributor to The Huffington Post and Daily Beast, she has written for The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, among other publications.
10 American Muslim Women You Should Know
Huffington Post [December 10, 2013]
How Muslim Women Are Waging a Jihad for Peace
The Daily Beast [September 11, 2013]
Pratibha Parmar Brings Alice Walker's Art to Life
The Daily Beast [February 7, 2014]
Dying To Give Birth: 3 Reasons American Women Are Dying of Pregnancy Complications
Huffington Post [March 7, 2016]
The Role of Muslim Women in Fighting Extremism: A Conversation with Writer & Activist Samina Ali
Houston Matters [February 25, 2016]
Ali's Novel 'Madras on Rainy Days'
NPR [March 7, 2004]
Authors Explore American Immigrant Experience
NPR [April 5, 2009]
Muslim women make some noise
The Economist [April 19,2013]
IMOW, Muslima: Muslim Women's Art & Voice
Bay Sunday [May 31, 2013]
Muslima Curator Samina Ali Speaks About 'Breaking Stereotypes'
Global Fund for Women [November 13, 2014]
What Does The Quran Really Say About A Muslim Woman's Hijab?
TEDxUniversityofNevada [February 10, 2017]