Dear Europe: I Promise I’m Not Staying

An essential read…

meditations on home, belonging & all things literary

“Why can German cars, intelligence software, and pharma roam in Turkey more freely than they ever could in their own country, yet I can’t have one room in Kreuzberg to watch soaps and contemplate writing in without having to choose between my conscience and asylum, my ideals and academia, my family in Turkey and freedom here?”

The Applicant (2023), Nazlı Koca

Last Friday, while buried under piles of paperwork required to make my upcoming EU trip a reality, a dear friend from across the Atlantic reached out to me, inquiring about my day.

How’s your Friday going? Do you have time for a video chat?

I was also in the midst of my second work meeting of the day, attempting to remain attentive to the discussion unfolding on my laptop. But the tabs open on my desktop were distracting–beckoning me to start grading student papers awaiting my evaluation.


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Published by Shereen Malherbe

Shereen Malherbe is a writer & author. Her novel, Jasmine Falling has been voted as one of the top 20 Best Books by Muslim women. Her second contemporary fiction novel, The Tower, is now used as academic set text in a US university. Her migrant children's book series, The Girl Who Slept Under The Moon was followed in 2022 with, The Girl Who Stitched the Stars. Her short story, The Cypress Tree has been published in World Literature Today's landmark edition on Palestine Voices. Her latest novel, a Palestinian reimagining of Jane Eyre, The Land Beneath the Light has been nominated alongside her children's book, for the Palestine Book Awards 2022.

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