Samira Ahmed shares her success story

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Libby Soelberg, Feature Editor

“Everyone should be able to be a hero on the page,” author of 3 young adult novels Samira Ahmed said. Ahmed held an author visit at DGN November 12  where she shared her story as a young Muslim girl growing up in Botavia. 

Her first book, Love, Hate, and Other Filters, closely resembles her own life, but is told as the life of Maya Aziz. Maya faces Islamophobia and cultural differences between her friends and her life, which Ahmed included to ensure her Muslim readers could see themselves as “the hero on the page”. 

“I think she wants minorities to see themselves in her writing because she talked about how if you don’t see something changing you have to make the change,” junior Sophie Rodriguez said.  “She doesn’t see her background or ethnicity in other people’s writing, so she decided to take action and change this herself.”

Though she’s a New York Times Bestseller now, she didn’t always want to be an author. She thought that she was going into the medical field. She discovered she wasn’t cut out for this field when she was quite young. 

“I stared into the gaping wounds. And I fainted. Long story short, I did not become a doctor. You can’t become a doctor when you faint at a thumb cut,” Ahmed said. 

She focused on the fact that she believes that failure doesn’t ruin plans and should only motivate you. 

“It felt like even if I’m not 100 percent sure of what I want to do right now, it’s not a problem,” attendee and junior Allie Petkova said.

Ahmed shared her story of failure by telling the students about the hardest part of being an author. 

“What also stood out to me was that writing a book takes a lot of time and patience because of actually writing, editing and publishing,” Rodriguez said. 

Though she shared her hard experiences, she also attempted to inspire the students by telling what she believes to be the key to her success stories. 

“You don’t have to have just one dream. Your dreams can change. There’s no expiration date on your dreams,” Ahmed said. 

She ended her talk by encouraging students to find the “verse that speaks to you” by giving examples from her favorite poet Walt Whitman.