1. What was the first book you ever read? 

It Is weird but my 2nd grade history book. I was so fascinated by the Egyptians and the Romans.

2. What’s your favourite quote from a book?

When you want something the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

3. Which book would you recommend to everyone?

The Secret.

4. Which do you prefer: fiction or non-fiction?

Non-fiction. This is not only the case with books, but also the case with TV shows, films etc. People use art to escape, I use it to deal with reality.

5. What’s your favourite place to read a book?

In trains and planes to pass time because I am always travelling. I get lost into the book and forget the stressful journey. It calms me.

6. What’s your favourite word in your native tongue and why?

Hooyo: it means ‘mother’ in Somali and I say it multiple times a day.

7. Which author dead or alive would you like to have a conversation with?

Paulo Coelho. He knows so much, I am eager to learn.

8. Which three books should be mandatory for everyone?

George Orwell: 1984

Alex Haely: Autobiography Malcom X

Khaled Hosseini: The Kite Runner

(I have more interesting choices, but these are the first three that came to mind).

9. Name a book you haven’t read but want to read someday?

Tom Morrison: Race

10. What do you look for in a book?

It has to be able to happen in real life. That is my only criteria. Other than that, it has to intrigue me. That changes depending on my mood.

11. Which book would you take with you to a deserted island?

The Koran. I study Arabic and Islamic studies and minor in politics. I feel like the koran, linguistically, contextually and philosophically has a lot to offer. I would not get bored and would also learn a lot.

12. What would the title of your memoir be?

‘I Was here, I lived and loved.’

13. Which person do you know is a good story teller and why?

My older sister. My parents moved abroad simultaneously: my dad was all over East Africa for work and my mum moved to Belgium for a better life. My siblings and I were being raised in the meantime by my aunt and were quite depressed. My sister would tell us about what she dreamt about at night and would tell it to us in a way that we felt fulfilled and happy even though it was just for a few minutes when she would tell the story.

14. What was your favourite African story while growing up and why?

I wouldn’t say I had any. I remember being in class when I was younger and my teacher would read us stories before we took naps. Those, to this day, are the times I wish I could go back to because life was so simple.


Faiza Osman is currently pursuing a major in Arabic and Islamic studies and a minor in politics. She lives in Ghent, Belgium

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