Hanan Hazime is a poet, novelist, and professional writer who lives in Toronto, Canada. She has a Master of Arts degree in English Literature and Creative Writing, as well as a Bachelor of Arts and Science degree in English Literature and Creative Writing and Biological Sciences from the University of Windsor. Hanan has also taken several Professional Writing courses at Centennial College, where she refined her web copywriting, copyediting, and social media management skills. She is a proficient user of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Publisher and Wordpress, and is sufficiently skilled in InDesign, Photoshop, and Excel.
Hanan’s poetry and prose have appeared in a number of publications, including The Windsor Review, Generation magazine, ProQuest’s dissertation database, and the limited edition chapbook Gallimaufries. In her spare time, Hanan enjoys analysing nineteenth century fiction, photoblogging, updating her various social networks, and drinking copious amounts of tea.
Growing up as a Lebanese-Canadian Muslimah, I desperately wished for a book with a protagonist I could identify with – a strong female character who is both Muslim and Canadian and going through similar experiences. Such a book was nowhere to be found. That is why for my Masters of Creative Writing thesis, I wrote Rosewater, a novella with strong female Muslim protagonists.
Rosewater is an Arab-Canadian novella composed of two short stories- “ Hab al Ruman” and “Sharbat”. “Hab al Ruman” is set in 1983 in Mount Lebanon and presents the mental journey of a single Muslim mother as she struggles to preside over her adolescent daughter’s future. “Sharbat” is set in 2012 in Southwestern Ontario and features the disjunctive psychological explorations of a young Lebanese-Canadian Muslimah as she struggles to liberate herself from the restrictive cultural binaries imposed upon her.
I wrote Rosewater to give a much needed voice to marginalized Arab/Muslim-Canadian women. The stories of minorities, especially minority women are often pushed aside in favour of mainstream discourses. There is a great need for Arab/Muslim-Canadian women to express themselves and their stories in the face of today’s widespread islamophobia and racism. As long as our stories are not heard, we will continue to be othered, dehumanized, and reduced to two dimensional stereotypes. My hope is that my writing will provide a realistic and authentic snapshot of what it is like to be an Arab/Muslim woman that differs from and challenges the mainstream media’s stereotypical portrayals. I want to entice readers to question the blurry line between culture, religion, and personal belief.
I hope to expand the stories in Rosewater into a full length novel and publish it in order to give other Arab/Muslim women an opportunity to see themselves represented in a literature, and to give the general populace the opportunity to understand just how diverse and heterogeneous the experiences of Arab/Muslim women are.
I am also working with my husband, Shae, on a collection of poetry entitled Chiaroscuro, which aims to dispel myths surrounding mental illness in both Eastern and Western cultures.
Chiaroscuro is a mosaic of emotionally stirring rhymes and compelling verses steeped in love, loss, pain, and passion. Hanan playfully experiments with spelling, syntax and punctuation to deconstruct the conventional structures of language while exposing the darker side of humanity. Shae re-imagines traditional poetic forms, such as sonnets, in a new light to illustrate that raw emotion can still be conveyed within the confines of iambic pentameter.