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Meet Heba Subeh-Hyder of Maymunah’s Musings in Inland Empire

Today we’d like to introduce you to Heba Subeh-Hyder.

Heba, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I’m a Muslim Palestinian-American that was born in Kuwait and came to the US as a refugee 30 years ago during the first Gulf war. I’ve been through quite a lot in my life. War, fleeing my home at a young age and settling in a strange country that I knew nothing about. It was a culture shock, to say the least. Despite it all, I earned a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Cal Poly Pomona, and am currently pursuing another degree in Islamic Studies from California Islamic University. I live in sunny southern California with my husband, whom I met at Cal Poly, and three incredible daughters.

I became an official author about a year ago. Before that, I would dabble in writing here and there, but nothing official or serious. I have always loved to read, and just get lost in whatever story I could get my hands on. As long as I had a good book and a cup of coffee, I was set!

What pushed me to pursue this venture was my diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in November of 2016. The shock of it hit hard. It caused me to turn to God, and to look within myself for answers I was so desperate to find. As a Muslim, I believe that God does not burden a soul with more than it can handle. After processing my diagnosis, I was ready to face it head-on. And part of this readiness was to serve God in any way I can. In a conversation with my husband about what I can do, he pointed out my love for Islam, our beautiful faith, and my love for writing, and said, “Hey, why don’t you combine the two, and write a book?” That sounded like a great idea to me, and I just went for it. There are many misconceptions of Muslims and Islam all around, and oftentimes, adults and children lack an understanding of who God is, so my goal through my children’s book series is to educate kids and familiarize them with God and His beautiful attributes in a way that children can comprehend so that they may grow to become confident Muslims with strong conviction in their faith despite the Islamophbia that’s taking place.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
For the most part, it’s been pretty smooth. I’d have to say that there is a lot more marketing involved on my end than I had anticipated, and the hustle is real! And since Islamic books are part of a niche market, the work is a bit extra. But I don’t mind the hard work. I’m marketing on social media constantly, and it’s been great. It’s a learning process, and I learn something new everyday, but I’m truly enjoying it.

Being a mother, wife, and battling MS have presented their own set of challenges. It’s sometimes difficult fighting the fatigue and other flare-ups that come with MS to accomplish my daily work tasks, and at the same time, you can’t neglect your family. I’m so grateful and blessed to have an incredible support system in my husband and daughters. They see when I need my rest and help me any time I’m in need of anything.

Please tell us about Maymunah’s Musings.
I’m writing a series called Maymunah’s Musings about a little girl named Maymunah who sets out to discover who Allah (God) is through His attributes. She has many fun adventures along the way. The first book in the series is called, “How Much Does Allah Love Me?” and in it, Maymunah wonders about God and His love for her. She asks her mother for help figuring it out and ends up going on a wonderful imaginary journey with her Mama. This is a sweet story that highlights the relationship between a child and her mother, as well as the one between that child and God.

I chose to specialize in Islamic children’s books for the mere fact that Muslims are so underrepresented. I wanted to tell stories of children that are like my children, my friends’ children, and the child that I once was. There are hardly any books out there geared towards Muslim children that give them a sense of belonging, and my hope is that when they see my book, it sparks some happiness and familiarity within them.

As you may have noticed, I chose to include an interracial family in my story. Maymunah is half Black and half Indonesian. When people think of Muslims, their minds automatically shift to Arab Muslims or Indian/Pakistani Muslims, That’s unfortunate because there’s a plethora of other ethnicities of Muslims out there. In fact, the majority of Muslims are Indonesian, and Arabs represent the minority. There are so many interracial families, mine included, and many that I know, and I just wanted to represent them as much as I could.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t believe in good or bad luck. I strongly believe that everything happens for a reason. Some people may see my diagnosis as an obstacle or some sort of bad luck in my life, but I see it as a huge blessing, so I guess you could say I call my MS good luck. If I didn’t have MS, I’m not sure I would’ve been able to pursue this dream. I wouldn’t be as driven or determined to keep going. I wouldn’t fight as hard as I am everyday to make things work. I would be taking the simple things, such as my mobility, my vision, and cognitive skills for granted, and not be as thankful as I am now for full functionality.

You make your own luck, and God is in control. My job is to set a goal, work hard as hell to pursue it, and leave the rest up to Him. That lifts any burdens off my shoulders.

Pricing:

  • Book “How Much Does Allah Love Me?” is $18 plus shipping

Contact Info:

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