In the past four years, Huda Fahmy has penned three books featuring her fictional alter ego, who’s also named Huda F. In the latest, Huda F Are You?, Fahmy moves the character to Dearborn, Michigan, a Muslim hotspot where hijabs are more common than in your average American city.
Huda F Are You? is the most narrative of Fahmy’s three books. (Her previous two, 2018’s Yes, I’m Hot in This: The Hilarious Truth about Life in a Hijab and 2020’s That Can Be Arranged: A Muslim Love Story, assemble a collection of comics with recurring characters.)
Before her career in comics, Fahmy spent eight years teaching middle and high school English literature. In 2016, she had her first son and took a break from teaching to focus on writing, which had always been her passion. Soon after, Donald Trump was elected president and she saw a call on Twitter for more Muslim writers. Fahmy submitted a collection of essays to literary agents, but no one was interested.
A year later, her sister suggested she turn her essays into comics. Fahmy had never drawn before but had always loved the Sunday comics. “She was like, ‘Can you just do stick figures? Can you take this story and turn it into a little stick-figure comic for me?’” In Fahmy’s words, a lightbulb went off.
She started posting her comics on Instagram, gradually amassing a following of over 300,000 users. Her secret? Light-hearted humor and clapback wit. She knows how to engage with audiences around the world and creates a sense of unity and confidence by cracking jokes. “It’s really important that Muslims get afforded that luxury of nuance,” says Fahmy. “This is a Muslim story, not the Muslim story,” she says of her latest work.
Abridged from Bustle