Fundraising for victims of recent hate crimes

The news about recent attacks against mosques and Islamic communities has been heartbreaking, to say the least. My comic Zenith has always been up for donation, and usually I donate the funds to the ACLU, CAIR, and various mosques/Muslim community centers — but right now, because of recent events, I will be donating all funds from Zenith to the victims of recent hate crimes in New Zealand and Escondido. Donations close on March 31st, 11:59pm EST.

If you’d like a small commission in exchange for a donation: I’ll be doing sketches for $10 each that will also be donated. You can order through my Ko-fi, or alternatively you can just Paypal to iasminomarata@gmail.com — and be sure to include what you’d like me to draw! No NSFW content is permitted.

Thank you for your time and consideration. May Allah bless those who have been affected by these terrible crimes.

Harvard University class visit!

At the end of December, I traveled to Cambridge, Massachusetts to speak to Harvard University students about Mis(h)adra — academic and writer Soha Bayoumi was teaching a graphic class this semester, and kindly included Mis(h)adra on the syllabus!! I was floored to see it! I had met Soha at MICE this year, and was happy to work out a visit to Harvard to speak to her class.

I sat in on the last class of the semester and, after some presentations, talked with the students about Mis(h)adra and the themes of illness intersecting with culture. We spoke a lot about how my experience with my own Middle Eastern culture is one of sustained silence, with an expectation to keep your illness behind close doors — as well as how that led me to keeping my experience bottled up, and how I found in Mis(h)adra a journey to break out of that silence and be more open about my condition. Everyone asked awesome questions — it was so much fun!

Soha’s class had some great books on the syllabus, and I can’t wait to read all of them. Here are some picks that really stood out to me:

  • With the Light: Raising An Autistic Child by Keiko Tobe

  • Comics Are Research: Graphic Narratives as a New Way of Seeing Clinical Practice by

  • Lissa by Sherine Hamdy, Coleman Nye, Sarula Bao, Caroline Brewer, and Marc Parenteau

Incidentally, one of my favorite mangas is a medical drama — Black Jack by Osamu Tezuka! It’s a classic and I highly recommend you check it out if you’re not familiar.

Anyway, it was a really cool experience, and a great reminder as to why I love graphic medicine and therapy through comics (+ games!) as a whole.

Here’s a photo of me and Soha after the class! :>

First post!

Hey there!

So, I’ve been meaning for a while now to start an Actual Blog part of my site — I usually post on social media what I’m up to, but posts get buried quickly, and I feel that it’ll be a good idea to keep a solid archive of what’s been up! (especially since tumblr is on the decline, and I’m not on social media everyday anyway…)

Here, I’m planning to post about my guest speaking / teaching / appearances adventures, process stuff, updates, and the like. For project-specific updates, you can head on over to my itch.io page and check them out there. I’ll also be posting on my ko-fi page as well.

Anyway, that’s that! See you again soon for a new post :>