Australian listeners will all be familiar with Yassmin Abdel-Magied. A writer, TV presenter, podcast host, speaker and former race-car chassis designer (I mean, WOW), Yassmin also became a lightening rod for Australian racism, Islamophobia and misogyny when she posted a simple anti-war statement on her Facebook page in 2017. The reaction was swift and astonishing. She was excoriated across every strata of society, from the media to the public and even within the Federal government. What had this proudly Muslim, proudly feminist, proudly Sudanese-Australian woman said that was so outrageous?
"Lest we forget: (Manus, Naura, Syria, Palestine)"
Yassmin was eventually forced to leave the country to protect not just her life but also her mental health. She has since become an international juggernaut, authoring two YA books that have been optioned for screen, hosting an immersive theatre event at Kensington Palace, presenting podcasts and television shows and commanding stages all over the world.
Yassmin joined me for a very special episode of the hotline to discuss what it means to have life as you know it destroyed and to have to rebuild something more powerful from the rubble. We talked about what it means to be brave and what it means to live a good life. This is an in-conversation episode, so unfortunately we haven't answered questions from little sisters - but I think you'll agree that the rich and illuminating conversation was worth it!
Next week: I'll be joined by the very funny @thirtysomethingsingle from Instagram, who posts about dating disasters, disappointing men, body positivity and fatphobia particularly in romantic scenarios.
In the meantime, you can purchase Yassmin's first YA book, "You Must Be Layla" from all good bookstores!
You can find the transcript of this episode here. Please be mindful it will not be an exact copy as it is computer generated!
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