July – August 2020

Fear is an inevitable fact of life. Putting together this issue, it was refreshing to see the many different takes on and stories of fear and uncertainty. But a common theme came up in every piece and I briefly wondered if perhaps this notion of “finding the light at the end of every tunnel” was too cliche and, indeed, tediously repetitive. But thinking about the alternative didn’t bring me any groundbreaking revelations. In the end I concluded that fear must be a catalyst which can go both ways; it can either give you hope or drown you in misery. 


Which, again, is common knowledge. But you know how they say that “common sense” is the least common sense among people? I think the pieces in this issue made me think over the things I know about my fears. Moreover, I thought about the things I did about them, or rather, the lack of things I did about them. 

In any case, I hope you too will find a worthy looking glass in the pages of this issue.

– Editorial, Issue 05

Issue 05 | Fear


Fear - Poetry

By Khalil Gibran (1883-1931)​

Gibran’s poem Fear pictures fear following the metaphor of a river entering the sea. Maybe rivers have a fear of the unknown too.


Read on Medium

And The Fear Continues - Creative Nonfiction

By Salman Sowdagar

The sequel to Salman’s creative nonfiction piece Of Learning a Language published in Issue 04. Here, Salman writes about how his fear of Telugu took on a new face and gave rise to an altogether different fear. Read on to find out how he finally came to terms with his fear.

Dare to Fail - Poetry

By Sambusa

In her poem Dare to Fail, Sambusa likens success to climbing a mountain. What if the guardian of the mountain wasn’t a monster or an impossible task? What if it’s just a bitter old man?

Navigating College - Article

By Khadija Drebi

To go to college or not to go to college, to study medicine or not to study medicine? These are the questions. And many more. Khadija recounts her experience as a troubled high school student trying to figure out the big questions and offers advice on how other students may do the same. 

Are you My Karma? - Poetry

By Adeeba Jafri

A poem written from the point of view of an older sister who tries her best to look out for her younger siblings, out of fear from her own past mistakes. Adeeba captures the emotions of an important pillar of our community that we don’t much talk about: the older sibling.

Faith Over Fear - Creative Nonfiction

By Imane Bazoune

In which Imane writes about her fear of airplanes. People have different fears but the solutions may all lead back to the same fundamentals.

To Fear or Not to Fear? - Article

By Samu R. Ai

Samu breaks down a basic principle of Islam: Taqwa of Allah by looking into an age old question: Why Fear God?

Sp-Spider! - Short Story

By ZimBey

Is a humorous short story of an unnamed protagonist overcoming their chronic fear of Spiders.

East Turkestan: In My Words - Creative Nonfiction

By Gulruy Asqer, Geigo Sakayudha & Sumayya FS

Gulruy tells her story from the start. Growing up in East Turkestan, fleeing East Turkestan and speaking up for the Uyghurs. When living a life of fear, it’s hard to not be controlled by it. Gulruy’s story is one that everyone needs to hear and one that everyone can learn from.

Finding Mom: An Ode to Gulshan Abbas - Creative Nonfiction/Poetry

By Afreen Razvi (writer) & Ziba Murat (story)

Dr. Gulshan Abbas has been missing since September 2018. Read her daughter’s heartfelt story, written in the condensed form of poetry by Afreen Razvi. Here is a message, here is a call to action – for all those who care.

Despair - Prose Poetry

By Jabal Maryam

Jabal Maryam looks at fear in the context of our troubled times.