How to be a Bad Muslim


Wednesday, 30th November 2022 | 19:00 - 20:30




UK launch for the Penguin-published essay collection 'How to be a Bad Muslim' by writer, poet and journalist Mohamed Hassan.


From Cairo to Takapuna, Athens to Istanbul, How To Be A Bad Muslim maps the personal and public experience of being Muslim through essays on identity, Islamophobia, surveillance, migration and language.


Traversing storytelling, memoir, journalism and humour, Hassan speaks on mental health, grief and loss, while weaving memories of an Egyptian immigrant fighting childhood bullies, listening to life-saving ‘90s grunge and auditioning for vaguely-ethnic roles in a certain pirate movie franchise.


The event will have poetry performances by Amani Saeed, Zohab Zee Khand, and Chifaa Khelfaoui.



Mohamed Hassan is an award-winning poet, author and journalist from Auckland and Cairo. He is the 2015 New Zealand Poetry Slam Champion, and the 2021 UK Poetry Slam Runner-Up. His first collection of poems National Anthem was shortlisted for the NZ Book Awards, and his new book How to be a Bad Muslim was published by Penguin Random House in 2022. 


Amani Saeed is an international writer who treads the line between roots and routes. She writes poetry, blog posts, films, and whatever else is needed to get the point across. In addition to being a former member of the Roundhouse Collective, and Barbican Young Poets, Amani is the curator and host of of the interdisciplinary sell-out night the hen-nah party, designed by and for queer South Asians. Her poetry collection, Split, was published with Burning Eye Books. Amani is the co-writer for Queer Parivaar, which premiered at the BFI Flare 2022 and won Best in British at the Iris Prize 2022.


Zohab Zee Khan is a performance poet and executive coach who has conducted over a thousand poetry and self-development workshops across the globe. His work seamlessly integrates Urdu and Punjabi as he paints poetic pictures of family, heritage, and a better world. His first poetry collection “I Write” reached best-seller status in Australia within months of its release. In 2014 he became the National Poetry Slam Champion of Australia and has performed his poetry at some of the world's premier writers' festivals. As a 4th generation Australian of Pakistani heritage, Zohab has channeled his distinct life experiences into stories with the intent to educate. 


Chifaa Khelfaoui is an actor and poet. She is currently at Kingdom Drama School and she is also part of the Theatre Makers cohort at the Old Vic. Chifaa is also a spoken word artist. Her inspirations come from hip-hop and conscious rap and she has recently toured with hip-hop artist and political campaigner, Lowkey. In the future, she hopes to incorporate different languages in her work for the purpose of connecting to a global audience.