Resident Spotlight: Aya Khalil
Aya Khalil is a local author who just published her third children’s book called “The Night before Eid: A Muslim Family Story”. Aya was born in Egypt, and moved to the United States as a very young girl. She is a mother of three and a freelance journalist.
Over the course of her career, she had the opportunity to interview and write about people from marginalized communities. “One day I realized there were not enough positive stories about “us.” About Muslims. About Arabs. About Egyptians. As my kids get older, which stories read about in school? Will it be negative stories about Muslims? Stereotypical stories about Arabs?” she asked. So Aya decided to write her own story down in her first book called “The Arabic Quilt: An Immigrant Story about an Egyptian girl who immigrates to the U.S. and is trying so hard to fit in. She has written two more books since then, and her books have been featured in Oprah Daily, Teen Vogue, Yahoo!, Book Riot and USA Today. Her writing has been published in The Huffington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, Toledo Area Parent and many others.
Aya’s newest book, “The Night Before Eid”, is about three generations of Egyptian-Americans bonding over a special Eid treat. It is illustrated by Rashin Kheiriyeh. You can purchase this book locally at Gathering Volumes or Barnes and Noble. Her fourth book will be out later this summer called “The Banned and is about a girl and her classmates finding out their school district has banned diverse books so they organize a bake sale in protest.
You may check out her website at ayakhalil.com or follow her on Twitter and Instagram.