Author Highlight: Laura El Alam

Laura El Alam, author of Made from the Same Dough, always had her nose in a book as a child. “I remember asking God to enable me to become a writer one day,” she says. “Even as a child, I could see how books have the power to change people's perspectives, open minds and hearts, and make a powerful impact.”

Born in the U.S. and raised as a Catholic, Laura accepted Islam at the age of 25. The mother of five now writes for multiple Islamic publications and runs a freelance writing and editing business.

Laura’s picture book, Made from the Same Dough, came about in an interesting way. A few years ago, she wrote an article about how her Catholic father enjoyed spending Ramadan with her, her husband, and their kids. Ruqaya’s Bookshelf editor Asmaa Hussein read that article and reached out to Laura.

“She contacted me and said she loved the idea of publishing a story about an interfaith family and asked if I'd be interested in writing one. I jumped at the chance!”

Made from the Same Dough is a heartwarming story that centres the experience of converts and their families. In the story, Rayan worries that his Christian grandfather won’t fit in at a Ramadan iftar.

“I am so thrilled that I had the opportunity to write about a family like mine, with Muslim and Christian relatives who get along, overcome differences, and respect each other's beliefs.”

Laura says the story has been very well received. “At book readings, many Muslims who are fellow converts—or children of converts—come up to me and say they really appreciate seeing families like theirs represented in a picture book. Several of them say Made from the Same Dough brought tears to their eyes, and I always feel extremely honoured that my story touched their hearts.”

Laura says she has “so many more stories to tell” and tries to find time to write amid her day-to-day tasks: “For some reason, some of my best ideas come to me at the kitchen sink!” 

Check out Made from the Same Dough here!

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