Author Archive

Moraa Gitaa

Moraa is a believer in social justice, human dignity, equity and inclusiveness and these core values translate to her writing. She is a 2017 apexart New York City (NYC) Fellow, a cultural immersion and social integration program. In 2014 Moraa won the Burt Award for African Literature for her YA novella 'The Shark Attack' tackling drug abuse/trafficking involving teenagers along Kenya’s coastal strip. Moraa was also short-listed for the 2010 Penguin Prize for African Writing and won First Prize in the National Book Development Council of Kenya (NBDCK) literary award in 2008. 'Crucible for Silver & Furnace for Gold' was Moraa’s first novel followed by 'Shifting Sands' both published by Nsemia Publishers, Canada. Moraa’s short stories have featured in several anthologies and magazines including Transition and Author Me. In 2015 Storymoja Publishers published her first crime fiction novella 'Hila' set in a casino in Mombasa and Kenya Literature Bureau (KLB) her first children’s book ‘The Con Artist’ also set in Mombasa. Moraa works in the sectors of sustainable livelihoods, social protection and development. She has just completed her 4-year coursework for a BA in Peace and Conflict Studies at Africa Nazarene University in Nairobi. Moraa divides her time between Kenya’s capital city Nairobi and Mombasa the coastal beach city which is her home town – Moraa was born, grew up by the beach, the reason most of her books are set on Kenya’s coastJ. Moraa believes that her challenge of Dyslexia in her formative years aided her creativity, because Dyslexics think in multi-sensory pictures and are mostly three-dimensional. She is mom to awesome young lady Tracy, an amazing graphic designer. Moraa is a member of PEN International – the world association of writers.  

Jihadi Brides

Outside, the men are about to perform ablution required before acts of worship, washing their faces and limbs. I listen to them as they make the niyya-intention to do ablution and recite, ‘’Bismillāh i’r Rahmān i’r Rahīm. In the Name of Allâh, the Beneficent, the Merciful.’’ Syria is hot. I always thought Mombasa my hometown was hot but this heat beats the dense humidity of my coastal hometown in Kenya. The midday scorching sun makes the black hijab covering my head and face feel like a hot iron-box and I’m sweating profusely. Peeping from my veil, I catch a glimpse of the men doing ablution intent on purifying themselves, yet I know no matter how much they scrub, they can’t purify themselves of their filth.

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