Muslim from Mississippi Writes Play Highlighting Life in an American Muslim Family

June 8, 2006

Source: Forbes

Wire Service: AP

On June 8, 2006 the Associated Press reported, "As the college-age daughter of Egyptian immigrants living in Starkville, Miss., Suehyla El-Attar felt isolated. 'The only idea I had was, "I just need to get out of here,"' said El-Attar, who turned those feelings of isolation and culture clash into a play, 'The Perfect Prayer,' developed and on view through June 25 at the Horizon Theatre Company. 'The Perfect Prayer' is the semiautobiographical story of a college student named Hadia who lives in the South and who wants to break away from her strict Muslim parents. 'It's not that she has a problem with Islam,' El-Attar said. 'It's a problem with the culture. Everything is against God. There is no questioning'... El-Attar, 30, likes the notion that her play provokes discussion of Islam - a faith she has not given up... While she was growing up, El-Attar's family spent some time living in Egypt, Iraq and Kuwait. She has lived in Atlanta, working in radio and theater, since 1998. The family in the play is similar to hers, although there are differences - her real mother does pray five times a day. El-Attar said her parents are supportive but are not sure whether they will able to travel to Atlanta to see the play, which the playwright hopes will get productions in cities with large Egyptian-American populations, such as Dallas and Detroit."