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Randa Abdel Fattah

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Occupation  Writer, Lawyer
Genre  Fiction, School story
Alma mater  Melbourne University
Ethnicity  Palestinian, Egyptian
Role  Writer
Nationality  Australian
Name  Randa Abdel-Fattah

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Born  6 June 1979 (age 36) Sydney, Australia (1979-06-06)
Subject  Islamophobia, Islam, Muslims
Books  Does My Head Look Big in Thi, Ten Things I Hate About Me, Where the Streets Had a Na, The Friendship Matchmaker, No Sex in the City

Notable awards  Kathleen Mitchell Award
Education  University of Melbourne

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Randa Abdel-Fattah (born 6 June 1979) is an Australian Muslim writer of Palestinian and Egyptian parentage. Randa was born in Australia and her debut novel, Does My Head Look Big in This?, was published in 2005.


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Early life and education

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Abdel-Fattah was born in Sydney, Australia on 6 June 1979 of Palestinian and Egyptian heritage. She grew up in Melbourne and attended a Catholic primary school and Islamic secondary college, obtaining an International Baccalaureate. She wrote her first "novel", based on Roald Dahl's Matilda, when she was in sixth grade. As a teenager, she wrote short stories and produced the first draft of Does My Head Look Big in This? at about the age of 18.

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Abdel-Fattah studied a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Law at the University of Melbourne. During this time, she was the Media Liaison Officer at the Islamic Council of Victoria, a role that afforded her the opportunity to write for newspapers and engage with media institutions about their representation of Muslims and Islam. She completed her PHD in Islamaphobia. Abdel-Fattah was a passionate human rights advocate and stood in the 1998 federal election as a member of the Unity Party (slogan: Say No to Pauline Hanson). She has also been deeply interested in inter-faith dialogue and has been a member of various inter-faith networks. Abdel-Fattah has also volunteered time with numerous human rights and migrant resource organisations, including: the Australian Arabic council, the Victorian Migrant Resource Centre, the Islamic Women’s Welfare Council, the Palestine Human Rights Campaign, and the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre.


Abdel-Fattah is frequently sought for comment by the media on issues pertaining to Palestine, Islam or Australian Muslims. On Australian television, she has appeared on: Insight (SBS), First Tuesday Book Club (ABC), Q & A (ABC TV), Sunrise (Seven Network) and 9am (Network Ten). She is a regular guest at schools around Australia addressing students about her books and the social justice issues they raise. She has been a guest at book festivals in Sweden (Gothenburg 2007; Lund's LitteraLund 2008) and Malaysia (Kuala Lumpur 2008). She has also toured in Brunei and the UK.

Abdel-Fattah describes herself as a feminist and has written critical pieces on the situation of women in Saudi Arabia. However she circumvents the issues of the veil and maintains that women should retain the right to wear what they want.

Personal life

Abdel-Fattah resides in Sydney with her husband and two children.


Randa Abdel-Fattah Wikipedia