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  • Oppression to emancipation: British-Indian author launches gripping debut novel, “The Granddaughter Project”

    Published on June 25, 2021

    International publishing house Nimble Books LLC has launched the debut novel of Indian-British author and world peace advocate Shaheen Chishti, entitled “The Granddaughter Project”.

    A modern visionary and one of the newest authors of British-Indian heritage, Shaheen Chishti has written a deeply emotional and raw story, poignantly telling the shared experience of three, very different women, who collectively use their voices to improve societal attitudes for their granddaughters. The men around these women, who play prominent roles in their lives, put them into desperate situations. Young and alone, they fight to overcome their experiences. The result is a masterful original fiction novel, as profound as it is awe-inspiring.

    “The Granddaughter Project” grips the reader, as the complex past lives of the women are revealed and their connection to one another deepens.

    Touching upon a vast range of themes, including gender inequality, racial oppression, wartime trauma and female emancipation, “The Granddaughter Project” also examines some of history’s greatest tragedies, including The Holocaust which saw the systemic murder of six million European Jews during World War II, the 1958 Notting Hill race riots – a series of racially motivated riots that took place in the United Kingdom from August to September 1958 – as well as the devastating Bengal famine of 1943, which claimed the lives of an estimated three million people due to widespread starvation, malaria and other deadly diseases.

    Helga is a holocaust survivor, who grew up as the cherub of her family until the Anschluss of Austria. Separated from her family in Auschwitz, she survived the horrors alone and tried to begin a new life in Israel. In complete contrast, Kamla was born as a poor peasant girl and grew up during the Bengali Famine. With an alcoholic father, who abuses her mother, the family find themselves homeless and hungry. She survives and finds work in a women’s shelter, eventually marrying Rajeev, who abandons her and their young daughter. Lynette leaves the Caribbean shores with her mother Pam, arriving in 1950s London. Living in appalling conditions, the pair struggle to make ends meet and contend with constant discrimination. When her mother dies, Lynette is left alone and at the mercy of the people around her. During the Notting Hill riots, she is beaten and left for dead, but she still survives.

    These warrior women tell their stories for the first time to their granddaughters, hoping that they can succeed where they failed and that they feel empowered, inspired and supported to do what is best for themselves.

    Shaheen Chishti, author of the “Granddaughter Project”, said: “I am deeply humbled to be launching my debut novel, The Granddaughter Project. This is a work of love, which I hope will raise awareness of the importance of female empowerment and racial equality. I was fortunate to have been raised with so many inspiring women around me in my life – all of whom have shaped me into the person I am today. And so, I wanted this book to be a tribute to them and women around the world more generally – especially when it is saddening to know that many women are still being oppressed in so many communities around the world. This needs to change. I sincerely hope that my book contributes to that change. The empowerment of women is at the very heart of my religious beliefs and I want to make sure that my daughters know that they are just as important to society as men.

    “Ultimately, I wanted to create a piece of work that unites people of regardless of their colour, nationality, religion or creed. Helga, Kamla and Lynette may be from totally different worlds, yet they share one experience: misery at the hands of men in their lives.

    “I truly believe that this book demonstrates just how much of a melting pot the world is, but one in which we have more in common than is often assumed.”

    “The Granddaughter Project” is to be made available across several major international markets in June 2021, including the United States, United Kingdom, India, Pakistan, Israel, South Africa, Brazil, Ghana and Singapore.

    For more information, please visit: http://shaheenchishti.com/books/

    About Shaheen Chishti: Shaheen Chishti is an Indian-British author, world peace advocate and thought leader. Shaheen is a member of the London Literary Society and Muslim-Jewish Forum in London. He is also the founder of the Jewish Islamic International Peace Society. He is a descendant of the revered Sufi Saint Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, whose shrine is also known as the Ajmer Sharif Dargah. Shaheen studied in Mayoor School, Ajmer before moving to London with his family at the age of 15. In London, he went to Holland Park School where he completed his secondary education. Thereafter, he pursued a degree in accountancy from London Guildhall University to become a professionally qualified accountant.

    Shaheen’s writings – fiction and non-fiction – primarily focus on the upliftment of women and the emancipation of Muslim women in particular. He believes that the “empowerment of women is at the root of Muslim teaching”. “The Granddaughter Project” is Shaheen’s debut novel.

    An ardent believer in the Sufi philosophy of “Love towards all, malice towards none”, Shaheen endeavours to promote the message of peace and solidarity of the Chishti Order of Sufism. Shaheen was born into the Syed Chishti family in India which traces its ancestry directly to Hazrat Ali, the cousin and son-in-law of the Holy Prophet. Shaheen had a multicultural and liberal upbringing, and he grew up with ideas of peace and harmony to all of humanity.

    He currently lives in London and has two daughters, Yasmeen and Saima.