Samra Habib (they/them) is a writer, photographer, and activist. Their bestselling memoir We Have Always Been Here is an exploration of faith, art, love, and queer sexuality, a journey that takes them to the far reaches of the globe to uncover a truth that was within them all along. It’s a triumphant memoir of forgiveness and family, both chosen and not, and a rallying cry for anyone who has ever felt out of place and a testament to the power of fearlessly inhabiting one’s truest self.

As a journalist they’ve covered topics ranging from fashion trends and Muslim dating apps to the rise of Islamophobia in the US. Their writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Guardian, and The Advocate, and their photo project, “Just Me and Allah,” has been featured in Nylon, i-D, Vanity Fair Italia, Vice, and The Washington Post. Samra works with LGBTQ organizations internationally, raising awareness of issues that impact queer Muslims around the world.

Speaking topic

What’s it like to navigate a new country as an 11-year-old  refugee kid?

Samra explores what it feels like to be an outsider through storytelling that takes audiences through their journey moving to Canada as a refugee kid, feeling like an outsider within Islam and feeling out of place as a racialized queer Muslim person. Borrowed from the themes of their bestselling book We Have Always Been Here, they will talk about the importance of providing cultural safety in order to ensure that people from various backgrounds and experiences can feel seen and heard. Their talk will be grounded in rich storytelling that will draw examples from their own life in order to highlight what it means to feel like you don’t belong, how those childhood wounds shape the rest of your life and a path to healing.

An interactive element to their talk will include audience participation where people are encouraged to reflect on what they might want to tell their younger self, similar to a critical journey in their book that was instrumental in their own healing.

Beyond hashtags and rainbow washing: allyship in practice

Over the past few years, corporations and institutions have been eager to show their support for 2SLGBTQ+ folks in their advertising campaigns and by changing their logo on social media every Pride. But is that enough? What does allyship that brings about meaningful change to the lives of queer folks actually look like? How can corporations and institutions ensure that their support for queer lives goes beyond performative gestures and brings about meaningful change? Samra will propose different possibilities, shaped by many intersectionalities and lived experiences that inform their perspective as a Queer Muslim immigrant.

Selected media

UNHCR profile

Toronto Star 

To book Samra Habib, contact Rob Firing at