Author: Zeena Nackerdien
The emotionally-wounded survivors of the 9/11 attacks include a fifty-year old, South African Muslim scientist, Leila, who lost her fiancée, Khalid, on that fateful day. She is the narrator of a story threading together the lives of four South African Muslims navigating a technologically advanced and increasingly-complicated world. Initially tentative in pursuing her dream to aid patients with HIV/AIDS and other diseases (following deaths of loved ones to these illnesses) in the face of adversity encountered as a US immigrant, Leila finally asserts herself in middle age to carve her own identity and provide possible solutions to the management of diseases rampant in Sub-Saharan Africa.
Zeena Nackerdien is a dual US and South African citizen. She obtained a PhD degree in Biochemistry from the University of Stellenbosch in South Africa. Zeena has been a research chemist at the National Institute of Standards and Technology in Maryland and a senior research associate at The Rockefeller University in New York. She is the author of several publications in scientific journals and a book chapter on topics ranging from biomarkers for oxidative damage to perspectives on the associations of microbes with breast cancer. As a scientist turned patient advocate and writer, she is intensely interested in building relationships with people from different cultures through story-telling and education. Zeena currently lives in Brooklyn, New York.