Why Zines? ~ Jewels for Survival 2 (of 3 hopefully!)


Black and white cover of Jewels for Survival vol. 2 zine has cherries and cherry blossoms on it.

So i am learning, maybe revolutionary love is self love and self acceptance, to begin with. Learning how to recognize that if i have to give up myself, in anyway, then it isn’t love. It is abuse. Learning the difference between subsuming my own ego and harming my own soul. Acknowledging that heartbreak is around every corner, but there are lessons in each corner.


I was a little hesitant opening the second volume to this series of zines done by Aaminah. The first zine was fairly phenomenal. I say “fairly” only because I fear exaggerating on my sister–it really is. So I was worried that the second couldn’t live up. The Hope. I can only spare so much of it, but wonderfully, my pessimistic technique means that I am occasionally dumbly wrong. Jewels for Survival vol. 2 is quite amazing. But first, I’ld like to preamble a bit about why zines, since two of my three readers seem perplexed about why a few zerox copies sent via archaic mail processes are exciting. Actually you can read them online too, but…

The thing about zines is, they are art. Made by the artist, untouched by an editress or a publicist or a publisher or marketing team or anyone else. You get the real deal, unwatered down, unconsumerized. What? Yes, of course they are for sale, most art is. But many, including Aaminah’s–for reasons I cannot understand but respect–are available free online. And it’s so coool that you can read zines online now too…down fangirl…ok, so if you love to read, then maybe you have a vague idea about what is available to purchase and…quick! Name a Muslimah American poet! If you got one name than is likely that all you got is one.

There is a HUGE void in published works by woc, poc, Muslims and other/all minorities. So, self-publishing is an important thing. Actually, I was just reading about the poet Eavan Boland and how she self-published her first book of poetry and then I ‘membered how many, many poets have done this, see chap books.

Chapbook is also a term currently used to denote publications of up to about 40 pages, usually poetry bound with some form of saddle stitch, though many areperfect bound, folded, or wrapped. These publications range from low-cost productions to finely produced, hand-made editions that may sell to collectors for hundreds of dollars. More recently, the popularity of fiction chapbooks has also increased.

The genre has been revitalized in the past 40 years by the widespread availability of first mimeograph technology, then low-cost copy centers and digital printing, and by the cultural revolutions spurred by both zines and poetry slams, the latter generating hundreds upon hundreds of self-published chapbooks that are used to fund tours.


So, what I am telling you is, I’m not sure why zines are poopooed. They are a literary art form with a rich history. I’m not sure why they aren’t absolutely treasured–they should be. Especially Jewels for Survival 2. which, by the way is not just poetry, but also includes prose and art. And, Aaminah makes/sells awesome stickers that I like to sticked everywheres.

when you think that if i say

i am Muslim

it must mean

i see the world only thru the lens

of that one part

then you miss out on the breadth

of my awareness


Insha Allah, coming up next is a review of Sumayyah’s (of Sumayyah Said So) zines.


4 thoughts on “Why Zines? ~ Jewels for Survival 2 (of 3 hopefully!)

  1. As salaamu alaikum. I was late coming to the zine scene myself. Now that I have found it, I love it! Making a zine is a great way to showcase your personal work and ideas and share them with the general public. The best part is that there is no wrong way to make a zine.

    Thanks for posting this!

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