Global Migration Podcast: Season 2 Episode 2

Episode 2 (February 15, 2021): Stories about Mentorship

In the second episode of the Global Migration podcast “Geographies from the Heart: Life-writing from Newcomers to Canada,” host Mohammed Alsaleh speaks to acclaimed Kurdish-Canadian and recently published (2020) novelist, Ava Homa and Kurdish journalist, Shanga Karim who join us to share their experiences as newcomer women writers. Shanga came to Canada as a refugee claimant from Kurdistan in 2015, where she was a journalist and women’s rights activist. Shanga is currently writing a chapter about her experience in the Stories from Newcomers to Canada book, and author Ava Homa joined the SNtC life-writing project as a guest speaker supporting other new writers. As well as exploring the complexities of minority representation in their work, the two also explore the forms and importance of newcomers mentoring other newcomers in the field of writing, life-writing, and literature. For more information about the book project please visit the website here. To support the project please visit the project’s GoFundMe page here.

This podcast was recorded on Zoom on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh people.

Ava Homa, critically-acclaimed author of Daughters of Smoke and Fire (HarperCollins, 2020), is an activist and a journalist. She holds an MA in English and Creative Writing from the University of Windsor. Her collection of short stories, Echoes from the Other Land, was nominated for the Frank O’Connor International Prize, and she is the inaugural recipient of the PEN Canada-Humber College Writers-In-Exile Scholarship. You can connect with her at

Shanga Karim was a journalist and women’s activist in Kurdistan where she worked in the humanitarian sector as she focused on violence against women, honor killing, and female genital mutilation. She holds a B.A in Media Studies and she is studying English at UFV to continue her education after coming to Canada in 2015. Shanga is a Vancouver local coordinator for the Shoe project ( She has a passion for writing and writes stories for other websites, and one of her stories has been selected as the best to be published by The Vancouver Writers Fest. She currently participating in the Global Writing Project book “Stories from Newcomers” by writing her chapter which will be published Fall 2021.