An East Lancashire based author and artist has released her debut book in the Middle Eastern nation of Oman and is donating the proceeds towards the Pakistan Flood Victims Relief Fund.

Shahida Ahmed, who is primarily known for her work in the visual arts, published her debut novel, Through Brown Eyes, last year before launching it in Oman in late November.

Told through a positive lens, Through Brown Eyes is a story about 19-year-old Shama - a third-generation Pakistani immigrant – who is learning to balance the Western lifestyle with strict cultural traditions upheld by her parents.

The novel, which begins in Nelson, explores the relatable struggles the author experienced throughout her life and hopes to challenge the stereotypical narrative about Muslim women. 

Shahida said: “I think, we all have grown up with stories, and some are related directly to ourselves.

"Coming from a diverse background with South Asian parents, and born and bred in Lancashire, is a story itself, but each one of us has explored his/her own experience of life.

"Travel, faith, culture, were rich inspirations in my upbringing from a small town in Lancashire. I can relate to Shama in many ways as would many women as daughters, sisters, wives, mothers, etc.

"The central theme of the book is about ‘inspiration and belief in yourself’. It motivates women to find their own identity and to live their life to the fullest.”

H H Susan Al Said of the Crowne Plaza hotel in Muscat, the capital of Oman, Qurum and Maggie Jeans organised the book launch at the hotel, where Ms Ahmed gave a presentation to the audience about her journey from education to becoming an artist and a writer which was followed by a book signing.

She has decided to donate all the proceeds of book sales to the Pakistan Flood Victims Relief Fund which is an humanitarian aid fund to help the 600,000 Pakistanis who are currently displaced in camps after having to flee their homes.

Emergency aid kits and tools like household water purification units, hygiene items, solar lights, food, shelter, buckets, kitchen equipment, and more are being delivered to those affected.

You can donate to the fund by visiting the Unite For Change website, and order a copy of Through Brown Eyes here.