“The Story So Far …” hosted by Tendisai Cromwell and produced by the Silk Road Institute is a podcast that explores a broad range of artistic expression by Muslim artists in Canada, through the eyes of the artists themselves. From music to literature, film, design, fashion and more, we invite you on a journey into the minds and creative practices of some of the most talented and inspiring Muslims creating art in Canada today.


Episode 1: Omar El Akkad

In our very first  episode of The Story So Far, Omar joined us from Portland, where he currently resides, to speak about how his childhood has shaped his writing, the representation of Muslims in the media, the banality of evil present in both of his novels, and more.

About the artist:

Omar is an Egyptian-Canadian-American journalist and the author of the two  best-selling novels of American War and What Strange Paradise.

Episode 2: Zarqa Nawaz

In the second episode of The Story So Far, Zarqa joined us from her home in Regina, to speak about how she has evolved as an artist, the challenges she’ s faced as a Muslim writer and producer, and her relationship with humour in her work and much more.

About the artist:

Zarqa is a producer, author, public speaker, journalist, actress, and former broadcaster. She created the highly regarded CBC comedy series, Little Mosque on the Prairie. This year, she released her new eponymous CBC web series called Zarqa, as well as published her latest novel, Jameela Green Ruins Everything.




Tendisai Cromwell is a Toronto-based writer and filmmaker. She previously served as the Executive Director of the Regent Park Film Festival and as the founding Creative Director of New Narrative Films. Her writing has been published in BESIDE Magazine, Santa Ana River Review and elsewhere. Tendisai is currently writing her debut novel. An excerpt of her novel was shortlisted for the 2017 Ross and David Mitchell Prize for Faith and Writing.


“The Story So Far” is a Silk Road Institute production, and was funded by the Canada Council for the Arts’ Digital Now grant. The show was produced by and researched by Ahsan Moghul. Scriptwriting and editing by Annum Shah, additional script editing by Tendisai Cromwell. The Executive Producer and Creative Director is Mohamed Shaheen. Music composed and orchestrated by Suad Bushnaq. Marketing and communications by Nawal Salim. Sound editing and mixing by Mark Knox at NewSound Productions. Music editing and mixing by Henry Mitton. Solo violin by Layth Sidiq. Graphic design by Hamza Ali. Special thanks to Silk Road Institute’s Programs and Development Manager Mariam Zaidi.

For all our episodes, and to support Silk Road Institute’s future programming, visit silkroadinstitute.ca.