Samaah is a PhD student in Religious Studies at Yale University, situated between the subfields of Religion and Modernity and Islamic Studies. Her doctoral research engages the history of Islam and Muslims, race and racialization, and Muslim imaginations of justice and temporality, with a focus on the memory, politics, and aesthetics of Karbala.
Born and raised on unceded Coast Salish territories, Samaah received her BA in International Studies and World Literature from Simon Fraser University. Thereafter, she completed a dual degree in International and World History, earning an MA from Columbia University and an MSC from the London School of Economics. Her Master’s research examined the shifting politics of definition and untranslatability of the term shari’a in American newspapers pre-9/11.
Samaah is also a co-founder of the Shia Racial Justice Coalition. She previously worked at SFU’s Vancity Office of Community Engagement and was the B.C. editor at rabble.ca