Aaliyah Bilal

AALIYAH BILAL is a fiction/non-fiction writer. Previously she was a recipient of the Shansi Memorial Fellowship at Yunnan University, where for two years she conducted research among Hui Zu Muslims. A graduate of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) at the University of London, she is finishing a graphic memoir and an essay collection, both focusing on life in East Asia.

In Tanzania

This was the first of several instances like this, where joyful moments were interrupted with outages that seemed to mock you for your leisure, forcing you to stop whatever you were doing until some basic modicum of service had been restored.

Dianchi Lake in China

On Soul

I had been scanning the city, looking for something to remind me of the Kunming I once knew, and found the first continuity in this man and his madness.

Aaliyah Bilal Headshot aside Earth image

Easterly: Notes From a Black Life in East Asia

[…] I understand that China has no use for my affections. They will not save me from what many in this country see as the unforgivable fact of my foreignness, my blackness. Most pressingly, these affections will not save any of us from the long-term effects that exposure to this environment is having on our bodies.