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Sameena K. Mughal started life in Lansdale, Pennsylvania. She is the proud daughter and sister of refugees who came to the United States from Uganda in 1972. She is a former high school English Language Learner teacher who retired early to pursue a passion for writing. For her, writing and the craft of storytelling enables her to enlighten others.
Like any writer, her passion for the written word came from an early love for reading. The way authors used words to create emotions and worlds fascinated her. She admired the creativity of writers and the power of story. She toyed with writing for years, suppressing the desire to delve into it. She kept her love for writing to herself for a long time, preferring to teach it, which she excelled at.
The desire to serve through teaching crept in subtly. Her initial goal was to attend law school, but that goal shifted as soon as she set foot on a college campus. She knew right away that she was not a match for law school. A teaching assistant experience led her to conclude that she enjoyed being part of another’s learning journey and enhancing their perspective. In this way, the field of education found her.
Her inclination to make sense of the world through the written word remained, and, of course, that permeated into her teaching. As part of one of her favorite units to teach, 1001 Arabian Nights, she gave her students the assignment of retelling one of the stories. After reading students’ stories for years, Sameena decided to write one of her own. That one story turned into ten, which turned into Shaherazade’s Daughters, her first story collection. She followed that up with the fantasy novella, The Siddiqui Brothers in Cairo. After the publication of that book, she decided to pursue writing full-time.
There was more to her early retirement than just wanting to write. Freedom and time formed the foundation of that decision. Sameena wanted the freedom and time to use her unique voice and talent to serve the world.
After writing in several different niches, she resonated most with personal development. In her own blog, Behind and Beyond the Veil, she started out writing sociopolitical commentary with occasional fiction thrown in. But, later, as she wrote personal development pieces, she started to love writing them. When she noticed those connected most with readers, Behind and Beyond the Veil evolved into a personal development blog.
Sameena currently resides in Smyrna, GA, with her rescue dog, Edison.
On her own personal growth journey, Sameena realized her main goal in life was to live authentically through purpose. She discovered her mission with fiction and personal development was to help others to do the same.
As part of that mission, she writes books. She deliberately subverts tropes to show a unique perspective that goes beyond the traditional. Her book, Shaherazade’s Daughters, was a feminist homage to 1001 Arabian Nights. The stories centered on strong independent women who sought freedom to live their lives their way. The original tales featured men with women in the background. She wanted to put women in the front in her stories. In her fantasy novella, The Siddiqui Brothers in Cairo, the brothers are 13th-century Muslim scientists who champion forward-thinking for all and the rights of women in their lives. She wanted to depict Muslim men in positions of power who use that power to help people in their society.
The other part of her mission is her blog. As she continues on her personal growth journey, she relates the truths she discovers along the way in her Behind and Beyond the Veil blog. Sameena finds universal connections in many areas of life, and she imparts those discoveries in her blog. She believes that even in a diverse world, people share a common humanity.
Recently, she has expanded her mission to help others in the personal development industry. Assisting others in service was a natural progression. Using her unique writing talents, she helps busy speakers, life coaches, and energy healers write their blogs and other content. She enjoys writing them stellar content while helping them devote their time to serving their clients and helping more clients find them.
I started fiction writing first. My first short story collection, "Shaherazade's Daughters" was my feminist homage to "1001 Arabian Nights." I didn't start out with that intention. I only wanted to write one good story. I wrote the one and ended up writing ten. I discovered that the main characters in the stories had one common thread. All were strong, independent, intelligent women who wanted the freedom to live their lives their way.
The theme of freedom emerged in my novella, "The Siddiqui Brothers in Cairo." The brothers in the story wanted to live authentically and wanted the same for others in their society, including women. I realized showing people how to live authentically through their passions was the foundation of all my writing. I also know I am here to serve so that expanded to my business. I wanted to use my unique writing talents to help others in service.
In August of 2020, I pivoted my freelancing business to ghostwrite content for life coaches and healers, so they can devote their time helping their clients live their most authentic lives.