Skip to main menu Skip to content
Learn how to use the new academic search tool, Omni.

Zarqa Nawaz

Zarqa Nawaz is a Canadian film and television producer, journalist, and public speaker. She was the creator of the CBC acclaimed humorous television series Little Mosque on the Prairie and is the creator and star in the forthcoming series Zarqa. Nawaz grew up in the Greater Toronto Area but now lives in Regina, Saskatchewan. She earned a B.Sc. from the University of Toronto in 1990 and a journalism degree from Toronto Metropolitan University in 1992.


Jameela Green Ruins Everything

Toronto: Simon and Schuster Canada, 2022.
PS8627.A944 J35 2022

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

Jameela Green has only one wish. To see her memoir on The New York Times bestseller list. When her dream doesn’t come true, she seeks spiritual guidance at her local mosque. New imam and recent immigrant Ibrahim Sultan is appalled by Jameela’s shallowness, but agrees to assist her on one condition: that she perform a good deed.

Jameela reluctantly accepts his terms, kicking off a chain of absurd and unfortunate events. The homeless man they try to help gets recruited by a terrorist group, causing federal authorities to become suspicious of Ibrahim, and suddenly the imam mysteriously disappears.

Certain that the CIA have captured Ibrahim for interrogation via torture, Jameela decides to set off on a one-woman operation to rescue him. Her quixotic quest soon finds her entangled in an international plan targeting the egomaniacal leader of the terrorist organization—a scheme that puts Jameela, and countless others, including her hapless husband and clever but disapproving daughter, at risk.

A hilarious black comedy about the price of success, and a biting look at what has gone wrong with American foreign policy in the Middle East, Jameela Green Ruins Everything is a compulsively readable, yet unexpectedly touching story of one woman’s search for meaning and connection.

Awards and Honours

2023 Saskatchewan Book Awards–Fiction (Finalist)
2023 Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour (Finalist)
2023 High Plains Book Awards–Fiction (Winner)

Non-fiction (Memoir)

Laughing All the Way to the Mosque

Toronto: HarperCollins Publishers, 2014.
PN1992.4.N29 A3 2014

Publisher’s Synopsis (From its website)

Zarqa Nawaz has always straddled two cultures. She’s just as likely to be agonizing over which sparkly earrings will “pimp out” her hijab as to be flirting with the Walmart meat manager in a futile attempt to secure halal chicken the day before Eid. Little Mosque on the Prairie brought Zarqa’s own laugh-out-loud take on her everyday culture clash to viewers around the world. And now, in Laughing All the Way to the Mosque, she tells the sometimes absurd, sometimes challenging, always funny stories of being Zarqa in a western society. From explaining to the plumber why the toilet must be within sitting arm’s reach of the water tap (hint: it involves a watering can and a Muslim obsession with cleanliness “down there”) to urging the electrician to place an eye-height electrical socket for her father-in-law’s epilepsy-inducing light-up picture of the Kaaba, Zarqa paints a hilarious portrait of growing up in a household where, according to her father, the Quran says it’s okay to eat at McDonald’s-but only if you order the McFish.


Zarqa Nawaz personal website

Publisher HarperCollins Canada

Publisher Simon & Schuster Canada