Canada Reads Winner 2020 banner
Wherever she goes book cover

The Book

How do you find yourself when the world tells you that you don't exist? Samra Habib has spent most of her life searching for the safety to be herself. As an Ahmadi Muslim growing up in Pakistan, she faced regular threats from the Islamic extremists who believed the small, dynamic sect to be blasphemous. From her parents, she internalized the lesson that revealing her identity could put her in grave danger. 

When her family came to Canada as refugees, Samra encountered a whole new host of challenges: bullies, racism, the threat of poverty, and an arranged marriage. Backed into a corner, her need for a safe space--in which to grow and nurture her creative, feminist spirit--became dire. The men in her life wanted to police her, the women in her life had only shown her the example of pious obedience, and her body was a problem to be solved. 

So begins an exploration of faith, art, love, and queer sexuality, a journey that takes her to the far reaches of the globe to uncover a truth that was within her all along. A triumphant memoir of forgiveness and family, both chosen and not, We Have Always Been Here is a rallying cry for anyone who has ever felt out of place and a testament to the power of fearlessly inhabiting one's truest self. 

Samra Habib’s memoir is about the transformative experiences that have shaped her identity as a queer Muslim. It is a national bestseller, won a Lambda Literary Award and was the winner of Canada Reads 2020. 

Get the book

Borrow, download or purchase a copy of the selected book to read and enjoy. If you need help downloading the book, just let us know - we are happy to help. Please call 905-875-2665 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we will get in touch with you. Copies will also be available for purchase at each MPL branch.

Print Book   eBook    eAudiobook

Register now for the main here