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British Muslim Lauren Booth happy and ‘grateful’ to live in Türkiye

Lauren Booth, a high-profile British convert to Islam, sums up her life on her website as such: “The daughter of a Jewish model and troubled TV star, Lauren Booth survived a house fire, lived through the excesses of the nineties as an aspiring actress … put her life as a parent at risk to report on Palestine, twice, (and) found faith in a mosque in Iran.”

Booth talked to Türkiye’s Anadolu Agency about converting to Islam, noting that her lineage is no longer simply that of a British person but that she very much feels part of the Islamic tradition.

“So my history is not the queens and kings of England. It’s the Ottoman sultans, the Prophet (peace be upon him), it’s that lineage and that life,” Booth says.

Booth embraced Islam 11 years ago, during her travels to the Middle East. She is an author, journalist and a motivational speaker. Her recent book, In Search of a Holy Land, has recently been published in Turkish.

Her website introduces her previous book, ‘Finding Peace in the Holy Land’, as a “groundbreaking memoir about accepting Islam in the modern, Western context.”

Booth has travelled all around the Muslim world and ended up in Istanbul three years ago, where she now resides. She says she is “grateful to Allah for being drawn to Türkiye.”

Booth also points out that she’s not the only one – many other Muslim converts, from Britain to Canada, are also “being drawn to Türkiye”.

“It’s like there’s a great gathering going here.”

YouTube channel of a Muslim woman

Booth also runs a YouTube channel with close to 27,000 subscribers, talking about Türkiye, her travels, and the history of the country as well as timely topics such as the Quran burning incident that happened in Stockholm just last week.

“The more that I found myself going to these big great mosques the more I realised that as a Western person, my idea of the Ottoman Empire of who the Turks were was so jaded by Orientalism, I had to start again.

“So I decided to start making videos for a YouTube channel about the history of the Ottomans.”

She has already covered the Suleymaniye Mosque, and the neighbourhoods of Kuzguncuk and Uskudar, “the hidden gem, the Holy Land of Istanbul.”

Booth praises the emphasis placed on family life in Istanbul, observing that families with children are out and about: “What I love about the many things in Istanbul is it’s all about families. So you can go out at 9 o’clock in the evening, Friday, Saturday or Sunday, and there are families with children, going out to eat, and there are always celebrations going on.”

She tells AA she loves Turkish breakfast. “It’s always such a treat.”

Booth is the sister-in-law of former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. She said she has a great relationship with her sister, Cherie Blair.

Turkish edition of ‘In Search of a Holy Land’ published

The first foreign language edition of Booth’s new book has been published in Turkish.

Booth calls it “a really dynamic travel adventure about a spirit seeking truth. This is my story from cradle to celebrity to going to Palestine to activism.”

“A story of the modern times of how we get lost and how do we find the light. That’s what this book is about,” she suggested.

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