Changing the Face of the Publishing Industry | Hanieh & Shabana

Hanieh and Shabana are working to change the face of publishing through their work and venture, Peacock Press. Their love for creating and uplifting the community is what keeps them going on this journey.

A lot of writers struggle to get their voices heard. When you are out there in the world trying to show people what you are working on, oftentimes, it’s women’s voices that are stifled.

Peacock Press was born because we felt we needed to give a platform to women to have their voices heard. A platform where they can talk, share their stories, and reach out to people. It was born from that need to give other people their space to share their voices – especially to women of colour, First Nations people, LGBTQ+, anyone with a disability, we want to give voice to those who have been historically unheard.

Have you seen the cover of “Because I Can”? Every single person is purposefully placed on the cover of the book.

Listen to the episode on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play

Let me know what you learned by sharing with Hanieh, Shabana, Samukele, and Naomi, and the #PowerofWhy on Instagram

A little about our guests…

Hanieh Khoshkhou has worked as a senior lecturer, curriculum developer and manager in Canada and Oman. She has a Master’s degree in Education specializing in Curriculum & Teacher Development from the University of Toronto. Her goals are to always motivate, educate and inspire others to be the best they can be. Her first collection of poetry “Because I Can” was published recently. She owns an e-learning business e-Tree Group and has also co-founded a publishing company called Peacock Press. Hanieh was born in Tehran, raised in Toronto and now lives and works in Ottawa.

Shabana Ansari has worked as a journalist, writer and editor in three countries across three continents. She has a Master’s degree in Creative Writing and Publishing from Kingston University London, UK and is currently working on her first novel for children in the fantasy genre. Born and raised in Mumbai, she now works in the not-for-profit sector in Ottawa and is also the co-founder of Peacock Press, a publishing company that aims to close the diversity gap in publishing.

Connect with Hanieh and Shabana

Order “Because I Can” on Amazon | Instagram | Facebook | Peacock Press

Check out the episode on iTunes, Spotify, Stitcher, Google Play

Here are the show notes from Hanieh and Shabana’s episode and some of our favourite moments…


The biggest theme in my life has been to be able to make a difference. That’s probably one of the reasons I went into education and I was a teacher for a long time. It’s important for me to be able to make a difference at the end of the day. That wholeheartedly has been a huge part of who I am. For the next 15 years, I want to do publishing and e-development, by 55 I will stop and start building schools. My goal in life is to build schools in underprivileged countries, specifically to start with young girls.


Keep doing a little bit more than I am already doing. I grew up in a different environment, reaching out more, stepping out more and figuring. I am fortunate to have had the opportunities that I have had, despite all the hardships. That really keeps me going. I remember how far I have come, I look back on my life as a young person, in a very different society. I see that path and the struggles that my mom had to make.



  1. How Hanieh and Shabana connected through their values and work after their initial meeting [09:00]
  2. “Why not now?” A simple question that influenced Hanieh and Shabana to start a Publishing House in Canada. [11:00]
  3. How they approached the publishing process to get their stories out to the public and the community [12:37]
  4. How they work effectively together to plan the important work ahead [19:00]
  5. The importance of building with the RIGHT people in a sustainable partnership [21:00]
  6. Where did the name “Because I Can” come from? [25:00]



Loving the podcast? I encourage you to use the hashtag #PowerofWhy on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to show how you are living out and exploring YOUR WHY.

You can find Hanieh Khoshkhou’s work here:

  • Purchase the book “Because I Can”:
  • LinkedIn:
  • Instagram:

You can find Shabana Ansari’s work here:

  • Purchase the book “Because I Can”:
  • Instagram:
  • LinkedIn:

You can find Samukele Ncube’s work here:

  • Website:
  • Instagram:
  • LinkedIn:
  • Twitter:

You can find Naomi Haile’s work here:

Thank you for listening to this episode with Hanieh and Shabana.

Until next time,

Naomi Haile