An Anthology by LGBTQ+ Arab Writers, Edited by Elias Jahshan. 

This edition’s Fynest Read is a ground-breaking anthology of LGBTQ+ Arab writing, featuring the compelling and courageous memoirs of eighteen queer Arab writers – some internationally bestselling, others using pseudonyms. Here, we find heart-warming connections and moments of celebration alongside essays exploring the challenges of being LGBTQ+ and Arab.  

From a military base in the Gulf to loving whispers caught between the bedsheets; and from touring overseas as a drag queen to a concert in Cairo where the rainbow flag was raised to a crowd of thousands, this collection celebrates the true colours of a vibrant Arab queer experience. 

Reviews 

‘Visionary. A powerful and moving portrait of life as a queer Arab.’ – Sabrina Mahfouz  

‘A vital addition to what it means to be Arab. This collection showcases the magnificent diversity and richness of Arab identity.’- Layla Al Ammar  

‘If Jahshan’s anthology succeeds at one thing in particular, it’s that it shines a light on parts of the Arab world and its diaspora we don’t hear as much from.’ – TIME Magazine  

 

About The Contributors 

Khalid Abdel-Hadi is the editor-in-chief of My.Kali magazine and a visual artist from Jordan. His work as a global LGBT+ activist includes the Human Rights Watch campaign ‘No Longer Alone’. He was listed as one of the Guardian’s LGBT Ghange Heroes of theYear in 2017.  

Amna Ali is the founder of the Black Arabs Collective, a platform that shares and amplifies the stories and voices of Black Arabs. Ali is of Somali and Yemeni descent and lives in the UAE.  

Madian Aljazeera is a Palestinian Jordanian bookseller and founder of Amman’s Books at Café, a bookshopcome-internet café. His memoir Are You This? Or Are You This? was published by Hurst in 2021.  

Mona Eltahawy is an Egyptian feminist, author and internationally award-winning columnist.
Raja Farah is a queer activist and writer from Lebanon. His first book, 291 Days: Chronicles from Thawra to the  

Beirut Blast was published in 2021.
Saleem Haddad is a screenwriter, essayist and author of best-selling and Polari-prize-winning novel Guapa 

Zeyn Joukhadar is a writer whose novels include The Map of Salt and Stars and The Thirty Names of Night. His work has appeared in outlets including The Paris Review, and he has been nominated for the Pushcart Prize.  

Amrou Al-Kadhi is a British Iraqi screenwriter, drag queen, essayist and author.Their debut book Life as a Unicorn won the Somerset Maugham Award and the Polari First Book Prize.  

Saeed Kayani is an Emirati writer and stand-up comedian who identifies as non-binary.They completed their compulsory military service in the UAE and are currently based in Dubai.  

Dima Mikhayel Matta is a genderqueer writer, actor, spoken-word artist and playwright, and the founder of Cliffhangers Storytelling, a discussion series and workshop for emerging playwrights based in Beirut.  

Hasan Namir is an Iraqi-Canadian poet and novelist. Namir’s debut novel God in Pink won the Award for Gay Fiction at the 2016 Lambda Literary Awards. His poetry collection War / Torn was shortlisted for a Stonewall Book Award.  

Danny Ramadan is an award-winning novelist, public speaker, and LGBTQ-refugee activist. His novel, The Clothesline Swing won the LGBT category at the Independent Publisher Book Awards, the Canada Authors Association Award for Best Overall Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Lambda Literary Award.  

Omar Sakr is a bisexual Australian writer, essayist and poet of Lebanese and Turkish heritage. He is the author of two acclaimed poetry collections and a novel, Son of Sin (Affirm Press, 2022).  

Anbara Salam is a Palestinian-Lebanese-Scottish writer. She is the author of Things Bright and Beautiful (Fig Tree/Penguin, 2018) and Belladonna (Fig Tree/Penguin, 2020).  

Hamed Sino is the lead singer of the famous Lebanese band Mashrou’ Leila.The only out gay singer in the Arab world, Sino advocates for LGBT rights in the Middle East and worldwide.  

Tania Safi is a Lebanese-Australian journalist and filmmaker. She is the founder of Shway Shway, an online web series showcasing changemakers in Lebanon.  

Ahmed Umar is a Sudanese visual artist who came to Norway as a political refugee in 2008. He is the subject of the documentary feature film The Art of Sin, which won the Best Feature award at the LGBTQ+ Los Angeles Film festival 2021.  

 

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