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The Queer Arabs Posts

Episode 177 [in English]: Raed Rafei

Raed Rafei is a Lebanese filmmaker, researcher, and multimedia journalist, currently pursuing a PhD in film and digital media at the University of California, Santa Cruz. It was a joy to have Raed back on the podcast after meeting him at the exhibit Mark for Redaction 3(!) years ago!

We discussed Raed’s academic research on queer Lebanese filmmakers, focusing on perspectives that go beyond frameworks of identity politics and individual rights, and see queer communities at the forefront of broader political change. 

We also talked about his first feature film “The Reconstitution of a Struggle” about the 1974 student occupation of the American University of Beirut, and his docu-fiction approach creates a dialogue between past and present. He also describes one of his current projects exploring his native Tripoli from a queer lens, investigating popular ideas of “the natural,” and identifying the beauty in failure. 

We also discuss transitioning into the arts after more “practical” career plans, being away from home during the pandemic period, and more.

Raed’s feature film (Here I am … Here you are) can be viewed on

To watch Raed’s essay Al-Atlal (The Ruins):
To read Raed’s essay Fragments of Shame and Pride:


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Episode 176 [in English]: Mariam Bazeed

Mariam Bazeed is a nonbinary Egyptian immigrant, writer, editor, spoken word artist, performer, and cook living in Brooklyn. An alliteration-leaning writer of prose, poetry, plays, and personal essays, Mariam received their MFA in Fiction from Hunter College. Their work in all genres is in print and online, and their plays have been presented in festivals in the U.S. and abroad.

Mariam joined us to talk about their start as an writer, their recent dive into poetry, reconnecting with family after extended separation, the joys and challenges of making personal work public, and writing bilingually for the first time. 

Their new English/Arabic play, written with Kamelya Omayma Youssef, Kilo Batra: In Death More Radiant, will be produced at the Arab American National Museum, in late 2021. They’re also currently working with visual artist Jacob Nader, on a hybrid book of images and poems, tentatively titled post-mortem family vacation.

IG:  putteraholic; cultofbazeed

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Episode 175 [in English]: Queer Migrant Men Project

Pedro (project coordinator of The Love Tank’s London-based Queer Migrant Men Project) and Ali (volunteer with the project) joined us for this week’s episode!  The QMM project was developed in response to the wide information gap in London among migrants, causing difficulty accessing sexual health services.  When migrants don’t know the language, their rights, or about the free services available in the country, it becomes impossible for them to prevent and/or treat STIs and HIV. This is what inspired the decision to form the QMM project.  The project received funding by London Community Response this year, and now a small team of volunteers run the project by doing online outreach spreading sexual health information to QMM via dating apps.

In this episode, Pedro, originally from Brazil, and Ali, originally from Iraq, talked about their own experiences moving to London and having to navigate the healthcare system.  They also discussed the breakdown of stigmas that the QMM project aims to achieve, the importance of culturally-contextualized conversations about sexual health, what measures folks can take to manage their sexual health, and more.

QMM Project:

The Love Tank
Twitter/Instagram: TheLoveTankCIC
Twitter/Instagram: TeamPrepster
Event Based PrEP:

Pictured:  Ali (left) & Pedro

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