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The Queer Arabs Posts

Episode 120 [in English]: Mark Balahadia


NYC-based dancer Mark Balahadia joins us to talk about his study of various SWANA dance styles and what led him to become well known particularly among Iraqi and Saudi crowds.  He also explains how he ended up learning khaleeji Arabic, his experience performing for royalty, and more.  Check out his YouTube channel here!

Follow Mark on IG @balahadiamark

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Episode 119 [in English]: Daaimah Mubashshir

NYC-based playwright and theater maker Daaimah Mubashshir joined us to talk about her new play “Room Enough (For Us All),” writing at the intersection of queer, Black, and Muslim identities, confronting racism both within theater and US Muslim spaces, and more.

Daaimah brought up her personal experience of reconciling queer and Muslim identities, as well the many ways that connection to religion can look like. We further discussed how Arab and SWANA anti-blackness manifests in Muslim spaces, including queer-centric ones. 

Our conversation also included the impact of racial discrimination and abuse in theater increasingly coming to the surface, and Daaimah’s work surveying the experiences of artists of color. 

You can keep up with Daaimah’s work through Everyday Afroplay, her platform dedicated to evolving theatrical writing and meditation on blackness, the black body, black theories, black spirit and the black mind.

Connect with Daaimah: 

Twitter: @edaptext

IG @everydayafroplay

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Episode 118 [in English]: Laith Nakli

We were thrilled to talk with Laith Nakli, who you might know as Uncle Naseem on the show Ramy on Hulu!  He discussed the challenges breaking into the industry, pushing beyond “terrorist” typecast roles, and using his position to shift representations of Arabs and Muslims on screen. Laith also recounted his pre-acting pursuits as a bodybuilder (winning the title of Mr. Syria) and running a candle shop. [Spoiler alert] The episode also includes discussion of Ramy Season 2, the issues of race, gender, and sexuality addressed within it, and the range of audience reactions–so we strongly recommend watching that first!

 

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