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The Queer Arabs Posts

Episode 137 [in English]: Xavier Clark


It was an honor to talk with actor & writer Xavier Clark on this episode!

Xavier (he/him/his) is a multidisciplinary theatre artist, born and raised in Turkey. As a playwright, his full-length plays include: Where Angels Fear to Tread (Workshop: Echo Theatre Company, Los Angeles), merry merry merry merry, supper (Workshop: National Black Theatre), retrofit(s) (Semi-Finalist: 2020 O’Neill Center NPC, 2020 Seven Devils Playwrights Conference, Finalist: 2019 Mitten Lab, The Lark 2019 Playwrights’ Week) and backstroke boys (Finalist: New Harmony Project 2020 Spring Conference, 2019 Theatre Viscera Queer Playwriting Contest). He was a semi-finalist for The Civilians’ 2020-21 R&D Group, a finalist for the National Black Theatre’s 2020-21 I AM SOUL Playwright Residency and is a member of Echo Theatre’s 2020 National Young Playwrights Residency. He has worked at many theaters across the country in various capacities including: Williamstown Theatre Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, Ojai Playwrights Conference, The Civilians and more. He earned his B.F.A. from NYU Tisch and his M.F.A. from UC San Diego, where he was mentored in playwriting by Allan Havis and Deborah Stein. As a storyteller, his mission is to help tell stories that deal with the intersection of race, queerness and religion in order to educate and engage a large variety of audiences from across the globe with these topics in innovative ways.

Synopsis of the play:  The year is 1970. Sterling and Betsy, Harlem royalties, find themselves in Istanbul, Turkey for Betsy’s cabaret tour. When the two venture to the unknown parts of Istanbul,they encounter Tanju, a male belly dancer by night and fortune teller by day, and their lives are changed forever. Through the lens of the 1971 and 1980 Turkish military coups, “Where Angels Fear to Tread” grapples with the impossibility of a love story between two people who come from two different countries that are under their own civil pressures, and the troublesome consequences of exoticizing the Middle East.

Register to see the play here!  https://dime.io/events/where-angels-fear-to-tread-national-young-playwrights-in-residence/event_dates/9518/orders/new/ 

Follow Xavier @xavierbclark on Instagram
To read about Xavier’s plays:  https://newplayexchange.org/users/37419/xavier-clark

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Episode 136 [in English]: Lot Six

Photo credit: Kitty Suen

This episode features writer David Adjmi, whose memoir Lot Six was recently released.  The beautiful telling of the often painful process of growing up while feeling a sense of unease/displacement in a repressed society is powerfully portrayed with a nuance that will make a reader feel seen.  David describes (in the book and in this episode) the relief of discovering theater and its ability to release emotions in a way that regular life often does not allow for.  In this episode, we also discuss David’s Syrian Jewish background, the experience of writing a memoir, his other writing, and more.

Follow on:
Instagram @davidadjmi
Facebook – David Adjmi
Twitter @dadjmi

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Episode 135 [in English]: Mint + Laurel

We talked to Kinda Hibrawi, one of the founders of Mint + Laurel, a lifestyle brand focused on products from or inspired by the Middle East.  Kinda, who is Syrian-American and from Aleppo, started Mint + Laurel along with Mai Barazi and Rama Chakaki.  Mint + Laurel focuses on transparency and sustainability, collaborating with independent artisans, small artisan groups, non-profits and local social enterprises internationally.  We talked to Kinda about the story behind Mint + Laurel, the social impact this new organization has already had, the meaning behind the products, and more.
To see the amazing textiles, soaps, and more, visit https://www.mintandlaurel.com/

Follow mintandlaurel on Instagram!

Check out the Amereeka collection:  https://www.mintandlaurel.com/specialty-gifts/amereeka-1-m8dzf 

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