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The Queer Arabs Posts

Episode 207 [in English]: Bijhan on Kobra Olympus!

We were joined by the wonderful Bijhan Agha, a Persian-American author and creator living in Uruguay.
Bijhan talked about her wonderful creation, Kobra Olympus.  Kobra is a trans, lesbian hijabi superhero with adventures that can be accessed and followed by you all if you get the comic when it comes out!  In this episode, Bijhan and Ellie dive in to some comic book history and discuss some of the nods to some older work by Kobra, as well as the many factors that make the Kobra comic so unique.

We also talk about what led Bijhan and her partner to settle in Uruguay, the comic book scene there, and more.  Please support this wonderful artist and keep an eye out for the release of Kobra Olympus Issue #1!

Click here for the Kickstarter for Kobra Olympus!

Click here for Jamsheed Studios links:

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Episode 206 [in English]: The Artificially Intelligent Queer Arabs

We start off this episode by asking an AI to write a script for our podcast and doing a reading (did the AI get it right?) Then we talk about our actual lives. We discuss the legal attacks on trans rights in several Southern US states, plus some random transphobes at Waffle House. We commiserate about the challenges and doubts we’ve been encountering surrounding our respective careers. We also talk about how (queer) bar culture and etiquette have shifted due to dating apps, Buc-ees, squirrels, and the new Zelda game.

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Episode 205 [in English]: Hayati

( See a walkthrough of Noor’s exhibit here! Hayati – My Life/My Love )

Noor Aldayeh is a visual artist from Los Angeles, California. She is an Honors Film and Media student at Emory University minoring in Women’s, Gender and Sexuality studies, and acts as a student photographer for the Office of Belonging Community and Justice at the university. Our conversation centered around Noor’s thesis project ​​”Hayati (حياتي) – My Life / My Love,” an archive of queer, Middle Eastern and North African women and gender non-conforming-individuals across the US photographed alongside their personal safe spaces. 

Noor discusses what drew them to this subject matter, observing exploitative tropes of orientalist photography and, conversely, finding role models in other SWANA woman artists. She explains how she approaches photography in a way that maximizes the subject’s autonomy and consent. Noor also mentions how this project has been a conduit for finding community in multiple cities–something they weren’t able to access easily in their upbringing and college career–and how they plan to continue the work after graduation.

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