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The Queer Arabs Posts

Episode 189 [in English]: It’s a Wayward World

It was such a joy to have Saudi-American podcaster, theater maker, and just overall awesome individual, Sid, as our guest for this episode!  They had one of our co-hosts (Alia) on their podcast recently, so this was a really fun crossover.  Sid hosts The Wayward World Podcast, which you all should subscribe to.  On this episode, we discussed the creation of, and inspiration behind, Sid’s podcast, their experience growing up in Saudi Arabia and relocating back to the U.S., the journey we all have been on in connecting with other queer Arabs, and more.  Enjoy!

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Episode 188 [in English]: Bashar Murad

Bashar Murad is a Palestinian singer, lyricist, director and composer based in Sheikh Jarrah, Jerusalem. Bashar uses pop music and art as a vehicle to challenge stereotypes, normativity and to highlight social issues facing young generations of urban Palestinians. 

We were so excited to have Bashar on the pod to discuss his recent work, including his latest EP Maskhara, a remix EP (coming soon), and covering Nina Simone’s I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel to Be Free for the upcoming film A Gaza Weekend.

Bashar explains the creation process for both his music and his visually striking music videos, including various collaborations with other Palestinian artists and designers. We also talk about themes of escapism present in his lyrics and aesthetics and how taking mental breaks from activism can feel both essential and guilt-inducing. 

We also talk about the double edged sword of social media: how it allows us to build community despite geographic barriers and travel restrictions, yet places these connections in the hands of flawed and unreliable platforms.

Watch the Maskhara music video here

Visit Bashar’s website 

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Episode 187 [in English]: Alireza Shojaian

We were thrilled to have Alireza Shojaian back on the podcast after his last episode three years ago! Alireza is an artist from Iran, previously in Beirut, and currently based in Paris whose work pushes boundaries in representation of queer bodies and sexuality. 

He discusses his veggie drawing series, made during a period of identity questioning, and the line between gay and trans identities in the Iranian framework. He also explains the instances of censorship he’s still experienced presenting queer work in the US and France, due to Iranian authorities exerting “soft power” abroad and Western presenters neglecting to stand up for the marginalized artists they claim to support. 

Finally, Alireza talks about his future plans as an artist in Paris, pursuing training, and working his way into a sometimes exclusive scene.  He’s currently working on a series called Under the Sky of Shiraz that centers around figures from Persian folklore and the longing of exile: when you look at the sky, you can still know you’re sharing this sky with the home you miss.


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