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The Queer Arabs Posts

Episode 161 [in English]: Liz Henry on Unraveling ‘A Gay Girl In Damascus’

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We were joined by Liz Henry who played a vital role in 2011 in unveiling the hoax surrounding the blog ‘A Gay Girl In Damascus’ — the fictional character Amina Arraf had become a beloved figure by many around the world at the time.  When Liz helped discover that Amina did not actually exist (and a catfisher in the UK was behind the scheme), many people who had been invested in Amina’s story experienced various levels of grief.  To many, Amina represented a key shift in conversation surrounding the LGBT community; finally, there was an Arab lesbian voice reaching folks internationally.

It was surreal, in 2021 on our podcast focused on queer Arabs, to have the opportunity to have our own conversation about the hoax with Liz, and its impact on our community.  An episode from another perspective about this topic will be released soon, so keep an eye out for that one as well.

For background infromation:

Read about the documentary here:

Mentioned in episode:

Article written by Liz on ethics of online investigation:

Liz’s book of poetry:

Translated by Liz:

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Episode 160 [in English]: Creating (Dis)content & Coalitions with the UC Davis MENASA Student Resources

Huge thank you to the UC Davis MENASA Resources Center (@ucdavismenasa) for having us as guest speakers!

Following our presentation on the (brief) history our podcast, what we’ve learned along the way, and an overview of queer organizing in the SWANA region, we recorded a live Q&A with some awesome attendees.  

Our discussion included pre- and post-9-11 racial perceptions of us as Arabs in the US, finding queer SWANA and Muslim community (in various locales and online), what brings us Queer Arab joy (from cooking to listener DMs to messy chosen families).

View the full presentation here: 

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