Luai Qubain is an author and engineer born and raised in Jordan and currently based in Denver. His book The Kingdom’s Sandcastle revisits his experiences as a young man in Jordan hiding his sexuality, losing his mother, and surviving an abusive relationship. Luai recalled the challenges of writing and reliving trauma, and why he felt compelled to do so. He also discussed the particular risks of relationship abuse within heavily persecuted queer communities. We also talk about the various groups of visitors in Jordan – including study abroad bros and vacationing Saudis – and the densely-packed cultural diversity of the SWANA region overall. The book is incredibly moving – you can find it on both Amazon and Barnes and Noble – and stay tuned for the sequel!