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Episode 163 [in English]: Breaking Fast

It was such a pleasure talking to Mike Mosallam, creator of the film ‘Breaking Fast’ (on Hulu).  The film follows a gay Muslim man looking for love during Ramadan (the film is best described as a Ramadan rom-com).  (See more here:
We discussed the importance of media portrayal of the fun and sense of humor shared among Arabs, as this is not often the side of the community that gets focused on.  We talked about the ways Arab actors are often pigeonholed in media, and how Mike’s film serves to counteract that while still tackling meaningful topics.
We also brought up the ways we have been conditioned to compartmentalize our identities as queer Arabs, and the process of unlearning that.  Please check out the film and Mike’s future projects!


Essay referenced in episode:

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Episode 128 [in English]: Ado Ato Pictures

‘Queer in a Time of Forced Migration’ is three-part animated transmedia series by Ado Ato Pictures that follows the stories of LGBTQ refugees from Egypt, Sudan, and Saudi Arabia across continents and cultures — from the 2011 Revolutions in the Middle East and North Africa region to the world today.

Throughout the 2011 Egyptian Revolution, filmmaker Tamara Shogaolu and Egyptian journalist Nada El-Kouny collected more than 60 oral histories from women, LGBTQ individuals, as well as ethnic and religious minorities, with follow-up interviews conducted in Germany, the Netherlands, and Norway. The series documents arcs of hope, backlash, and displacement. 

The newly-released third part of the series “They Call Me Asylum Seeker,” is a web-based interactive experience narrated by Sudanese visual artist Ahmed Umar. 

We were honored to be joined by Tamara, Nada, and Ahmed to discuss their personal journeys with this work as well as the ways in which animation and interactive media formats can uniquely balance confidentiality and empathy-building with Western audiences.

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