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Tag: middle east

Episode 172 [in English]: Amir Aram Ronaldo Returns

This week, Alia, Nadia, and Ellie joined to catch up with Armenian-Palestinian-American Artivist Aram Ronaldo, who you might remember from the “Land Back episode.” This time, we focused on Aram’s work in theater, from the MENA-focused Golden Thread Productions in the Bay Area, to the wonderfully queer “Camp Morning Wood: A Very Naked Musical” in New York. We discussed the logistics of theater reopening (naked or not), how alternative companies may be more adaptable to safe practices, and what aspects of virtual/hybrid performance are here to stay.

Aram also talked about the challenges of shifting deep-seated beliefs from anti-vaxing to Zionism, and their zine project focused on Palestinian futurism. We also discussed the ways in which the conversation on Palestine in the US has shifted (and not), how the Black Lives Matter movement has primed the public to overhaul their beliefs, and the distinction between institutional and social change.


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Episode 169 [in English]: Savage Tongues

Alia and Nebal (thank you Nebal for guest co-hosting!) got to talk to author Azareen Van der Vliet Oloomi about her newly released novel Savage Tongues!  The novel examines gender constructs in Islam and the West, and the intersections of sexual desire and violence amidst the ongoing subjugation of the Middle East to imperialism. In the book, she argues for queer intellectual exchange and female friendship as alternative structures to oppose patriarchy, heteronormativity, and the imposed religious, racial, and ethnic homogeneity of nationalism.

In addition to talking about the novel itself, we discussed shared experiences navigating coming from a mixed background, particularly with identities that are often seen as enemies.  We also talked about pinkwashing, queerness, the power of female friendships, and more.  It was a pleasure to speak with Azareen, and we encourage you all to get your hands on the novel!  Happy reading! 


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