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Episode 214 [in English]: Hannah Moushabeck

Hannah Moushabeck is a second-generation Palestinian American author, editor, and book marketer. She is the author of Homeland: My Father Dreams of Palestine, a children’s book about three girls who experience Palestine through bedtime stories. She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts on the homelands of the Pocumtuc and Nipmuc Nations.

Hannah talks about growing up in  New York, Massachusetts, and the UK while her family ran an Arab independent publishing house. She discusses how representation in children’s books has and hasn’t changed since her childhood, with a clear uptick in queer stories but very few Palestinian stories.

Hannah recounts the variety of reactions Homeland has received. She’s had her book banned and has been rejected from school talks over “controversy,” but also witnessed joyful responses from child readers and heartbroken responses from adults. 

We discuss the impossibility of “appropriate” pro-Palestinian protest in a system that doesn’t want it to exist, and how we’ve seen every action either trivialized as useless or demonized as extreme (BDS falling into both categories).

Hannah also tells us her queer pandemic love story and what it was like coming out as a full-fledged adult. She also discusses how she’s found intersections between the Fat Acceptance movement and anti-racism, recognizing that body hierarchies are built around European ideals, even though our colonized cultures internalized them.

Visit Hannah’s website here

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Episode 212 [in English]: Hijab Butch Blues

Lamya H., author of Hijab Butch Blues, joined us for a wonderful episode!

Lamya talks about the line between invisibility and hypervisibility as a brown person in hijab in the US, alternatively overlooked or policed. She discusses her path into Queer Muslim community as well as her mixed experiences in both Arab and Desi spaces as someone born in a South Asian country who grew up in the Gulf. We also talk about the differences between culturally- and religiously-specific queer communities and the issues with policing borders around identity.  They also mention how quickly Queer Muslim communities have become more public-facing in the past few years and express a desire to retain queer practices of trust-building and protection with that generational shift. 

Lamya also explains her view of writing as a political and cathartic act and what it’s like to write a bestselling memoir as someone who didn’t previously identify as a professional writer. They also discuss how refusing to explain everything is a political choice and why they chose Leslie Feinberg’s Stone Butch Blues as their memoir’s namesake.

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