Inside a Groundbreaking Anthology That Sheds Light on 18 Queer Arab Voices

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10/18/2022

In a region where at least 15 nations criminalize homosexuality and in those that don’t, there’s a “don’t ask, don’t tell culture,” queer Arab communities may have been forced into the shadows but they undeniably exist. That’s why Tuesday’s U.S. debut of This Arab is Queer, a new anthology edited by Elias Jahshan, an Australian journalist of Palestinian and Lebanese descent living in London, is so groundbreaking. Jahshan asked 18 writers who were born or raised in the Arab region or who are from the diaspora to ruminate on this intersection of their identity. “I wanted to show that we have agency and can tell our stories in our own way. We don’t need people speaking over us all the time,” says Jahshan.

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