A New Confidence: Recent Queer Writing by The British Library


LGBTQ characters and narratives have existed in the Arab literary sphere since medieval times. But recent years have seen a new confidence on the part of Arab artists writing queer narratives, with a wave of writers taking centre stage, embodying a multiplicity of identities and sexualities across apparent divisions of class, gender, region, and class. Their rich work tackles a broad range of topics, as well as challenging stereotypes both within and outside of the Arab world. Alberto Fernández Carbajal joins three of the most exciting contemporary queer Arab writers for readings from their work and discussion of these themes.

Saleem Haddad was born in Kuwait City to an Iraqi-German mother and a Palestinian-Lebanese father. He has worked with Médecins Sans Frontières and other international organisations in Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Libya, Lebanon, and Egypt. His first novel, Guapa, written in English, was published in 2016.

Lebanese-Russian Alexandra Chreiteh (Shraytekh) is the author of two novels in Arabic, translated and published in English as Always Coca-Cola (2009) and Ali and His Russian Mother (2010). She is a Professor of Arabic and International Literary and Visual Studies at Tufts University in Boston.

Amahl Khouri is a Jordanian documentary playwright and theatre maker based in Munich, and is the author of three plays, including No Matter Where I Go and She He Me. Her work has been published in several US journals and in the International Perspectives on Where Performance Leads Queer anthology.