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Are You This? Or Are You This?: A Story of Identity and Worth

Are You This? Or Are You This?: A Story of Identity and Worth

When Madian Al Jazerah came out to his Arab parents, his mother had one question. ‘Are you this?’ she asked, cupping her hand. ‘Or are you this?’ she motioned with a poking finger.

If you’re the poker, she said, you aren’t a homosexual.

For Madian, this opposition reveals not who he is, but patriarchy, power, and society’s efforts to fit us into neat boxes. He is Palestinian, but wasn’t raised in Palestine. He is Kuwaiti-born, but not Kuwaiti. He’s British-educated, but not a Westerner. He’s a Muslim, but can’t embrace the Islam of today. He’s a gay man, out of the closet but still living in the shadows: he has left Jordan, his home, three times in fear of his life.

Madian has searched for acceptance and belonging around the world, joining new communities in San Francisco, New York, Hawaii and Tunisia, yet always finding himself pulled back to Amman. This frank and moving memoir narrates his battles with adversity, racism and homophobia, and a rich life lived with humour, dignity and grace.

Book Details

Publisher: Hurst
Publish Date: September 1, 2021
ISBN: 9781787384651
Language: English

About the Author

Madian Al Jazerah is a Palestinian Jordanian who was born in Kuwait. In 1997 he opened Amman’s Books@cafe, the first internet cafe/bookstore in the Arab world. Since its founding he has been engaged in human rights work and LGBTQ activism.

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