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Middle East Films
A Sinner in Mecca. Parvez Sharma (Kino Lorber, 2015). Streaming via Kanopy (UCLA only); film website.
Undressing Israel: Gay Men in the Promised Land. Michael Lucas (Breaking Glass Pictures, 2012). Streaming via Kanopy (UCLA only); film trailer.
Middle East: Reports/Links
Middle East, 2020 -
Are You This? or Are You This? by
Call Number: HQ75.8.A424 A3 2021
Publication Date: 2021-09-01
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.
Middle East, 2010 - 2019
Gay Life Stories: Same-Sex Desires in Post-Revolutionary Iran by
Call Number: HQ76.3.I7
Publication Date: 2019-04-10
Drawing on ethnographic encounters with self-identified gay men in Iran, this book explores the construction, enactment, and veiling and unveiling of gay identity and same-sex desire in the capital city of Tehran. The research draws on diverse interpretive, historical, online and empirical sources in order to present critical and nuanced insights into the politics of recognition and representation and the constitution of same-sex desire under the specific conditions of Iranian modernity. As it engages with accounts of the persecuted Iranian gay male subject as a victim of the barbarism of the Islamic Republic of Iran, the book addresses interpretive questions of sexuality governance in transnational contexts and attends to issues of human rights frameworks in weighing social justice and political claims made by and on behalf of sexual and gender minorities. The book thus combines empirical data with a critical consideration of the politics of same-sex desire for Iranian gay men.
*ebook (UC users only).
LGBTI Rights in Turkey: Sexuality and the State in the Middle East by
Call Number: KKX2467.G38 M84 2018
Publication Date: 2018-10-31
The LGBTI community in Turkey face real dangers. In 2015, the Turkish police interrupted the LGBTI Pride march in Istanbul, using tear gas and rubber bullets against the marchers. This marked the first attempt by the authorities to stop the parade by force, and similar actions occurred the following year. Here, Fait Muedini examines these levels of discrimination in Turkey, as well as exploring how activists are working to improve human rights for LGBTI individuals living in this hostile environment. Muedini bases his analysis on interviews taken with a number of NGO leaders and activists of leading LGBTI organisations in the region, including Lambda Istanbul, Kaos GL, Pembe Hayat, Social Policies, Gender Identity and Sexual Orientation Studies Association (SPoD), and Families of LGBT's in Istanbul (LISTAG). The original information provided by these interviews illuminate the challenges facing the LGBTI community, and the brave actions taken by activists in their attempts to challenge the state and secure sexual equality.
*Also available as an ebook (UC only): LGBTI Rights in Turkey
Professing Selves by
Call Number: HQ77.95.I7 N35 2014
Publication Date: 2013-12-16
Since the mid-1980s, the Islamic Republic of Iran has permitted, and partially subsidized, sex reassignment surgery. In Professing Selves, Afsaneh Najmabadi explores the meaning of transsexuality in contemporary Iran. Combining historical and ethnographic research, she describes how, in the postrevolutionary era, the domains of law, psychology and psychiatry, Islamic jurisprudence, and biomedicine became invested in distinguishing between the acceptable "true" transsexual and other categories of identification, notably the "true" homosexual, an unacceptable category of existence in Iran. Najmabadi argues that this collaboration among medical authorities, specialized clerics, and state officials--which made transsexuality a legally tolerated, if not exactly celebrated, category of being--grew out of Iran's particular experience of Islamicized modernity. Paradoxically, state regulation has produced new spaces for non-normative living in Iran, since determining who is genuinely "trans" depends largely on the stories that people choose to tell, on the selves that they profess.
Israel/Palestine and the Queer International by
Call Number: HQ76.2.I75 S38 2012
Publication Date: 2012-10-12
[*At Young Research Library.] In this chronicle of political awakening and queer solidarity, the activist and novelist Sarah Schulman describes her dawning consciousness of the Palestinian liberation struggle. Invited to Israel to give the keynote address at an LGBT studies conference at Tel Aviv University, Schulman declines, joining other artists and academics honoring the Palestinian call for an academic and cultural boycott of Israel. Anti-occupation activists in the United States, Canada, Israel, and Palestine come together to help organize an alternative solidarity visit for the American activist. As Schulman learns more, she questions the contradiction between Israel's investment in presenting itself as gay friendly--financially sponsoring gay film festivals and parades--and its denial of the rights of Palestinians. At the same time, she talks with straight Palestinian activists about their position in relation to homosexuality and gay rights in Palestine and internationally. Back in the United States, Schulman draws on her extensive activist experience to organize a speaking tour for some of the Palestinian queer leaders whom she had met and trusted. Its success solidifies her commitment to working to end Israel's occupation of Palestine, and it kindles her larger hope that a new "queer international" will emerge and join other movements demanding human rights across the globe.