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Thaqafee Hour with Zaina Arafat

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Date(s) - 08/09/2020
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm

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Free USD
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Zeit u Zaman


Date And Time

Sun, August 9, 2020

5:00 PM – 7:00 PM EDT

Zeit u Zaman presents an afternoon Thaqafee Hour with New York based Palestinian author Zaina Arafat, discussing her new novel ‘You Exist Too Much’. This discussion will be facilitated by the University of Chicago Professor Eman Abdelhadi. Thaqafee in Arabic means ‘the culture’ and also beautifully sounds like ‘the coffee’ (shout out to Zeinab Saab for the dad pun). We are asking folx who would like to join us, to make a fresh pot of qa7we (Arabic/Turkish coffee) and sit with us in our Virtual Living Room to discuss the intersections of our identities, trans/queerness, culture, language, and life in diaspora as SWANA people.

To register click here

Our Intentions

This event is meant to be accessible and to center queer and trans SWANA individuals living in/around Chicago. We want to prioritize attendance for folx who identify with our community, if you don’t feel that your identity intersects both, we ask that you wait till closer to the event date before taking a ticket since there is limited capacity.

Our space uplifts and holds the beauty of our community, therefore there will be no tolerance for zionism, homophobia, transphobia, anti-blackness, colorism, misogyny, xenophobia, ableism, zionism, or other forms of community violence.

About You Exist Too Much

On a hot day in Bethlehem, a 12-year-old Palestinian-American girl is yelled at by a group of men outside the Church of the Nativity. She has exposed her legs in a biblical city, an act they deem forbidden, and their judgement will echo on through her adolescence. When our narrator finally admits to her mother that she is queer, her mother’s response only intensifies a sense of shame: “You exist too much,” she tells her daughter.

Told in vignettes that flash between the U.S. and the Middle East—from New York to Jordan, Lebanon, and Palestine—Zaina Arafat’s debut novel traces her protagonist’s progress from blushing teen to sought-after DJ and aspiring writer. In Brooklyn, she moves into an apartment with her first serious girlfriend and tries to content herself with their comfortable relationship. But soon her longings, so closely hidden during her teenage years, explode out into reckless romantic encounters and obsessions with other people. Her desire to thwart her own destructive impulses will eventually lead her to The Ledge, an unconventional treatment center that identifies her affliction as “love addiction.” In this strange, enclosed society she will start to consider the unnerving similarities between her own internal traumas and divisions and those of the places that have formed her.

Opening up the fantasies and desires of one young woman caught between cultural, religious, and sexual identities, You Exist Too Much is a captivating story charting two of our most intense longings—for love, and a place to call home.”

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