In Syrian dialect, Mawaleh means “nuts“. It is derived from “maleh“, which means “salty“. Choosing the name and the concept of the magazine was the most important task before starting working on it.
People in Syria love nuts and enjoy having them with tea, beers, arak, and matte. It is true that almost all Syrians love nuts. They have to love us, queers, as well; let’s hope so.
LGBTI people are like “Mawaleh” somehow; we, queers, have different looks, wants, needs, styles, and tastes! But, we all have the same worry and struggle within our community.
After choosing the name of the magazine, we had to give each section a “nut” character, which is inspired by a Syrian tradition or a Syrian pun.
Fostok, “peanuts“, are the nuts that most Syrians start with, thus, it is the name of the editorial.
The Levant area is the original habitat of the almond tree, and Syria is the number one producer of shelled almond in the region. Ouja is the “green almond“. Ouja can also mean “crooked” in Syrian dialect; it is used in local dialect to describe the hard issues that need a lot of work, therefore, for the use of the Syrian pun, the section dedicated to LGBTI issues in Syria was given the name “Ouja“.
Louz “almond” is the name given to the sexual health section. In Syria, there is an expression that can be literally translated into “one will have almond”, which is used to express the benefits of taking an advice or working hard.
Walnuts are used with many Syrian dishes. Jouz is the Arabic for walnut. In Syria, “Louz & Jouz” are used in another expression to express the benefit of taking an advice. “Jouz” is the name of the section concerned with Syrian LGBTI community news, such as raids, arrests, parties… etc
Pistachios, in Arabic “fostok Halabi” – literally, “Aleppo’s peanuts”, is the name given to the section dealing with Lesbianism. We are hoping that we will discuss sexism and women’s rights in this section in the future. Pistachios are the most beloved nuts in Syria, and are used with special Syrian dishes, desserts, and as nuts.
Cashews are adored Syria as well, yet, they are imported. The name was given to the section which provides LGBTI news from around the world.
Ajweh is used in Syrian dialect to refer to the seed or nut inside any kind of fruit. It can be used for any kind of nut, and it also has the meaning of the “most important thing in a subject”. We hope that “Ajweh” will have real stories about LGBTI people in Syria. We already have two readers who sent us their stories which will be published in Arabic in November’s issue, and will be translated into English in our next English issue.
Moshmosh, “Apricot“, is not a nut, but it has a pit or a seed inside that is used in Syria as a nut. The section entitled “Moshmosh” is supposed to be an interactive discussion, so that we can reach the “core” of the solution, i.e. the nut, with our readers. We published two “surveys” in Moshmosh so far, and we are looking forward to publishing more. On a side note, Damascus is the original habitat of apricot; apricot is “damasco” in Portuguese, isn’t it?
When close friends or families want to have a night at home, they normally have nuts and popcorn. Boushar is the Arabic word for popcorn; the section entitled “Boushar” provides film reviews.