I Wanna Be Mawaleh

Seeing people getting left out – emotionally, socially, mentally, physically – you name it! – has always made me mad for as long as I can remember. I grew up like one of those girls who other kids think is weird but can’t quite put a finger on it. Still I was taller than everyone else in my age group so I was used to sticking up for myself and other people. I am a pretty polite person but I got into lots of trouble for saying what I thought at school especially when I was pointing out something I considered an injustice. I would go and shout at the big boys beating up a little kid for his lunch money and tell the teacher off when they made an assumption about a usual suspect. It didn’t make me popular but I usually didn’t care as long as I wasn’t lonely.

When I was 16, a guy came to our school and came out to me after [Read more…]


Read Layla’s Sticks, our great lesbian contributor. This post was published in Mawaleh no. 12.5

Sarmad and Working with Mawaleh

I first met Sami/Mahmoud through his blog which talks about local Syrian matters from a gay man’s point of view. I asked if there was a way for me to do my part and help promote gay rights in Syria, and imagine my thrill when his response was the suggestion of starting this magazine. I knew then that the mission ahead was not an easy one, and that we would face much opposition from within our ranks as well as from the others, not to mention the prohibition of such activity in Syria by the ruling regime.

Nonetheless, this opposition cannot be compared to the main difficulty of [Read more…]

They Call Me Drama

Mawaleh was at first an idea which later became an obsession. I gave it lots of my time and effort, because, after a few issues, I thought that it was really worth the trouble. But when producing the first few issues, I really felt like I wasn’t going to continue contributing due to the lack of connection and the everyday threats of being mortared, bombed or arrested.

I had to run away from my hometown. Run away from all the fears and insecurities everybody imprinted onto my body and mind. Yet again, I lost the contact even though I was outside of Syria. I couldn’t take my PC with me, and things weren’t as promised or as I suspected. I found myself with drips of internet from time to time, until one of my roommates donated his laptop to me to work on while [Read more…]

Dance of Destiny

Sometimes, when bad things happen to us, they make us stronger; they teach us how to stand taller and longer. They also make us think of the past, remind us of special moments and people. We just scream inside “I don’t want to die yet, I don’t want to leave those special people in my life”.

What really happened that day changed some things and planted others in me. I know our country’s situation is bad, but [Read more…]

Adam and Mawaleh

Mawaleh Challenges:

When my friend first approached me with the idea of Mawaleh, I was a bit hesitant but also loved the idea of being part of the first LGBT magazine in Syria.

At first, I thought it would be an easy part-time job that would help me fill my spare time, but after working on a couple of issues, I realized that it took a lot more time and effort than I thought.

I work on the sections about International News and Sexual Health and I chose those parts because they do not involve as much literary writing as the others. However, looking for interesting news that would suit the audience of the magazine proved to [Read more…]

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