5 June, 2024

Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Grn Rd, London E1 6LA

Join us at Rich Mix to celebrate the launch of The Queer Arab Glossary, the groundbreaking collection of LGBTQ+ Arabic slang.

Get your ticket HERE.

The Queer Arab Glossary is the first published collection of queer Arabic slang. Celebrating the queer Arab community in all its differences, quirks and felicities, the night will begin with a conversation between editor Marwan Kaabour and writers Sophie Chamas and Hamed Sinno (joining virtually), chaired by Dr Akanksha Mehta. This will be followed by a performance by Kuwaiti/Palestinian singer, songwriter and instrumentalist Etaf.

Featuring fascinating facts and anecdotes, The Queer Arab Glossary contains more than 300 terms in both English and Arabic, ranging from the humorous to the harrowing, serious to tongue-in-cheek, pejorative to endearing. The book also includes insightful essays situating this groundbreaking glossary in a modern social and political context from leading queer Arab artists, academics, activists and writers.

Following the event, the bar will remain open. Signed copies of the book will be available to purchase on the night.

Doors 6.30pm. The event will begin promptly at 7pm.

The event ends at 9pm. The bar and music will continue until 10pm.

This event is brought to you by Saqi Books in partnership with Shubbak Festival.

‘This gloriously confident book will be an eye-opening, often unashamedly sexual, revelation and education to most … It’s a rare blessing that The Queer Arab Glossary manages to capture a slang consciousness that otherwise might have slipped by.’
The Bookseller


Marwan Kaabour is a graphic designer, artist and occasional writer. In 2019, Marwan founded Takweer, an online platform and expanding archive of queer narratives in Arab history and popular culture. After more than six years of diverse experience with Barnbrook, first as Designer and later as Senior Designer, he founded his own design practice in 2020.

Sophie Chamas is a lecturer in gender studies at SOAS, University of London. Their academic work focuses on theorising queer Arabness as a political orientation rather than a hybridised identity, and thinking through the potential of the radical political imaginary at the intersection of queer and gender studies, political economy and Middle East Studies.

Dr Akanksha Mehta is a lecturer in Gender, Sexuality, and Cultural Studies and the co-director of the Centre for Feminist Research at Goldsmiths.

Hamed Sinno is a composer, writer, performer and social justice advocate. Sinno writes and lectures about popular culture as engaged practice. They have been Mashrou Leila’s lyricist and front-person since 2008. Their debut full-length opera, Westerly Breath, is currently in development. Their solo debut, Poems of Consumption, debuted at London’s Barbican Centre in July 2023.

Etaf is a singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist based in London. Raised in Kuwait and with Palestinian and Lebanese roots, Etaf is proudly part of the Arab diaspora. Their music draws on their Arab Heritage, carving out a distinct musical identity that is daring and innovative, creating a soundscape that is both familiar and refreshingly new.

Saqi Books is a leading independent publisher of books on the Middle East and North Africa. This one-off event follows in the wake of previous Saqi sell-out events ‘Don’t Panic, I’m Islamic’ and ‘Love and Lust by Arab Women Writers’.

Shubbak is the UK’s largest festival of contemporary Arab culture.



Concessionary rates are offered to students, pensioners and those outside full-time employment. If you would like to attend but the ticket cost is prohibitive, please email marketing@saqibooks.com and we will see what we can do.

This event is hosted by Saqi Books in partnership with Shubbak. Those registered to attend the event will be added to the Saqi newsletter. To opt out please email marketing@saqibooks.com.

General admission: £9.00 Concessions: £7.00 General Admission + book package: £20.00
→ Buy Tickets