I AM NOT THIS BODY?
Sometimes when I look at myself in the mirror I get confused between the person who I am, the person who I see in the mirror and the person who is inside my body, this shape. Does what I see represent me? Is it what I am?
Body Print . Ink on Hard Paper . 100 × 70 cm . Y 2021
Arabs knew the practice of “sodomy” since ancient times. This is how they used to call homosexuality, as its image was not what is portrayed in our mind today when we talk about homosexuality, and it was not a practice that results in classifying its practitioners into categories of male-centered desire, rather it was a practice often combined with other practices with the opposite sex.
Most of the news and poems that talk about homosexuality go back to the Abbasid and Andalusian eras. This does not mean that it is a practice that originated in these two civilizations, as it was known before the advent of Islam and some of the Umayyad caliphs were famous for it.
The Qur’an did not place a clear sanction on those who practice homosexuality, and it contented themselves with dealing with it negatively and denouncing the people of Lot who practiced it.
In the Abbasid era, the phenomenon of the caliphs practicing “sodomy” was almost universal. It is said that the Caliph al-Amin son of Harun al-Rashid was enamored with one of the boys, called Kauthar, and sang a poem in which he said:
“ Kauthar is my religion, my cosmos, my infirmity, and my doctor
The most incompetent people who upbraid dovetail in a lover. “
Starting from al-Amin Story as a Biographical narrative from the Islamic Golden Age (800 CE) and reflected on children’s books to include LGBTIAQ+ characters and themes to help children understand our multifaceted social world, to build empathy and social awareness and to teach kids that it’s OK to be Arab or Muslim but still be different.
Digital illustration . S 28 × 21 cm . Y 2020