There’s resistance in terms of political activism but there’s also resistance in terms of personally my own identity. I was very closeted when I was younger because culturally, being gay is not okay where I come from and in much of the Arab world, it’s still illegal.
A lot of what I do now, the documentaries that I produce, the storytelling, projects that I create, at the core of all of that, there is a really strong sense of resistance. But it’s not resistance in a sense of creating an “us and them”; it’s resistance in a sense of trying to find the points of connection with us humans, because we’re losing that more and more in the state of the world at the moment.
If you can get to that fear in people, there’s genuine room for change, for people to turn around.
To me, the strongest form of resistance is imagination. If you can use your imagination, even at your worst, to take yourself to another place, there’s a sense of freedom in that that belongs to each and every one of us, that no one can take. It’s free, it’s non-violent and it’s a fight against the powers that be that sometimes you have no other control over.
I intentionally try to tell stories that are from communities where there’s a word and I’m like its ‘Haram’. ‘Haram’ means it’s shameful or it’s forbidden. Because that’s the point.
Through coming out and then hosting Mardi Gras each year – my Sydney and the way I see Sydney has changed dramatically because I’m so much more comfortable being who I want to be and I can do that with the blessing of my parents, and my family. They can also be who they need to be and want to be in this city without having that secrecy, or shame, or burden of having to hide this huge thing.
Zaatar – thyme and oil – oregano, marjoram, caraway, sumac, olive oil, sesame, bread, and the discovery within a fresh washed jumper