#50: Introducing Talk of Shame
My new podcast (!), plus, consent theft, imaginary post-pandemic selves, and more...
Hi, I’m Alya Mooro and you’re reading The Greater Conversation, a fortnightly newsletter honestly addressing all aspects of life through the eyes of a Middle Eastern / third-culture / woman / human. Alternately, there’ll be some thoughts from me, or a guest piece, along with recommendations of articles, books*, podcasts and etc worth consuming. If you’ve just subscribed, welcome! If this issue was forwarded to you, add your email to join the list.
With hindsight, I realise that a lot of what The Greater Freedom is about, is actually shame. I thought I was writing about societal expectations and the impact that that has on my / our lives, but I see now that societal expectations are embedded in us through shame - so much so that they’re actually inseparable, really. In particular when we’re talking about ‘3aib’, the Arabic iteration that places heavy emphasis on the concept of ‘honour’, what is made out to be the opposite of shame.
It was feeling shame, and not understanding where it came from, that first made me want to write the book. Since then, I’ve become increasingly obsessed with the concept, and the question of how we can free ourselves from it. So I’m SO excited to announce the podcast I’ve been working on with Womena: TALK OF SHAME.
Throughout the 10 episode series, I talk to guests from the diaspora and the region itself, women the likes of Noor Tagouri, Rosaline Elbay, Rotana, Nour Emam and more, on everything from the burdens of carrying family honour, the weight of society's expectations, its effects on mental health and everything in between.
Episodes will be released every Tuesday starting TODAY. The first episode is out now, featuring Sabreen and Meis, the hosts of the Third Culture Talks podcast. We talk how shame stems from the patriarchy that affects us all, the very first time we were made to feel shame or hear the word ‘3aib’ and more.
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TGC alternates weekly between a guest piece and my own shares. If you identify as a Middle Eastern woman and would like to contribute a guest piece, please
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Books: Sex From Scratch is an interesting introduction to how to navigate the many relationship models that exist in the world, and that we don’t hear about often enough tbh. Red at the Bone is a stunning, stunning read. I also really enjoyed Rupi Kaur’s latest poetry collection, Home Body.
Newsletter: Nicola Slawson’s latest edition of The Single Supplement shares her takeaways on Sentimental in the City (a podcast I’ve yet to listen to) in which each episode dissects a season of Sex & The City and its depiction of single life, friendships etc.
Podcast: Elissa Freiha is the kickass, brilliant human behind Womena, who I’ve been working with on bringing Talk of Shame to life. I loved listening to her chat with Noor Tehini on the Goodness Podcast. It’s a super inspiring listen on self-love, authenticity, and what it means to stand for women empowerment in a man's world.
What is ‘Consent Theft’ and why aren’t we talking about it?
Why going to an all girls' school has been detrimental to my dating life and relationships with men.
"Many times, I thought I had a classic fear of commitment, but I knew it was more complicated. I was resisting something greater than our individual relationship, and my resistance was political."
I’m obsessed with Sarah Bahbah's new art series, and this profile on WeTransfer provides some great insight into it.
For my latest Restless column, I wrote about how I’m mourning my post-pandemic, imaginary self.
For Amaka, I wrote about how Egypt’s Dosy Bikes is battling cultural stereotypes.
Alya Mooro • عليا مورو @alyamooroNEW edition of #TheGreaterConversation in which I write about how, for so many of us – especially third-culture kids – identity is intrinsically linked to what we’re *not*, and how it might well be more helpful to think about the things we *are* instead. https://t.co/lsrulh1BIw
Thanks for subscribing! I'm Alya, the person behind this newsletter. I am a freelance journalist and the bestselling author of The Greater Freedom: Life as a Middle Eastern Woman Outside the Stereotypes. You can follow me on Instagram here, and Twitter here. Buy me a digital ko-fi.
*this newsletter contains affiliate links to Bookshop.org, a new online platform that gives a percentage of each purchase directly to struggling independent bookshops.