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Mawaleh: The Name

Published in Mawaleh English

In Syrian dialect,Mawalehmeans “nuts”. It is derived from “maleh”, which means “salty”. Choosing the name and the concept of the magazine was the most important task before starting working on it.

People in Syria love nuts and enjoy having them with tea, beers, arak, or mate. It is true that almost all Syrians love nuts. They have to love us, queers, as well; let’s hope so.

LGBTI people are like “Mawaleh” somehow; we, queers, have different looks, wants, needs, styles, and tastes! But, we all have the same worry and struggle within our community.

After choosing the name of the magazine, we had to give each section a “nut” character, which is taken from a Syrian tradition, or a Syrian pun.

Fostok, “peanuts”, are the nuts that most Syrians start with, thus, it is the title of the editorial section.

The Levant area is the original habitat of the almond tree, and Syria is the number one producer of shelled almond in the region.Ouja is the “green almond”.Ouja can also mean “crooked” in Syrian dialect; it is used in local dialect to describe the hard issues that need a lot of work, therefore, for the use of the Syrian pun, the section dedicated to LGBTI issues in Syria was given the title “Ouja”.

Louz“almond” is the title given to the sexual health section. In Syria, there is an expression that can be literally translated into “one will have almond”, which is used to express the benefits of taking an advice or working hard.

Walnuts are used in many Syrian dishes.Jouz is the Arabic for walnut. In Syria, “Louz & Jouz” are used in another expression to express the benefit of taking an advice.

“Jouz” is the title of the section concerned with Syrian LGBTI community news, such as raids, arrests, parties… etc.

Pistachios, “fostok Halabi” – literally, “Aleppo’s peanuts”, is given to the section dealing with Lesbianism. We are hoping that we will discuss sexism and women’s rights in this section in the future. Pistachios are the most beloved nuts in Syria, and are used with special Syrian dishes, desserts, and as nuts.

Cashews are adored in Syria as well, yet, they are imported. The name was given to the section which provides LGBTI news from around the world.

Ajweh is used in Syrian dialect to refer to the seed or nut inside any kind of fruit. It can be used for any kind of nut, and it also has the meaning of the “most important thing in a subject”. We hope that “Ajweh” will have real stories about LGBTI people in Syria. Two readers have already sent us their stories; they will be published in Arabic in November’s issue, and will be translated into English in our next English issue.

Moshmosh, “Apricot”, is not a nut, but it has a pit with a seed that is used in Syria as a nut. The section entitled “Moshmosh” is supposed to be an interactive discussion with our readers, after which we hope to reach the “core” of the solution, i.e the nut.We published two surveys inMoshmoshso far, and we are looking forward to publishing more.

On a side note, Damascus is the original habitat of apricot; apricot is “damasco” in Portuguese, isn’t it?

When close friends or families want to have a night at home, they normally have nuts and popcorn, and sometimes Bezer, “seeds”. Boushar is the Arabic word for popcorn; the section provides film reviews, while Bezer is the title of the section for entertainment news, art, book reviews… etc.

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