Second Meeting of the Cardiff Amnesty International Group Human Rights Book Club

Thank you to all those who attended the first meeting of the Cardiff Amnesty International Human Rights Book Club. We had a fantastic evening discussing the Natives: Race and Class in the Ruin of Empire by Akala.

The book provided much food for thought as we reflected on our own experiences of racism and class divisions in the UK and further afield. Akala’s book was both incredibly touching and informative, it is well worth recommending to people of all ages and backgrounds.

Our next book club meeting will be held virtually on the 18 January 2021 at 7pm. The second book that we will be discussing is Unicorn: Memoir of a Muslim Drag Queen by Amrou Al-Kadhi. There is also a paperback version of this book entitled Life as a Unicorn: A Journey from Shame to Pride and Everything in Between. Amrou Al-Kadhi is a screenwriter, film-maker, author and drag performer.

The blurb …

‘From a god-fearing Muslim boy enraptured with their mother, to a vocal, queer drag queen estranged from their family, this is a heart-breaking and hilarious memoir about the author’s fight to be true to themself.

Amrou knew they were gay when, aged ten, they first laid eyes on Macaulay Culkinin Home Alone. It was love at first sight.

Amrou’s parents weren’t so happy…

From that moment on, Amrou began searching in all the wrong places for ways to make their divided self whole again.

Life as a Unicorn is a hilarious yet devastating story of a search for belonging, following the painful and surprising process of transforming from a god-fearing Muslim boy to a queer drag queen, strutting the stage in seven-inch heels and saying the things nobody else dares to .…’

Amrou Al-Kadhi

The book won the Polari First Book Prize 2020 and a Somerset Maugham Award. It has also been celebrated by the likes of Sir Ian McKellan, Joanna Lumley, Russell T Davies and Owen Jones. This is a heart-breaking but ultimately redemptive story about one person’s long and often tortuous struggle against their culture, race, religion, family and gender expectations.

This book should make for some interesting discussions about identity and provide an important first-hand account of life as a queer Muslim drag queen in the UK. We look forward to discussing this at our next meeting on 18 January 2021 at 7pm.

The book club is held separately to the usual Cardiff Amnesty Group meetings and is open to everyone, regardless of whether you are a member of Amnesty International or not. If you would like to join us, please get in touch with our Group Secretary, Tomos, at amnesty.cardiff@btinternet.com.

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