The Khaleejesque team continually ponders with the barrage of research, commercial trends, and click bait articles that have called ‘time of death’ on our respective field of publishing. With our collected knowledge, network, and experience in what is seemingly a “dying field,” we set to formulate our own research more focused on the MENA publishing scene on a global scale—namely, niche and independent publishing platforms, whether print or online, founded and staffed by young Arabs and Muslims from around the world. 

As a platform that strives to amplify the voices of creatives and activists alike, we are dedicated to sharing our findings on a burgeoning field amongst creatives of the MENA region and beyond. As traditional publishing houses increasingly diminish, these independent platforms are paving the way for a new movement—heralding a cultural paradigm shift towards an egalitarian voice in publishing far from the constraints of traditional print and online media.

As a result, we’ve published a MENA Indie Zines and Platforms feature which can be accessed here.

In addition we’ve reached out to individual Zines who have shared with us their intricate workings and their missions and visions for their platform.  

On behalf of Niswa, Zainab Alradhi (Founder), has answered below. 

Niswa content
  • About the Platform:

We strive to empower women through advocating for Fertility Awareness, body literacy, recognizing the menstrual cycles as the fifth vital sign of health, and making informed consensual choices regarding their reproductive health and the environment. We hold a vision of creating a community by opening the possibilities of what our personal journeys as women look like.

  • Content: what is your publication concerned with and what kind of content does it feature?

Niswa is a platform which starts unapologetic conversations about the woman’s body and reclaiming its cyclic nature. We advocate for body literacy — a person’s capability to observe and understand scientifically proven signs of fertility, infertility, and other health and wellness observations to make informed consensual choices regarding one’s reproductive intentions and the environment. We talk about anything and everything women; menstrual cycles, fertility awareness, periods, cervical fluids, sustainable menstrual products, menstrual cups, ovulatory cycle phases, cyclic self-care, the different methods of birth control, and more. We strive to start conversations that lead our audience to question the reality they have brought up with, and bring us all to a place of self-acceptance, wellbeing, and consciousness.

Niswa content
  • The team behind the platform: 

I worked with The Loft team for branding. Since the launch, I have been a lone sailor. 

I am a proud owner of a menstrual cup. I hold a B.S. in Health Sciences from the University of Michigan, concentrating on environmental health and safety, identification of hazardous materials in the workplace, and preventative methods and exposures. I am a daughter, a partner, and your very own founder of Niswa.

Self-described as an "explorer learner," I started my journey with fertility awareness in 2015, bringing back the child within her, and igniting a passion for learning that was long gone. Since then, I have had extensive experience in international team building, communication, and research. I now strive to become the best fertility awareness educator I can be. 

Niswa content
  • Work Space:

When we worked on the branding process, The Loft was –and still is- based in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, while I am based in Michigan. All of our meetings were virtual and that worked great for everyone. 

Images courtesy of Niswa.

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