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.
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.
These are collective answers from the team at Unootha.
- About the Platform:
Unootha is still at its experimental stages; we’re exploring our identity as an independent online publication with every issue we work on putting together. But our vision for Unootha has been the same since the very beginning: we are working to ensure that Unootha is and continues to be a safe space for MENA womxn to express themselves, a place for them to tell their stories and to share their thoughts and opinions without fearing any judgement. We hope to expand the narrative of what it means to be a womxn in our contemporary MENA region.
- Content: what is your publication concerned with and what kind of content does it feature?
Unootha is a platform for MENA womxn to express themselves in all forms of art, to tell their stories, to explore their identities. The content featured presents just that, and may additionally challenge conventional ideologies of femininity and incentivize discussions on a wide variety of important topics.
Our content–articles, artwork, and stories–is driven forward only by the contributions of our wider community, the readers and writers and thinkers that submit and read and interact with us. They are at the heart of Unootha, they are what keeps the magazine afloat.
Our content is driven forward by the contributions made by our wider community members. Additionally, our team members regularly share their own work in our issues.
- The team behind the platform:
Unootha exists as a team of eight resilient women: Arwa (Collagist), Fatima (Founder and Editor-in-Chief), Halima (Life Editor), Kamelia (Art Editor), Nouf (Staff Writer), Rawa (Poetry Editor), Sarah (Photography Editor), and Shayma (Arabic Language Editor and Staff Writer).
Everyone on our team works on a volunteer basis! We contribute to the space whenever our hectic personal schedules allow us to, and focus on collaborating with each other to bring projects to life.
- Work Space:
Our team is based in a variety of different cities and continents, so we’re lucky to have mastered the skill of remote work before this year’s pandemic ensued. We coordinate mostly online, making use of Whatsapp, emails, and social media to communicate with one another. We also hold video conferences on a regular basis to reflect on finished projects, discuss important details, and make final decisions.
Images courtesy of Unootha Magazine.