Jeddah Childhood Circa 1994
by Omar Kholeif
‘Jeddah Childhood circa 1994’ is a mini-novella about a teenage boy growing up in Saudi Arabia. Taking the form of a diary, it evokes a moment of cultural schizophrenia, when the Grunge movement with its thrift store aesthetic took over the malls and bedrooms of the Arab Gulf and the Middle East. Soon after came the internet, big dumb sex, pop diva-obsession, and a gender dysphonia, triggered by a group of burka and jalabiya cross-dressing teens. Laced with discerning anecdotes, this novella traces both the romanticism and trauma of coming of age in the newly globalized world of the 1990s. Writer and Editor, Malu Halasa, describes Jeddah as, ‘fast fiction at its best from the heart to the groin. The Middle East like you’ve never seen it before.’ Jeddah Childhood circa 1994 is the starting point for a major novel by the author that is forthcoming. It is the first in a series of creative responses by curator to artist projects staged at Cornerhouse and HOME. Written by Curator and writer Omar Kholeif, this publication coincides with Sophia Al-Maria’s novel and exhibition, Virgin with a Memory.