about

As part of my plan to turn Hummus For Thought into a more dynamic website with multiple contributors, I decided to launch a personal blog where I can publish my essays and articles. Here it is.

So hi –


Identity/Background: My name is Joey Ayoub. I sometimes go by Joey Husseini-Ayoub to include my mother’s family name or use Ibn Baldwin as a pen name, which means son of (James) Baldwin in Arabic. Originally from Ain Saadeh, Lebanon, I grew up in a Franco-Arab household with additional Palestinian, Italian, Argentinian and Swiss heritage. I would add a bit of British – Brit(ish) as Afua Hirsch writes it –  as that island was my home for four years. I used to be uncomfortable with the lack of a single coherent national identity, but now I’m glad I don’t have one.

I enjoy writing, reading, learning languages, watching movies/documentaries/series/anime, taking photos and pretending to know how to cook. And I miss my dogs quite a lot.

As part of my desire to experiment with words, I identify myself like this: a pessoptimist writer, poetically displaced, intersectionally angry, writing in the protracted now.


Studies/Locations: My formative years, in many ways, were 2010-2013 during my undergraduate studies at the American University of Beirut (AUB) where I did a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Health. I lived in Hamra, Beirut between 2012 and 2014 and briefly in Achrafieh before moving back to my hometown in Mount Lebanon. In 2015, in the middle of the ‘You Stink’ protests, which I helped organise, I moved to London to do my MA in Cultural Studies at SOAS, University of London. My MA thesis was entitled ‘Jewish Identity and Language Politics: Hebrew, Yiddish and the Contemporary Debate on Zionism”. I lived in London between 2015 and 2017 where I was part of the SOAS Palestine Society (2015-2016) and the SOAS Syria Society (2016-2017). In October of 2017, I moved to Edinburgh, Scotland, where I am started doing a PhD on Lebanese cinema at the University of Edinburgh. I am now continuing the PhD at the University of Zurich.

My interests include speculative fiction, intersectional politics, the climate emergency and what it means to be displaced.


Work/Writing: I have been a freelance writer, editor and researcher for most of my adult life. I’m published in Al JazeeraAlJumhuriya.net, Raseef22, Global Voices Online, The New Arab (Al Araby)Pulse Media, IB TimesMiddle East Eye, RS21, GenderIT, LSE Middle East Blogs, Shado Mag, Mangal Media, Crimethinc and El Diario, among others. These articles are usually republished on this site which I’m using as an archive.

Between August 2016 and April 2019, and between January 2018 and June 2019 respectively, I was Middle East and North Africa (MENA) editor at Global Voices and IFEX. I’ve also been freelancing as an editor for, among other websites, The Arab Tyrant Manual.

Finally, I’ve been running the Hummus For Thought blog since 2011 and its associated podcast since 2018.


Affiliations: I am a research associate of Lebanon Support, a member of the British Sociological Association, Long Now Foundation, Lebanese Studies Association, Citizens, Nations and Migration (CNaM) Network at the University of Edinburgh, Council for British Research in the Levant and Anarchist Studies Network (ASN). I’m also a fellow of Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum (GMF) and, of course, a member of IFEX and Global Voices.


Publications (not including essays/articles):


Seminars, Lectures and Workshops:

  • “The Yiddish-Hebrew Kulturkampf: Historical and Contemporary Implications”. Middle East History and Theory (MEHAT) Workshop, Uni. of Chicago, Chicago, USA — Lecture, May 2019
  • “A Baldwinian Reading of Lebanese-ness”. Northeast Modern Language Association (NemLA), Washington DC, USA — Lecture/Panel, March 2019
  • “The Lebanese Migration Experience: A Screening of ‘Zozo’”. Citizens, Nations and Migration (CNaM) Network, Uni. of Edinburgh, UK— Screening/Discussion, December 2018
  • “Minorities Beyond Ethnic and Religious Divides”. Heinrich Böll Stiftung Middle East, Beirut, Lebanon — Panel, November 2018
  • “Haunting and the Postwar Generation in Lebanese Cinema”. Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies (IMES) Department, Uni. of Edinburgh, UK — Seminar, October 2018
  • “Critical Theory and Practice Panel on Syria”. University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK — Discussion, April 2018
  • “On the International Men and Gender Equality Survey for the MENA Region”. London School of Economics (LSE), London, UK— Lecture, January 2018
  • “On Syria 2011-2017 and Lebanon 2005-2017”. University of Bologna and Mediateca Gateway, Bologna, Italy — Lecture, March 2017
  • “On Syria Stories Map Project”. Bournemouth University, Bournemouth, UK — Lecture, March 2017
  • “Social Media and Advocacy for Women’s Rights in the Arab World”. Womanity Foundation, Soul Cities and Oxfam, Amman, Jordan — Workshop, January 2014

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