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Omar Kholeif is a curator, writer and editor.

Omar Kholeif is a curator, writer, editor and sometime producer based mostly in London. He is Curator at the Whitechapel Gallery, London, Senior Visiting Curator at Cornerhouse and HOME, Manchester and Senior Editor at Ibraaz. The author of numerous books, he also writes widely for the likes of The Guardian, Art Monthly, Wired, Mousse, Frieze and Artforum International. Follow him on Twitter


Sophia Al-Maria, Slaughter. Image: courtesy of the artist

Sophia Al-Maria, Slaughter.
Image: courtesy of the artist

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.

Written by Curator and writer Omar Kholeif, this publication coincides with Sophia Al-Maria’s novel and exhibition, Virgin with a Memory.