The Secret to Publishing Bekhsoos Every Week

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Last week, Nasawiya hosted a talk on anarchy and collective living by a queer person named Leil, who lives in Barcelona. A few of us at Meem attended the talk and found much similarities (and a few stark differences) between our work at Meem and theirs in their anarchist houses. There was one particular anecdote that caught my ears, and I thought I would use it to illustrate our secret to publishing Bekhsoos every week.

In explaining about how collective living is organized, Leil said that every member of an anarchist house has her share of responsibilities and chores, which usually rotate. So every day, there is someone who has to clean, someone who has to cook, someone who has to go get the food, etc. All the responsibilities of maintaining the house are distributed equally among its inhabitants. And to this, expectedly, someone in the audience poses the question: How do you make sure that people aren’t going to slack off if they are all volunteers? What obliges them to do the dishes or cook the food? What keeps them motivated?

To this, Leil replied: Yes, that is a good question, of course household chores are tiring and boring, so we try to come up with creative ways for people to enjoy doing them. But the bottom line is this: If it’s your turn to cook lunch today and you fail to do so, you’re going to have 15 hungry people show up in your room during lunchtime. And, trust me, you really don’t want to be in that situation, so you prefer to get your cooking done on time.

It clicked in my head that that’s how we get Bekhsoos published every week as well! Whenever we are late in doing the final publishing, and it doesn’t come out on a Monday morning, we get text messages, wall posts, chats, and emails (even phone calls) from people asking us where Bekhsoos is. And I know that our 990 fans on Facebook are also waiting for the articles. We’ve gotten to a stage where our readers expect their issue every week, and that’s what keeps us motivated. It’s very powerful – far more powerful than if we were, say, getting paid or in some sort of competition to win something. It’s even more powerful than our “LGBT” cause in abstraction. Knowing people are out there – hundreds of them – waiting for Bekhsoos is all the motivation we need.

So give us a motivation boost, invite some of your friends to “Like” Bekhsoos :)


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