An Arab Drag Queen Lives A Double Life In “Anya Kneez: A Queen In Beirut”

"My circumstances don't fit in this country. The circumstances in this country don't fit my lifestyle."

Every Wednesday, we’ll be sharing short films that illuminate queer life. Welcome to #HumpdayShorts.

A drag queen struggles with living in the Arab world in the short documentary Anya Kneez: A Queen In Beirut, which depicts “the life of the boy who brought drag from the slums of Brooklyn to the clubs of Beirut.”

After living in America for 23 years, Anya left New York in 2012, moving back to Lebanon with her parents. But staying to take care of her ailing mother and father means either going back in the closet or challenging the values of her family and community.

In the end, Anya walks a narrow path, sharing her tale with us as she prepares new outfits for a night out.


Directed by Mohamad Abdouni, Anya Kneez: A Queen In Beirut premiered at the Brooklyn Museum in June. It’s currently streaming on < Cold Cuts, an online and print magazine Abdouni launched to share content from emerging artists around the world.

Adam Salandra is a writer, performer and host in Los Angeles. When he's not covering the latest in pop culture, you can find him playing with his French Bulldog puppy or hovering over the table of food at any social gathering.