South, Central, and West Asian Men

The recent South, Central, and West Asian Men’s Workshop in New York City (New York, USA) was the first of its kind. Azi Khalili (the International Liberation Reference Person for South, Central, and West Asian-Heritage People) led the workshop. Ten or so men participated, including two of us who attended online from Los Angeles (California, USA). It was good being with my Pakistani Muslim Co-Counselor, who joined me for part of the weekend and had mini-sessions with me.

South, Central, and West Asian men have internalized the hurts caused by the historical events our families experienced in our homelands. This has happened even though many of us were born in the diaspora.

We sometimes show our fears in ways that are not how men are supposed to be in North American cultures, and we have been harshly invalidated and humiliated. We’ve had feelings of something being wrong with us as men.

It can be challenging to work on the violence in our family histories, but over time it becomes possible. Sometimes it is even safe to show our anger at what happened to us and to our people.

Azi’s leadership as a woman leading a men’s workshop was important in our facing and discharging on sexism, which we willingly worked on.

Amin Khoury

Los Angeles, California, USA



There was a sweetness in the way the group could be with each other that was a huge contradiction [to distress] for me. Azi reminded us that we were at most one generation removed from childhoods lived in feudal social relations and that this would of course color what we had to work on.

We discharged a lot on our experiences of male domination, men’s oppression, and sexism. We didn’t have direct contact with women allies at the workshop, but Azi had a crew of powerhouse leaders supporting her for her sessions. Much resource went into making this workshop a strong one. I loved being with this group of men and with Azi.

Bikku Kuruvila

Berkeley, California, USA



Indian, Pakistani, Persian, Turkish, Egyptian, Lebanese, some other Arabic, and white heritages were represented at the workshop. Many of us were first-generation immigrants.

The group made it easier for me to discharge on men’s oppression, sexism, expectations, coming from a family of refugees, ageism, and violence. Men’s oppression looked similar for the men in our group. 

My highlight was discharging with three men who were also born in India—a rare opportunity at RC workshops.

The South, Central, and West Asian men decided to stay connected as a group via periodic phone calls. I’m looking forward to the calls. Thank you, Azi, and everyone who attended!

Bishu Chattopadhyay

New York City, New York, USA

Reprinted from the RC e-mail discussion listfor leaders of South, Central, and West Asian-heritage people

(Present Time 191, April 2018)

Last modified: 2022-12-25 10:17:04+00