Episode 65. Omar N’Shea: Masculinities in Mesopotamia: transcript

0:13  JT

Hello, and welcome to the Thin End of the Wedge, the podcast where experts from around the world share new and interesting stories about life in the ancient Middle East. My name is Jon. Each episode I talk to friends and colleagues and get them to explain their work in a way we can all understand. Before we go any further, I’d like to welcome a new voice to the podcast.

0:37  EB

Hi, my name is Ellie Bennett, and I am the new co-host of Thin End of the Wedge. I am based at the University of Helsinki, and I am an assyriologist. I’m interested in a bunch of stuff, but mostly gender dtudies. I’m interested in digital methods. And at the moment I’m researching emotions in ancient Middle Eastern texts. And I’m really excited to be part of this project; really excited to be on this podcast. And can’t wait to talk to so many interesting researchers about their fascinating work.

1:11  EB

What is gender? This question sounds like it has an easy answer. Gender is what makes a man and a woman, right? However, ask any researcher of gender in the ancient Middle East the same question and you get a much more complicated answer.

1:26  EB

Over the decades, gender has become an important topic in studying the ancient Middle East. And it has become clear that what makes a woman or a man is very different across these ancient cultures.

1:38  EB

Our guest today is organising an important conference called Gender and Methodology in the Ancient Near East in April. Since it began in 2014, it has become one of the most important congregations of researchers in gender in the ancient Middle East. And the publications that come out of it have become valuable starting points for many young scholars interested in the field. We wanted to chat with our guest and find out why research into gender in the ancient Middle East is so important, as well as the current trends of the field and what he thinks its future holds.

2:12  EB

So get yourself a cup of tea, make yourself comfortable, and let’s meet today’s guest.

2:25  EB

Hi, Omar, could you tell us who you are and what it is you do?

2:29  ON

Hello, my name is Omar N’Shea. And I am the director of the International School for Foundation Studies at the University of Malta. My research interests are in the Assyrian empire with a particular focus on gender in general, and masculinities in particular. I write in both English and Maltese. And I am involved in both academic research as well as outreach writing.

2:56  JT

Why do you focus on gender? What do you think we can learn from studying gender in the ancient Near East?

3:02  ON

The study of gender is important primarily, because it was actually a very important aspect of the ancient societies that we study. The gender identity of human and non-human beings was an aspect of identity that actually mattered. And that resulted in very specific social, political, artistic, literary, cultic, architectural, as well as cultural organisation, as well as a broad range of gender-specific bodily practices that were considered to be normative or non-normative in ancient societies. The study of gender can help us make sense of these culture-specific practices, and therefore leaving gender outside of the research agenda and the writing of history and prehistory would mean leaving such aspects unaddressed.

3:51  ON

There is really nothing new about the study of gender in the ancient Near East, because early scholarship already dealt quite extensively with matters related to sex and gender. And it is not at all uncommon to find reference to such matters. Layard, for example, was already writing about eunuchs and the effective response of the people working at the sites where the reliefs showing these capable officials were recovered. Women, royal or otherwise were also written about.

4:22  ON

In a sense, I don’t really think that ancient Near Eastern scholars were lagging far behind their colleagues in adjacent scholarly disciplines and their endeavours. Even though that is often the perception. Think, for example, of Julia Asher-Greve’s work in the 1980s on women in Sumer, and Julian Reade’s wonderful study asking perhaps a bit playfully, whether evidence suggests that Sennacherib was a feminist. We also have Joan Westenholz’s review of the proceedings of the 33rd Rencontre. And then in the 1990s, the introduction of the study of masculinities by Irene Winter in her work on the masculinity of Gudea. And then later on, in the very popular essay on sex and gender in the Victory Stele of Naram-Sin. And Megan Cifarelli on how gender constructs and visual syntax employed, for example, at the court of the Assyrian king, Ashurnasirpal the Second, were used to produce the optics of alterity and otherness. So to come back to the question, I think studying gender helps us to make sense of these social, political, artistic, literary, etc, etc, norms and non-norms that we have in our record.

5:39  EB

Wonderful, you make reference to some really important studies in gender in the ancient Near East. But what are some of the current trends that you have seen in this really important topic?

5:50  ON

Well, I think that at the heart of current projects that use gender as a tool with which to think, and with which to ask questions of the ancient source material, is the notion that gender is marked. This means that gender is defined heuristically and methodologically. Past scholarship left a lot of assumptions in place about sex and gender and left them unaddressed. And therefore the descriptions and analysis often repeated the stereotypes that were circulating, that were around. But the problem is that when we actually look at the datasets with a gender framework of analysis, we realise that those stereotypes do not actually hold any weight.

6:34  ON

Zainab Bahrani, for example, did a wonderful job and for many a very inspiring job–for many people using gender as a tool of analysis in the ancient Near East this was a very inspiring book–by starting to elaborate a framework for the study of women in ancient Mesopotamia in the book Women of Babylon. More recently, Martti Nissinen, for example, made it very clear–this was about a decade ago–that we need methodologies that are born out of our datasets and not methodologies developed from other source material. And then sort of applied uncritically in assyriology. Nissinen was specifically referring to the study of masculinities and Mesopotamia, but the argument is applicable to other genders as well.

7:18  ON

The study of gender is, of course, tied to the wider world of theory and methodology. And in a sense, it is also deeply influenced by it. So some scholars continue to write about gender from strictly essentialist perspectives, whereas others seek to problematise that position, by going to the sources to indicate that some evidence suggests that already in the ancient record, gender was seen as a lot more malleable. So existing on a spectrum. And that the view of two genders is too reductive to be an accurate reflection of what the sources say.

7:57  ON

In this field, we’re also seeing a renewed interest in the materiality of the body, which for a while, for a long while, actually had gone out of fashion. Partly because it didn’t serve the advocacy of the social construction school of thought at the outset. Now, those who adhere to the social construction school of thought, are complicating this by re-evaluating the theoretical work of Michel Foucault, for example, and Judith Butler, in light of the sources that we have, and emerging issues and debates. Also, amongst scholars of the ancient Near East, as well as amongst some of my students, we are witnessing some of the more interesting discussions that are coming out of the strengths and the tensions at play when we cross queer theory with trans scholarship. Particularly when we’re talking about the figures in our record, like the assinnu, the kurgarru. I think most of us are actually looking forward to having more of these discussions, and to see what the ancient record can actually tell us about these matters.

8:59  EB

You’ve been really, really careful to not limit your answers to talking about Near Eastern women or ancient Middle Eastern women. And I’m wondering if that is reflective of the field as a whole? Does studying gender in ancient Near Eastern sources, in ancient Middle Eastern texts or art or archaeology, mean that you have to look at women? Or do you feel like it’s pretty representative of the field to say that you’re looking beyond it? And could you explain why we would want to look at not just women when looking at gender?

9:32  ON

There was a time when the study of gender meant the study of women only. And for many people, scholars and non-scholars alone, only women had a gender. Men did not, because men were considered to be universal. Men were universal. At that point, sex and gender, or at least the way the terms are used in the English language and in Anglophonic research agendas, the two notions sex and gender seem synonymous for many, partly because they were tied to the notion of difference. At that point, research focused on revealing the androcentric assumptions of the literature being produced about the past, as well as the lack of equity in academia, in archaeological excavations, for example.

10:19  ON

Nowadays, for instance, with my students, things have really changed. They’ve changed in the scholarship, but also particularly it’s gone down, it’s percolated, it’s trickled down to even the classrooms. If we talk about women in the ancient Near East, they tend to assume that what we’re doing is feminist readings, or feminist interpretations. Whereas if we talk about non-binary persons, or trans persons, that we’re doing gender. In this sense, therefore, it’s as if things have now shifted, and only non-binary or trans persons are gendered. And this is also not quite accurate and not right.

10:54  ON

Gender really is about people, primarily. And increasingly, we are seeing an interest in using gender as an analytical tool to talk about non-human persons as well, to talk about gender and materiality, for example. At a recent scholarship on the materialities of the Neo-Assyrian empire, which was hosted by La Sapienza University in Rome and organised by Lorenzo Verderame and Davide Nadali, I tried to combine a new materialities approach with gender. And it seems like our sources can afford us a rich avenue of research. So we have moved well beyond one particular gender to represent all the genders that we have in our data sets. The problem is that for some people, we continue to mark gender only for some subjectivities, or not for all subjectivities or to even resist taking gender beyond human bodies into non-human persons and into non-human materiality.

11:54  JT

Can we turn to those men, then? What do you think are the key components of being a man in Assyria during the Neo-Assyrian empire? Do you think they’re very different from the expectations of being a man today? If we were able to visit Nineveh or if an Assyrian would walk down the street in Valetta, what degree of culture shock would there be?

12:14  ON

Right, Jon, perhaps this is a good opportunity to apply what we have been talking about up to now. Obviously, it’s such a question for us kind of have a straight answer. Because if we define gender heuristically, either as a cultural discourse and a bodily practice that is attached to a particular body type, or as the feeling that is situated in the body or elsewhere in our being vis-a-vis our being in the world, and our entanglement with everyone and everything around us, then we would never come up with a single universal answer of what it means to be a man. I mean, I think at this point, even orthodox essentialists will tell you that there is no one way of being a man or a woman, for example.

12:57  ON

In this sense, therefore, there was there was no one way of being a man in the Neo-Assyrian period of Assyrian history. In the same way that there is no one way of being a man anywhere in the world right now, no matter how culturally-specific we get. This is because in cases where we talk of universals, those universals are usually somewhat artificial. And they exclude or gloss over nuances, that would be theoretically inconvenient. What I would say, however, is that an honest research answer would tell you that for example, a Neo-Assyrian king was one type of man in the royal inscriptions, but a somewhat different man in the visual culture of the palace on the reliefs, and a rather different man in the letters written to his scholars. And a totally unrecognisable type from all of these in the letters written to and from the royal physician.

13:53  ON

And to complicate this, even further, the king was a different man in different stages of his life, with different people and in different life circumstances. And if we wish to elaborate this even further, we could say that different kings expressed different understandings of masculinities and therefore performed and lived out their manhood differently. Sennacherib’s way of being a man, for example, was enormously different to Ashurnasirpal the Second’s expression of manhood. Sennacherib’s notion of masculinity was rooted in the idea of statesmanship, and his military masculinity was downplayed in the visual culture of the palace. The royal inscriptions continued the military masculinity of the state and of the ruler, but the visual culture allowed for a different view of his gender expression.

14:45  ON

Esarhaddon’s ways of being a man of very complex, because they intersect with various pathologies, somatic and psychosomatic. And then there is the view from the outside. Often we get the hegemonic view of masculinity from the criticisms leveled against our past actors for failing to do this, or for failing to do that. In Assyria, militarised masculinity was to be found everywhere, however: in the human body; in the structures that came to dominate the state; and in the materialities of the empire. Its discourse came to serve a very useful function for its territorial ambitions. And it gave the Assyrians an effective discourse that was aligned with the rationale of rule.

15:31  ON

So I think that when we’re asking questions like, you know, what was it like to be a man in this particular period or that particular period, I think we’ve got to be careful, first of all, about the media in which that type of manhood is being represented. Because as we see in the Neo-Assyrian empire, for example, the visual culture is disseminating one form of being a man. Whereas the textual culture seems to be a lot more conservative of certain notions of gender than the visual culture is. The letters afforded us a completely different view. At times, we even get a glimpse of affect, or you know the personal circumstances that give rise to certain emotions. When we compare these readings together, we realise that different media are constructing different notions of manhood and masculinity for the period.

16:21  EB

Moving a little bit away from the king of Assyria, I was wondering about this really interesting group, which we normally refer to as eunuchs. Do you see the same kinds of nuances in the different source material for eunuchs? Or are they universally seen and depicted the same way across the material?

16:45  ON

So, Ellie, thank you for this question. One of my main research interests is this class of persons that we refer to as eunuchs. These persons are referred to as sha reshi in the ancient record. Not everyone in assyriology and ancient Near Eastern history agrees that these people were castrated men. In fact, there’s a very lively debate going on, in a way lively, yes, but in a way this debate on whether the sha reshi actually referred to castrated men or not, has in a way stopped or slowed down the advancement of the study of eunuchism in the Assyrian empire. But let’s for the sake of convenience call these two groups the minimalist and the maximalist: hose who refuse the claim in its entirety, and those for whom all sha reshi were castrated males. Because that is what the term means for them–eunuch. My interest is in this class of people in the middle, and in the Neo-Assyrian periods, particularly the metropolitan urban identities.

17:49  ON

I belong in a way to the maximalist school of thought. But I do read the minimalists very, very carefully and very closely. In the Middle Assyrian period, for example, we don’t have much literature, much secondary literature, or we don’t have any studies really, that make reference to eunuchs or eunuchism in the Middle Assyrian period. But the datasets are quite interesting. So in the Middle Assyrian period, eunuchs are referred to in the palace decrees, the so-called, unfortunately so-called “harem edicts”. We have a problem in gender studies, particularly, we have a problem with the word harem or harem, because there’s a lot of retrojection and a lot of orientalism in the term. So let’s just call this group of texts “the palace decrees”. They’re referred to in the palace decrees, in these texts, as a consequence of their body modification. These people are employed to give or deny access to people to specific areas in the women’s quarters.

18:53  ON

But beyond the palace decrees, there are also a lot of other documents, which clearly indicate that these eunuchs were doing other things in the metropolitan areas. For example, they were employed as capable officials in charge of the crown’s stores of grain. They were trading, dealing and barley and grain, especially selling to bird feeders and millers. They were in charge of the food provisions for the troops, for Assyrian troops and captive troops. They were overseeing the building of cities, of fortification walls. They were also involved in the procurement of fabric, of wood, of gold and perfume.

19:34  ON

In the Middle Assyrian period, we also have enough information about particular individuals whose biographies, short biographies–short but interesting biographies–we can start drafting or we can start writing. Also in the Middle Assyrian period, castration is seen also as a punitive measure. There are two laws in particular that are based on the notion of lex talionis. That is an eye-for-an-eye scenario in which we see grim symmetry of punishment if you want. In one of them, a male adulterer would be punished by being turned into a sha reshi, while in the other, the penetrator in a man to man sex act between two social equals is likewise punished by castration. I’m imagining this to be a case of non-consensual sex between two male equals.

20:27  ON

In the Neo-Assyrian period, things get even better for eunuchs, and they become very central figures at the royal court. They take on every duty imaginable, and are often seen leading campaigns and referred to as worthy men and mighty soldiers. We see entire processions of eunuchs at Dur-Sharrukin–Sargon the Second’s palace in Khorsabad–but for some reason, they seem to vanish during the reign of Sennacherib, only to come back in the reins of Esarhaddon and Ashurbanipal.

21:02  ON

Some queries to the sun god reveal in this period a certain fear or paranoia that the eunuchs might conspire against the king, and to try to seize the crown. However, when we compare this period to later periods, for example, particularly in the classical period, we notice one thing in particular. That eunuchs are never referred to in negative light, in negative terms, gender or otherwise. In later periods, they become repudiated, but also desirable subjects at the same time. To be fair, a eunuch does take the throne of Assyria towards the last days of the Empire. But this reign was really short-lived. And it was actually the reign that might have given some really good material to the later criticism of Ashurbanipal’s effeminate rule, the so-called effeminate rule.

21:55  ON

The negative gendering of eunuchs, however, is not an Assyrian thing at all. And in fact, some of the studies that try to portray Assyrian eunuchs as either limitedly gendered or as non-binary gendered or as third gendered individuals will have to deal with the fact that there is nothing in the Assyrian record to indicate that they were referred to in any other term but strictly militarised masculine men. At some point in the Assyrian sequence, eunuchism became a very useful tool for this sort of imperial ambition to maintain the holdings away from the centre. The dependence of the Neo-Assyrian period and the dependence of Neo-Assyrian kings on a fully functioning provincial system, created the need for a figure, an individual, that did not create problems of succession. It was at this point that eunuchs were employed as provincial governors. And for example, in the correspondence of Sennacherib, and in the correspondence of Sargon, in particular, as well as in the correspondence of Tiglath-Pileser the Third, we see that many people, many of the individuals working as provincial governors were actually eunuchs. We have a lot of information.

23:15  ON

Currently, I’m working on a monograph, to try and bring all the information together to try and figure out the networks that were being created. Who were the individuals, you know, what they were writing to each other, their roles as provincial governors. But for example, in the reign of Sargon, most of the provincial governors were actually eunuchs. They were referred to as sha reshi. And at one point, we even have references of areas where these sha reshi lived, and where they were so strong. We know very, very little about the background, partly because becoming sha reshi involved the erasure of the past, because then you became subject of the crown.

23:58  EB

Absolutely fascinating. And you’re clearly very busy pumping out research about gender, about masculinities, about this fascinating group of eunuchs. But that’s not all. You’re also organising a conference in April. Can you tell us more about it and what you’re most looking forward to?

24:14  ON

Right? Yes, I’m very excited that we are organising the sixth iteration of the Gender Methodology and Ancient Near East conference. The sixth iteration is going to take place on the University of Malta, the Valletta campus. It will be held from the 8th to the 11th of April of 2024 this year. And we have four full days of fascinating papers. It’s an international conference, there are scholars coming from everywhere. The Gender Methodology and Ancient Near East conference is known in the community as “Je-mah-nay”. Some people say “Ge-mah-nay”. We still haven’t really agreed on the proper pronunciation for this, which is fine.

24:55  ON

I’m co-organising this with my colleague here in Malta, with Dennis Mizzi, but also with Ellie Bennett, with Saana Svärd, with Megan Cifarelli, and Agnès Garcia-Ventura. We have a number of different sessions. So we hit on a lot of subjects. There are some really fascinating contributions. This year particularly we have a whole session on eunuchs. We also have a whole session on cultic practice. And we also have some fascinating papers that are coming from outside Mesopotamia proper. So Uroš Matić will be talking about the gender in ancient Egypt, for example. We have some Phoenician Punic studies. We have biblical scholarship as well. So we understand the Near East, the ancient Near East, in the broadest way possible.

25:40  ON

GeMANE or GeMANE has always given us a really strong sense of community, and an enormously safe space in which we can use the rigours of academia, but also to talk openly and to discuss in a really friendly way, some of the most challenging aspects of study in gender. Particularly the methodologies that we employ, particularly methodologies that are born out of our datasets. So we’ve continuously been problematising the idea of taking existing methodologies that are used elsewhere, and then importing them lock, stock and barrel to our datasets. And so we’re seeing more and more methodologies that are coming out of the datasets that are relevant to ancient Mesopotamia, specifically the ancient Near East in general, but also Ancient Egypt.

26:29  ON

I’m particularly looking forward to a business dinner that we have one evening of the conference. Over here, we will be talking openly in the entire Gender Methodology and Ancient Near East Conference, on the future of this workshop, of these conferences. We are interested in talking about, for example, the modalities of the workshop itself: whether to have parallel sessions, or to continue having non-parallel sessions to ensure that everybody gets to listen to everybody’s papers. We are also very much interested in the creation of a scientific committee, and also of a general committee for the workshop and for the conference, as well as identifying future venues for this conference to take place.

27:15  JT

Thank you. I wonder if we could turn a little bit now more towards you, and your own context, as it were. So you’re based in Malta, which isn’t one of the traditional big centres of assyriology. So I was wondering, first of all, how did you become interested in this topic? And what is the state of assyriology in Malta today?

27:37  ON

Thank you, Jon. Yes, exactly. One is a little bit isolated when doing assyriology in Malta, in a sense. But I get the feeling nowadays, more and more so ,that one is always isolated, wherever one does decide to do assyriology. {LAUGHS} So I think this is only possible, I think it’s only possible to do assyriology in Malta now, because of the ease of travel. We are very well connected to most European cities now. So travel has become a lot easier. But also to the generosity of people who are not so isolated, and people who have access to resources and sources away from the island and who can send things over very, very easily. And so the exchange of information has become a lot, lot easier.

28:15  ON

So I think one can do assyriology wherever really now. So that’s, that’s really interesting. I came to it because I did ancient Near Eastern Studies at the University. We have a department of Middle Eastern and Asian languages and cultures. And it’s a wonderful department. And we’ve had Near Eastern Studies for a very, very long time. And this is where I came from. I come from archaeology and Near Eastern Studies. I originally studied Hebrew and Arabic, but also in the archaeology classes, I did Phoenician, Punic, and Aramaic.

28:47  ON

I remember we had a language component. We had a language study unit that was an elective, and you could choose whichever language you wanted. And I did my project on Akkadian. And I haven’t looked back since. My professor had studied Akkadian in Rome. He is a biblical scholar. So we have a strong tradition of biblical scholarship here, and also the wider biblical world. And I sort of entered assyriology through that channel.

29:13  ON

In terms of the current state of assyriology on the island, we are about to start a course in Akkadian. I will be teaching Akkadian at the university, and I’m trying to promote this study unit to the best of my abilities. I am currently teaching ancient Near Eastern mythology. So I think some of those students will now want to come and do Akkadian. So we’re trying to start it off. We’re trying to make it popular with students, and we’re hoping it will work.

29:38  JT

Yeah, that’s fantastic. You mentioned at the start that you are very active both in the traditional academic arena, but also in public outreach. I was wondering, in terms of the Maltese audience, what do they find interesting about the ancient Middle East?

29:55  ON

Thank you for this question. This is an aspect of my profession that I really enjoy. And this is reaching out to people in the community. Maltese is a Semitic language. So when we talk about Babylonian literature, when we talk about Akkadian, you know, there’s always this sort of foreignness to Akkadian and Babylonian literature, for example. But when we talk about these languages being Semitic languages, people start to feel a sense of proximity and a sense of belonging here, right.

30:24  ON

I have recently started writing about assyriology in Maltese. And one of the first things that I did for a Maltese literary journal called Aphroconfuso, with the editors, Loranne Vella, and Joe Gatt, was to address the existing, the one and only existing translation of Gilgamesh into Maltese. This is unfortunately translated from the English. And when I looked at it, of course, you realise immediately that it is not a translation from the original, but it’s a translation from English. But it was done in a political context when the Maltese were looking for a Semitic identity. And so there is a sort of political layer to this translation, about which I have written in this article called “Gilgamex, Dak li Ra l-Qiegħ” (Gilgamesh, he who saw the deep). When I was doing that, I realised that by translating Gilgamesh from English, we missed out on a lot of the very meaningful proximities between certain Babylonian words and certain words in Maltese. And so that was the time to start thinking about translating Gilgamesh into Maltese from Babylonian.

31:31  ON

So, you know, through this outreach, writing, I think we’re starting to get people to realise that you cannot really have a literary scenario in Malta without having a translation of Gilgamesh, and some of the other stories that come from the region that interest us.

31:45  EB

That’s so exciting. What do you think the future of gender studies in the ancient Near East is?

31:52  ON

I think I’ll be better able to answer this question after the Gender Methodology and Ancient Near East conference. But I sense that it’s definitely a growing community. There are people coming from everywhere, especially young postgraduate students who are sending out correspondence; really interested in building on existing work. Particularly those people who come from theory, cultural theory, critical theory, who are interested in bringing those frameworks with them to the study of ancient Near East. Now that we have very good editions of literature, now that we are beginning to have online tools for the study of visual cultures, for example, I think we can safely say that a lot of people are seeing these corpora that are very useful. For example, in my classroom, I have a number of people who are interested in gender and medicine, for example, in gender and magic, but also a number of people who are interested in non-human gender. And I think we are definitely heading in that direction.

32:53  JT

Thank you very much indeed, Omar.

32:54  ON

Thank you for having me.

32:55  EB

Thank you so much.

32:56  ON

Thank you.

32:58  JT

I’d also like to thank our patrons: Enrique Jiménez, Jana Matuszak, Nancy Highcock, Jay C, Rune Rattenborg, Woodthrush, Elisa Rossberger, Mark Weeden, Jordi Mon Companys, Thomas Bolin, Joan Porter MacIver, John MacGinnis, Andrew George, Yelena Rakic, Zach Rubin, Sabina Franke, Shai Gordin, Aaron Macks, Maarja Seire, Jaafar Jotheri, Morgan Hite, Chikako Watanabe, Mark McElwaine, Jonathan Blanchard Smith, Kliment Ohr, Christina Tsouparopoulou, TT, Melanie Gross, Claire Weir, Marc Veldman, Bruno Biermann, Faimon Roberts, Jason Moser, Pavla Rosenstein, Müge Durusu-Tanrıöver, Tate Paulette, Willis Monroe, Toby Wickenden, Emmert Clevenstine, Barbara Porter, Cheryl Morgan, Kevin Roy Jackson, Susannah Paulus, Eric Whitacre, Jakob Flygare, Jon Ganuza, as well as those who prefer to remain anonymous.

34:18  JT

I really appreciate your support. It makes a big difference. Every penny received has contributed towards translations. Thanks of course to the lovely people who have worked on the translations on a voluntary basis or for well below the market rate. For Arabic, thanks in particular to Zainab Mizyidawi, as well as Lina Meerchyad and May Al-Aseel. For Turkish, thank you to Pinar Durgun and Nesrin Akan. TEW is still young, but I want to reach a sustainable level, where translators are given proper compensation for their hard work.

34:56  JT

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