Hala Abdullah is an autistic poet, performer, and intersectional feminist. Since the age of 15, Hala has only ever been able to find solace in writing. At 18 – desperate and lonely in her passions – Hala started the first Riyadh Writing Club with the help of her best friend, in search for solidarity and inspiration. The Writing Club provided a safe-haven for female writers in the country’s capital and encouraged them to dig deep in their literary and self-discoveries. Throughout the years, the club expanded to Jeddah, Dubai, and Kuwait, and have organized several poetry/literary events in the region. Having found that she likes performing her poetry as much as she does writing it, Hala delved into the world of spoken poetry and grasped at every opportunity to perform her poetry on stage.
As a late-diagnosed autistic (diagnosed at age 30), Hala has been on the quest to raise autism and neurodivergence awareness in her close circles and on her public platforms. Through the essay series “Finding (my) Autism”, Hala narrates her own experience of coming to terms with an autism diagnosis so late in life, and what that has meant for her in terms of healing and leaning to unmask and live authentically.
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