Shadowboxer (bole_chudiya) wrote in postqueer,

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First Gay Arab Magazine Published!

Thursday, October 13, 2005

First Gay Arab Magazine Published

The first magazine for gays and lesbians in the Middle East has been
published by Lebanese gay rights organisation Helem. The quarterly
features news and articles by LGBT writers from throughout the
Middle East.

Lebanon is the only Arab country where gays can find refuge from the
oppression, stigma and legal difficulties they face in Muslim-
controlled states. In the Middle East, homosexuality is totally
prohibited, considered a sin against God and as unacceptable
behaviour. The Deputy Head of Egypt's National Centre for Criminal
and Social Research said last year "These are socially ill people in
need to intensive social therapy."

Helem is the first and only Arab non-governmental organisation
openly fighting for gay rights, and the magazine "Barra" (Arabic
for "Out") is the first of its kind in the region. "It is a free
space for all gays and lesbians in the region to express their
feelings of social oppression and stigma" says one of the writers.


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