Middle East gay news
Compilation of reports from Moreover
Lesbian Arabic Society (GLAS)
US-based organisation which aims "to promote positive images of
gays and lesbians in Arab communities worldwide, in addition to
combating negative portrayals of Arabs within the gay and lesbian
News, information, articles.
Lesbian and Gay Association
A world-wide federation of national and local groups seeking equal
rights for lesbians, gay men, bisexuals and transgendered people
Bint el Nas
For "women who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender,
Country-by-country information, with recent gay-related news reports.
Arab Lesbian Women & Allies Network (ALWAAN)
Alwan is an online community for Arab lesbians, gay men, bisexual men and women, transgender persons and those who are interested in building bridges with the LGBT Arab community and participating in a progressive dialogue.
Alwaan also has a blog.
"A community of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons in
Morocco." Website in Arabic, French and Spanish.
Suggested Arabic equivalents for "gay", "bisexual",
etc. (Bint el Nas)
louder we will sing"
A handbook produced by Amnesty International for promoting and defending
the human rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people.
Also in PDF
of hate, conspiracy of silence
Amnesty International report on torture and ill-treatment based on
sexual identity in various countries
Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
Useful website documenting abuse and discrimination on the basis of
sexual orientation around the world.
rights in the Middle East
Wikipedia articles on: Bahrain,
and the UAE.
The law relating to gays and lesbians in: Algeria, Bahrain,
around the world
General information, plus more details - including press reports of
recent cases - for the following countries in the Middle East: Bahrain,
Israel, Jordan, Lebanon,
A substantial website on gay and lesbian affairs in Africa, with special
pages on: Algeria,
"An oasis for the gay Arab". Includes live chat.
Does government repression of homosexuality in the Middle East stem from
outdated ideas about the role of the state? (Guardian Unlimited, 29
Links to articles and reviews of the book.
in Middle Eastern dance
Although not specifically focused on the Middle East, this website
provides useful information for married people who feel that they may be
gay, lesbian or bisexual.
'Desiring Arabs' by Joseph Massad (University of Chicago Press, 2007).
Reviewed by Brian Whitaker
'Desiring Arabs' by Joseph Massad (University of Chicago Press, 2007).
Reviewed by Peter Drucker. Alternative
with Abdellah Taia
The Moroccan writer talks about his book, Salvation Army.
The Gay Electronic Intifada of Lebanon
by Rita El-Haddad. Monthly Review, 27 August 2009
The first Jordanian LGBT magazine. See Youtube
sex survey, 2009
Gay Middle East website.
"Straight" from the Heart?
Adaptations to social stigma among gays and lesbians in Lebanon. Erica Li Lundqvist, Lund University, Sweden.
Send an email
to add new blogs to this list
"An undercover queer blog somewhere in the Middle East"
By a gay Algerian, in French
Mostly in English
Arab Lesbian Women & Allies Network
by Gavin Hallier
a gay man from Jordan
Part Arabic, part English
Lesbian blog from Egypt (in Arabic)
Arabic/English, from Kuwait
Kareem Azmi (mainly in Arabic)
Lesbian group blog from Lebanon
From Bahrain, in Arabic
The Queer Arabs Blog
"Rantings of angry sarcastic bitchy queer Arab Americans".
A blog about the book, 'Unspeakable Love', and related topics.
the Twenty-Something Guys
Gay blog from Beirut. "All characters
in my blog are real and not fictitious, and any resemblance to actual
persons, living or dead, is not coincidental."
An international organisation for Muslims who are lesbian, gay,
bisexual, transgendered, or questioning their sexual orientation
Discussion of gender and sexuality in the web magazine, Muslim
A British-based support group "for Muslim lesbians, gays,
bisexuals, and transgendered people, as well as those questioning their
sexuality or gender identity, and their family, friends and
supporters". See article.
A website that "condemns all forms of terrorism, including
prejudice and discrimination".
Project working on "issues relating to lesbian, bisexual and/or
transgender women who identify as Muslim religiously and/or
For queer Muslims in South Africa
"The Queer Muslim Community of Toronto."
"A magazine for queer Muslims"
and same-sex acts in Islam
An overview (al-Fatiha Foundation)
Anissa Helie examines the rights - or lack of them - for gays and
lesbians in the Muslim world
fallout from the war
How the "war on terrorism" could provide some Muslim allies of
the US with an opportunity to crack down on gay men and lesbians. By
Mubarak Dahir (The Advocate, 20 November, 2001)
How Gay Muslims are organising on the internet. By Michelangelo
Signorile (Advocate Magazine)
Islam and homosexuality - a contradiction? By David Goldman (Southern
Voice, 19 August, 1999)
and the Qur'an
By Raza Griffiths (Gay Times magazine).
fundamentalism in Britain
Peter Tatchell argues that Muslim fundamentalists are a growing threat
to gay human rights in Britain.
Profile of Adnan Ali, Muslim gay activist living in Britain (Guardian,
30 August 2001).
I born to be this way?
Thoughts of a Muslim gay in an oppressed society, by Mel Ayu
By Shaffiq Essajee
and Muslim in the United Kingdom
By Raza Griffiths (Pink Paper, September 1999)
treatment of homosexuals
A report on gruesome punishments
Article about an Islamic scholar who is gay (Behind the Mask)
Muslim calls for debate on same-sex marriages
IslamOnline, 6 April 2005
leader calls for gay marriage debate
gay.com, 7 April 2005
marriage: a necessary freedom
by Ali Hasan of Muslims for America
Canadian congress endorses gay marriage
Queer Day magazine, 13 February 2005
Jihad: a view from South Africa
By Scott Kugle (ISIM Review 16, Autumn, 2005) - PDF file
and taboos in the Islamic world
by Amira El Ahl and Daniel Steinvorth (Spiegel magazine, 20 October
Supports those seeking asylum due to persecution based on sexual
orientation, gender identity, or HIV/AIDS status.
and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force
UK Lesbian and Gay Immigration
A charity providing information and advice on immigration rights for
same-sex couples and support for lesbian and gay asylum seekers.
A website that aims "to reach out to members of Arab communities
worldwide who are affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic".
lease of life after AIDS death sentence
By Peter Speetjens (Daily Star, Lebanon, 6/3/98).
Sexual diversity in modern Arab fiction
Stone of Laughter
By Hoda Barakat. The
first Arabic novel to feature a gay man as it central
character. Available from amazon.com
By Alaa Al Aswani.
The book portrays the ills of Egypt through the lives of
people living in a Cairo apartment block. Its characters
include a gay newspaper editor and his lover, a young
policeman. Available from amazon.com
A short story by Moroccan writer Abdellah Taia (who is interviewed here in French)
An autobiographical coming-of-age novel by Abdellah Taia (the "only gay man" in
Morocco). See al-bab's interview
with Taia. Read an excerpt from the book here.
Available from amazon.com
Presence of the Absent Manamazon.com
Mamdouh's novel, Mothballs - also known in English as
or amazon.co.uk) includes
a lesbian scene between the narrator’s two aunts.
By Alia Mamdouh. Short story about lesbian encounter in a street market.
Published in a collection of Arab short stories: Under the
Naked Sky (
By Ammar Abdulhamid. Includes a lesbian relationship
involving two Syrian women. The book was written in English
and has not been published in Arabic. Available from amazon.com
of Sand and Myrrh
By Hanan al-Shayk. Four women struggling against a
patriarchal order. One of them embarks on a relationship
with another woman while insisting that this is only
temporary and her real attraction is towards men.
By Elham Mansour. Possibly the only Arabic novel that
portrays lesbianism in its own right, rather than in
feminist terms as a substitute for unsatisfactory
relationships with men. (Not available in English.)
For Bread Alone
Mohamed Choukri’s fictionalised autobiography includes an
episode where the impoverished young Moroccan narrator has oral sex in a car with an elderly Spaniard for payment of 50 pesetas. The
incident is described in extremely crude terms obviously calculated to disgust.
(Available from amazon.com
By Rabih Alameddine. A book full of sex and black humour
which cross-cuts between the Lebanese civil war and the AIDS epidemic in the United States.
The author is from a Lebanese family but lives in the US and writes in English.
(Available from amazon.com
Homosexuality in the early novels of Nageeb
An article by Nabil Matar, Journal of Homosexuality, Vol 26 (4),
1994. (Reprints available from Howarth
Sexual diversity in films
Films by Youssef Chahine
Egypt’s greatest director depicts homosexuality in a positive, matter-of-fact
way in several of his films, including An
Egyptian Fairy Tale (“Hadduta Misriyya”, 1982) and Alexandria,
Why? (“Iskindiriyya Leeh?”, 1978). Other films allude to it indirectly,
for example Alexandria Again and
Again (“Iskindiriyya Kaman wi Kaman”, 1989).
Unlocking the Arab celluloid
An article by Garay Menicucci on homosexuality in Egyptian film. (MERIP, Issue
A film project about gay/lesbian life in Lebanon. Scheduled for relase in 2007.
Jihad for Love (2007)
"Filmed in twelve different countries and in nine languages, A Jihad for
Love is the first-ever feature-length documentary to explore
the complex global intersections of Islam and homosexuality." See also director's
blog and Wikipedia.
("All My Life")
To be released shortly
Yacoubian Building (2006)
Film version of the popular novel by Alaa el Aswani. See wikipedia.
Documentary exploring the lives of lesbian and gay people from Middle Eastern
cultures living in the United States. See also: arabfilm.com.
Dangerous Living (2003)
Documentary on coming out in the developing world. See also IMDB.
Story of a close friendship between two Arab male prostitutes.
Hob ("The Road to Love", 2001)
"A romantic tale of self-discovery that also offers a fascinating
historical take on homosexuality in northern Africa." See also: arabfilm.com.
Yousri Nasrallah’s film features a protagonist who has a gay brother with a lover, and also a drug-addicted lesbian aunt. See Nasrallah's interview
with L’Humanité, December 5, 2001 (in French).
Directed by Nouri Bouzid. A sex-with-foreigners tale – in this case gigolos who sell their bodies to tourists of either gender. It is not really a film about homosexuality; its basic theme is cultural schizophrenia among young Arabs torn between east and west, between tradition and modernity.
Man of Ashes (“Rih
Directed by Nouri Bouzid. A sensitive and ground-breaking portrait of young
Tunisian men grappling with doubts about their masculinity, but the film is spoiled by blaming their identity crisis on a carpenter who sexually abused them as children.
The Malatili Bath (“Hamam al-Malatili”,
Directed by Salah Abu Saif. A homeless young man takes shelter in a bath house and meets a gay artist.
The film, which is shockingly homerotic by Egyptian standards, makes a plea for sexual tolerance which does not entirely succeed.
NaR is a queer Arab hip hop crew, featuring a girl-boy emcee duo. Both emcees
have roots in the mountains of Lebanon. Mazen was born there and moved to the
States as a political refugee at the age of five, fleeing the Israeli invasion.
Tru Bloo came up in Las Vegas, NV as a first-generation daughter of
Syrian-Lebanese immigrants. NaR means "fire" in Arabic and describes
our deep passion for social change and revolution ... Although we are the first
queer Arab hip hop crew, our lyrics focus primarily on greater political issues
- not merely the eradication of homophobia, although that is one of our many
Queer Palestinian hip hop
Iambic Dream Project