Human Rights Watch and the Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality (AFE) have produced a new series of videos giving voice to Arabic-speaking LGBT activists in the Middle East and North Africa.
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In spite of the repressive legal and social environment, several LGBT activists from Arabic-speaking countries in the Middle East and North Africa told us they were frustrated by one-dimensional international media coverage portraying the region as hell on earth for LGBT people. Such coverage fails to recognize the agency of LGBT activists from the region, or renders them completely invisible. “We don’t want the image anymore of just being victims,” says Zoheir, an activist from Algeria. “We want to speak about reality, speak about violence, but also to [show what is] positive.”
By amplifying the voices of LGBT activists from the Middle East and North Africa and inviting them to share their personal stories and their experiences as activists, this project seeks to examine all that is possible beyond victimhood.
Watch the videos below from Hamed Sinno, the lead singer of the Lebanese band Mashrou Leila; Dalia, an Egyptian activist; Khalid and Rashid, activists from Jordan; Elie and Norma, from Lebanon; and Abdellah and Hajar from Morocco.