This year’s IDAHOT theme was family. Many LGBTIQ++ organisations in the MENA region worked hard on being part of the celebrations this year by organising different events and actions. Some organisations focused on the theme and showed to which extent family support can play a role in fighting or surviving violence and hate; while other organisations initiated talks on the notion and the understanding of “family”. There are other organisations that benefited from this year’s IDAHOT to denounce stigma, violence, and discrimination in our region. The Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality promoted the work of all these initiatives through social media. Here is a compilation of the different activities that were happening throughout the MENA region this year.
1) Lebanon: MOSAIC (MENA Organization for Services, Advocacy, Integration, and Capacity Building)
MOSAIC visited the American University of Science and Technology campus in Beirut to promote tolerance & acceptance of diversity among students. Many students took pictures and posted them on social media using the hashtags: #LGBTIQ #LGBTQ #IDAHOT #MOSAIC #ProudAlly #diversity #لا_للكراهية Let’s end #HomoHate #TransHate #BiHate #NOH8 Student were also invited to write their opinion about hate, homophobia, and transphobia on a “thoughts wall”. Music and artistic activities took place on campus as well.
2) Lebanon: MOSAIC (MENA Organization for Services, Advocacy, Integration, and Capacity Building)
MOSAIC created a touching spotlight video on the common issues TRANS people face daily in Lebanon
يوم واحد من يوميات متغيري/ات النوع الاجتماعي في لبنان
#حقد #كره #عدائية #نظام_بطريركي_بيقتل
3) Regional (MENA): M-Coalition
M-Coalition shared a powerful poster to raise awareness on the dangers of homophobia and transphobia and to denounce criminalisation of homosexuality.
4) Regional (MENA): M-Coalition
M-Coalition created and posted a short video to show that family support is a step towards protecting from homophobia and transphobia
5) Regional (MENA): Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality, GSRC
The Gender and Sexuality Research Center of the Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality created a new Lamha video with Ameen Rhayem correcting the terms used by the media when talking about the LGBT community.
6) Lebanon: Helem Lebanon
Helem Lebanon launched the 2017 IDAHOT campaign with a video under the slogan “Homophobia is terrorism”
7) Lebanon: Helem Lebanon
Helem campaign included posters showing the difference between acceptance and hate.
8) Lebanon: Helem Lebanon
Helem organised a conference titled “LGBTQI+ Between Social Discrimination, State Violations, and the Achievements of the Human Right Movement.” The conference included seven panels on several LGBTQI+ topics.
Date: Saturday, 20th of May, 2017
Location: Metro Al Madina (cancelled – see reason below)
- The media and alternative media – Subhiya Najjar, Jad Ghosn, and Elie Faris
- Homosexuality in court rulings – Legal Agenda
- Core of LGBTQI+ rights movement in Lebanon – Helem
- Trust no one be aware of everyone (vulnerabilities of LGBTQI+ refugees in Lebanon) – Mosaic
- Mental and psychological health – LebMASH
- Sexual Health Services: Discriminating and Distinguishing – Marsa
- Our positioning regarding the regional movement- AFE
Unfortunately, after receiving numerous threats from extremist religious groups in the country, the venue was cancelled and the conference was relocated to the digital space under the slogan and hashtag: #وصمة_عار (stigma)
9) Lebanon: Helem, AFE, MOSAIC, LebMASH, Marsa, Legal Agenda
As a response to the threats received and the cancellation of Helem event (See number 9), a group of lebanese NGOs launched the campaign #وصمة_عار and broadcasted an online conference and a live tweet. All the videos from the conference are available on the NGOs Facebook pages.
10) Tunisia: Mawjoudin, Chouf, DAMJ, ATFD, ADLI
In a great national collaboration, Tunisian LGBTQI rights Mawjoudin and DAMJ, feminist organisations Chouf and ATFD and Association for the Protection of Individual rights ADLI organised an IDAHOT celebration at cinema le Rio. The programme included an overview of LGBTQI situation in Tunisia, a documentary and a drag-show by artist Lorenzo. The event was also broadcasted live on Facebook.
11) Tunisia: Chouf
Chouf organised a collective exhibition titled: AU TEMPS DU 230 in Dar Bech Hama featuring artists:
- Nidhal Chamekh
- Aicha Snoussi
- Nadya Zarrougui
- Younes Ben Slimane
- Hela Ammar
- Wafa Ben Romdhane
- Atef Maatallah
- Ibrahim Maatouss
- Lamia Mechichi
- Willis from tunis
- Roua Bida
- Ilyes Messaoudi
The event included a buffet and a concert by the group AWRAH
12) Regional collaboration: North Africa (Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Mauritania, Libya, Egypt, and Sudan)
LGBTQI NGOs from North Africa organised an online campaign under the slogan #OurColoursAreTheCrime
Supporters were invited to join this campaign by blogging, tweeting and publishing posts with stories of violence in public spaces and on the street.
The NGOs involved in this action are:
- Alouen association (Algeria)
- Free Feminist Union (Morocco)
- Mawjoudin We Exist (Tunisia)
- Nouakchott Solidarity Association (Mauritania)
- Quzah Magazine (Libya)
- Rainbow Egypt (Egypt)
- Rainbow Sudan (Sudan)
13) Regional Collaboration: Nile Valley (Egypt and Sudan)
As part of its celebration of the Egyptian and the International Day against Homophobia and Transphobia, Bedayaa Organization for LGBTQI in Nile Valley Area (Egypt & Sudan) in collaboration with Mesahat Foundation for Sexual & Gender Diversity and Trans Homoz DZ launched “My Family My Choice” regional campaign from North Africa on May 2017 .
The camping contained many activities such as online media campaigns and events in Sudan (Khartoum), Algeria (Algeria), and Egypt; in both Cairo and Alexandria.
The campaign focused on the concept of “Queer Alternative Families” and the support and solidarity that we gain from our queer families, through open discussions in the presence of LGBTQ community members and their allies. Moreover, filming and screening of short documentaries about queer families’ life in Egypt and the struggle of LGBTQ persons in Sudan.
14) Lebanon: Helem Lebanon
Helem shared a documentary that talks explicitly about the LGBTQI+ struggle and the rights movement in Lebanon