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Content about Middle East

November 25, 2014

Openly gay Emmerdale actress on loving California and the Lake District

She recently won Entertainer of the Year at the Stonewall Awards, for her role as Ruby Haswell in Emmerdale. And here the out and proud Alicya Eyo – who also made her directing debut last year with the queer short Brace – shares her travel tales, from experiencing discrimination in Egypt to the gay rite of passage which is San Francisco...

November 25, 2014

Unlock the ancient, enigmatic glamour of the Turkish metropolis with our guide

Pushed and pulled by the eastern and western worlds for centuries, absorbing influences and attitudes from both Europe and the Middle East, Turkey is astoundingly resilient.

And Istanbul, with 14 million people, has been the cosmopolitan centre of the region since it was founded as Constantinople in 330 AD. The Bosphorus Strait, a shipping lane that links the Black Sea and the Marmara Sea dividing Istanbul in two, is one of the boundaries between Europe and Asia.

November 24, 2014

Israeli city to host two-week queer party, launching next month

Tel Aviv has announced a two-week 'Pink Winter' Festival for the festive period, taking place between 24 December and 7 January.

The event will encompass non-stop street parties and beach parties (including a chill-out party at Hilton Beach), as well as a queer film festival.

Christmas tree and Hanukkah candle lightings will also take place on Christmas Eve, to mark the official launch of the festival.

November 1, 2014

Each of the men were sentenced to three years in prison

Today, 1 November, an Egyptian court sentenced eight men for their appearance in a purported same-sex wedding video.

According to the Associated Press, each of the men were sentenced to three years in prison.

September 22, 2014

The event's poster was inspired by the jihadist group's beheading videos

Israeli gay party organizer Dreck has drawn sharp criticism online for using imagery inspired by the Islamic State jihadist group to promote an event.

The group, also known as ISIS, has beheaded three Westerners in the last month and branded gay people as the 'worst of creatures.'

September 19, 2014

A former GSN intern sends us some postcards from her autumn getaway

A year ago Anisa Easterbrook, while interning for Gay Star News, sent us a postcard from her trip to Malaysia.

Now an independent reporter, on London’s lesbian scene and more, she sends us some more postcards, from an enviable trip on Egypt’s coast.

'I have traveled around the world, but I've found Egypt knows how to take luxury to a new level.

September 7, 2014

A video allegedly showing two men getting married has sparked outrage in Egypt, with a prosecutor claiming the ‘devilish’ video violates public decency

The Egyptian prosecutor general has ordered the arrest of nine men, after a YouTube video depicting a ‘gay marriage’ surfaced.

The video, filmed in April but has only gone viral in recent weeks, is entitled ‘Egypt’s First Gay Marriage’ shows two men appearing to have a marriage ceremony on a Nile boat.

The two men hug, exchange rings and are surrounded by male guests.

Several charges have been levelled against the men including ‘inciting debauchery and violating public decency’.

August 14, 2014

The CNN anchor confirms the incident but not a report that it left him in tears

It's well known that the late Lauren Bacall did not suffer fools.

Or, it seems, teenagers who express a political opinion different from her own - even of that teenager happened to be future CNN anchor Anderson Cooper.

The year was 1982 and Cooper's mom, heiress and businesswoman Gloria Vanderbilt, had invited Bacall to a dinner at her Southampton house for actress Claudette Colbert.

July 19, 2014

In need of some star-gazing and wallaby-watching, Gareth Johnson leaves the world behind for a slower pace of life in Australia's idyllic beach town Port Douglas

In The Lego Movie, when the main character Emmet orders an over-priced coffee to start the day, it’s 'Awesome!' because everything is awesome in the world of Lego.

However as I collected my over-priced coffee at Melbourne’s Tullamarine airport, things around the world felt far from awesome...

May 19, 2014

Egyptian activists report increase in LGBTI arrests, particularly targeting gay men and trans people, and stories of torture and mistreatment by police

Gay rights activists in Egypt report police are cracking down on LGBTI people, and in some cases even resorting to torture.

A report compiled by the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights (EIPR) shows the crackdown, which particularly targets gay men and trans people, began in November 2012 when seven people were arrested in an apartment in Nasr city and taken to Nohza police station.

October 16, 2013

Three Kuwaiti lawmakers have attacked Amnesty International for questioning their country’s proposed ban on homosexuals entering the country, saying the organization should abandon its advocacy for the rights of ‘deviants’

A group of lawmakers in Kuwait have lashed out at human rights group Amnesty International for criticizing a proposal to introduce medical examinations to identify and bar homosexual or transgender foreigners from entering and working in any of the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member counties.

October 16, 2013

Three Kuwaiti lawmakers have attacked Amnesty International for questioning their country’s proposed ban on homosexuals entering the country, saying the organization should abandon its advocacy for the rights of ‘deviants’

A group of lawmakers in Kuwait have lashed out at human rights group Amnesty International for criticizing a proposal to introduce medical examinations to identify and bar homosexual or transgender foreigners from entering and working in any of the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) member counties.

October 14, 2013

Reports ‘gay’ men were taken to police station naked after the raid and are facing anal probe torture tests. Total arrests may be greater than 14

Neighbors have broken into a gym and sauna in Egypt and ‘destroyed it’ after a police raid against gay sex, according to unconfirmed reports GSN has received.

It’s the latest development after at least 14 men were arrested for practicing ‘immorality’ or 'homosexual acts' inside the premises in the working-class El Marg district of Cairo.

October 12, 2013

Bahrain MP rejects medical screening idea, saying it can lead to discrimination against people from Asia and Europe

Oil-rich Middle East state Kuwait’s controversial proposal to start a medical test to screen transgender visitors and ban their entry in the Arabian Gulf region has been rejected by rights organizations as well as a fellow Arab state, which called the plan crazy and a violation of rights.

October 11, 2013

Lebanon’s capital is famous for the Middle East’s most handsome men, inspiring cuisine and open, yet discrete, gay life

When the topic of travel destinations arises amongst travellers, Beirut may as well stop the conversation in its tracks.

However, don’t let anyone dismay you- Lebanon is a complex nation that refuses to be reduced to an evening news sound bite.

To those fortunate enough to see this indomitable city, a knowing smile will be your reward from fellow travellers who have reveled in its nightlife, been wrapped warm by the hospitality of its people, and tasted the rich tapestry of its food.

September 23, 2013

Islamist group Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya has accused Egypt’s Constituent Assembly of opening the door to same-sex marriage by amending the constitution to ensure that non-Muslims may not be punished for living non-Islamic lives

Egyptian Islamist group Al-Jamaa Al-Islamiya has accused Egyptian lawmakers of opening the door to same-sex marriage after they amended Article 3 of the country’s constitution to ensure non-Muslims could not be punished under sharia law.

Article 3 states that the personal and religious affairs of non-Muslim Egyptians should be governed by their own religious communities’ standards, not by those of Islam.

September 11, 2013

'I was filled with fear, anger and a stubborn resistance that had built up'

Wentworth Miller is opening up about his journey from closeted TV star to openly gay man speaking out for equality.

Miller, who shared with an audience at an Human Rights Campaign dinner in Seattle that he tried to commit suicide as a teen, also spoke about how his experiences growing up and his sudden fame kept him firmly closeted until last month.

September 9, 2013

From Russia to Rome: Fronte Nazionale released hundreds of banners saying 'I agree with Putin'. Roman LGBT associations ask the mayor to ban the campaign

An Italian far right movement has started campaigning in Rome in favor of Russian anti-gay laws.

Fronte Nazionale party released hundreds of banners in the Italian capital with the motto ‘Io sto con Putin’ (I agree with Putin).

The party’s founder, Adriano Tilgher, wrote on Facebook: ‘We stand by the Russian president because he said “no” to the war in the Middle East and because he is fighting the gay lobbies.

July 27, 2013

Soaring anti-LGBT violence in Iraq, Africa, Russia linked to American pressure on unique cultures, says Philadelphia university commentary

While Islamic rules make homosexuality a crime in the Middle East and sub-Saharan countries where Islam is the predominant religion, it’s the US ignorance of other cultures and its attempts to impose its views that is contributing to the growing homophobic violence around the globe.

This is the contention of a commentary in a Philadelphia university student newspaper.

July 20, 2013

A second Yemeni man, accused of being gay, is shot by suspected Al-Qaida linked Ansar Al Sharia militant

Al-Qaida linked Ansar Al Sharia

Yemen security officials claiming a 25-year-old man was wounded by a suspect associated to the Al-Qaida linked Ansar Al Sharia Islamist group.

The reason for the attack is the victim's alleged gay sexuality.

According to the Associated Press Mohammad Saeed was standing in front of his Huta home, the capital of the southern Lahj province, when he was wounded by an unknown assailant's gun shot.

July 17, 2013

Yemeni security officials say a 20-year-old man has been executed on suspicion of being homosexual by militants from an Al-Qaida linked group in what may be the 34th such extrajudicial killing of LGBTs in the country

Militants from the Al-Qaida linked Ansar Al Sharia islamist group have shot dead a 20-year-old they suspected of being gay in the Yemeni province of Lahj – though there is confusion over whether homosexuality is still a crime in the country.

Hashim Al Asmi was shot dead on Monday night by militants who then escaped on a motorbike.

Officials told the Washinton Post there had been 33 other gay men killed by the militant group.

Ansar Al Sharia is considered the main Al-Qaida affiliate in Yemen and is on the US’ formal list of banned terror organizations.

June 29, 2013

A Turkish man who murdered his son for being gay pleaded guilty but said it was ‘an accident’

A man who killed his son for being gay in the Kurdish province of Diyarbakır, Turkey, pleaded guilty but said it was ‘an accident.’

The father was charged, along with his two brothers, with the murder of his 17 year-old son, known by initials R.Ç., in a trial has been ungoing for over a year.

May 16, 2013

Not a single Palestinian was invited to speak at a reception held by the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, Israel in honor of IDAHO

The US Embassy in Tel-Aviv, Israel has reportedly excluded Palestinians from speaking at reception in honor of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia (IDAHO).

Although Aswat, a Palestinian organization for Gay Women, was invited to attend, their representative was not allowed to make a speech at the Ambassador's Tel-Aviv residence tonight (16 May).

May 7, 2013

Nitzan Horowitz hopes to become Tel-Aviv's first gay mayor and invest in the city's community and diversity

Nitzan Horowitz announced his intention to run for election to Israel’s largest city, Tel Aviv, against the incumbent Ron Huldai.

Horowitz, of the left of centre Meretz party, is the country’s only openly gay Member of the Israeli Knesset (MK), a post he intends to resign if elected to the be the mayor of Tel-Aviv.

His annoncement yesterday (6 May) pits the 49 year-old Horowitz against Labor’s Huldai in the 22 October elections.

If he wins, he would become Tel Aviv’s first openly gay mayor, and the first in any Israeli city or the Middle East.