Aswat Online Magazine Campaign Targets Homophobia in Arab World

An online Arab magazine has launched a campaign asking its readers in Arab countries to photograph themselves with handwritten messages speaking out against homophobia and “media silence” on LGBT issues.

Aswat magazine launched the ‘Love for All’ campaign via Facebook and timed it to coincide with the International Day Against Homophobia on 17 May.

Activist Maher al Haj told Tunisia Live:

We aim to educate not only the LGBTQ Arab community but also reach out to others as well who might have many misconceptions about us. We are humans like others, we exist everywhere and we deserve to be acknowledged and celebrated within the fabrics of our societies like all other groups in society.

Among the messages that have been posted was this one that reads:

If I weren’t gay, I wouldn’t have learned four languages. I needed these languages after being rejected by my society. I had to learn three languages to communicate with people outside of my society. My homosexuality is responsible for 90 percent of my knowledge and culture.

According to Al Jazeera reports, the campaign has already received submissions from Tunisia, Morocco, Yemen, and Algeria.

CRED-aswat-facebook
(Image Above) A man holds a sign reading ‘Gay or not gay, what does that change for you?’ (Image: Aswat Facebook)

1-300x200
(Image Above) The sign reads “Love for All,” submitted as part of the Aswat anti-homophobia campaign. (Image: Aswat Facebook)

Most of the photographs do not show the faces of the individuals participating in the campaign, which led to one commentator’s criticism: “I did not ‘see’ any citizens holding signs. Until people can be brave enough to show their faces nothing will change.”

264525_205000126291005_435060521_n-300x233

(Image Above) A photo stating “Oppression will not prevent joy. Traditions will not kill hope… We will live.”