LGBTQ activism: Seeking queer love in Middle Eastern history

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07/11/2023

“When I’m trying to impress someone I’m into, I like to send them classical poems that celebrate male beauty,” Fouad, a 26-year-old gay man, explained during a call with DW. “It’s proven to be very effective,” he said, laughing. Fouad is from Lebanon, one of the few Arab countries where homosexuality is not explicitly illegal. But due to the government’s recent crackdown on the local LGBTQ community he chooses to maintain a low profile and won’t share his full name. Fouad finds inspiration in classical poems by the 8th-century poet Abu Nawas, who was renowned for his homoerotic verses.

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