Relieved from Sectarianism

Although Homosexual are a part of the entire society, they also form a community of their own that have similar characteristics to other gay communities around the world. What distinguishes the gay community in Syria, and other conservative countries, is that it has evolved more than the society it belongs to on many levels. [Read more…]

Double Life

Many gays do not consider their “double life” to be a matter of concern. We do what we wish to do in away from people, and pretend when they are present. We pretend until it becomes a second nature; not a temporarily state of which one must always remain aware. This may not be limited to gays in our society, but rather a characteristic of all Syrians. One must appear to be obedient to thier parents, faithful to their partners, honorable when with colleagues, ethical before children, nice with neighbours, a good believer before one’s God, practices religious rite as daily habits but not necessarily as soothing rituals that calm the soul’s pain or ease one’s tiresome. [Read more…]

Several Gay Men Arrested in Beirut

On Tuesday, July 28th, Lebanese police closed down “Cinema Plaza” Movie Theater in the Burj Hammoud neighborhood of the capital Beirut. The movie theater, which is a known cruising spot for gay men, had been closed three times already. However this time, the police arrested 36 people including the theater’s owner. [Read more…]

Dad, I’m gay

I came back home one day after hanging out with my friends to find my father acting weird with me. I felt that something was wrong but I couldn’t really tell what it was. I tried to ask him, but he just kept quiet and didn’t respond, as if he didn’t want to talk about it in front of the family. [Read more…]

A Missing Connection

“Being a girl is hard enough in this country, the way we’re treated on the streets or in public transportation… Now imagine that this girl is a lesbian! Believe me, it’s a living nightmare” an anonymous lesbian told Mawaleh. “On the other hand it’s frustrating; there is neither an official hangout nor a known dating website where all girls can meet” she added. [Read more…]

Tea Cup and Nuts

It was a fairly hot night. I was sitting in front of my PC alone, thinking about what I was going to write for the magazine. Along with many chaotic, random thoughts, I drifted away to a realm of imagination where I found myself in a better world; a world where humans are created to be humans. Where their humanity is not a commodity sold in a marketplace that displays normal behavior behind bars of prejudice and discrimination. [Read more…]

Mawaleh: The Story

Mawaleh English #1

Although no one in Syria is willing to call the current war a civil war, most Syrians have accepted the “war term” to describe the situation in the country. It is a war in which the Saudi-backed Salafists are becoming stronger. It is a war where al-Qaeda groups are arriving into the country, waiting, and hoping that the rebels will win so they can fight them afterwards and start an Islamic Caliphate in Belad al-Sham, i.e. [Read more…]

Mawaleh: The Risk

Mawaleh English #1

In a country under an ongoing war, where homosexuality is criminalized by law, where Fedaa Aietani was arrested by the rebels for writing what they described as “unbecoming of the revolution”, where Dana Bakdounes was verbally attacked and abused for throwing away her veil by those who are supposed to be “freedom fighters” despite the fact that she protested against Assad’s regime while most of her attackers were still hiding in fear; in a country where Islamism is growing, writing for a gay magazine is nothing less than extreme danger. [Read more…]

Mawaleh: The Name

Mawaleh English #1

In Syrian dialect, Mawaleh means “nuts“. It is derived from “maleh“, which means “salty“. Choosing the name and the concept of the magazine was the most important task before starting working on it.

People in Syria love nuts and enjoy having them with tea, beers, arak, and  matte.  It is true that almost all Syrians love nuts. They have to love us, queers, as well; let’s [Read more…]

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