"No Longer Alone" is a new video series that tells the story of 18 Arab activists and artists in the MENA region and Twitter users have a lot to say about it.
The video is a collaboration between Human Rights Watch (HRW) and the Arab Foundation for Freedoms and Equality (AFE), which is based in Lebanon. It was produced with the purpose to hear the voices of the LGBT community and send a message to the public, Neela Ghoshal, senior researcher at HRW, said during a press conference about the video in Beirut.
The video featured Jordanians, Moroccans, Algerians, Egyptians and Sudanese people, among others. In some of the scenes, the speakers have not revealed their identities while others face the camera straight on. Speakers include the lead singer of Mashrou' Leila, Hamed Sinno, as well as Khalid Abdel Hadi, the founder of Jordanian-based online webzine, which covers LGBT+ issues. There's also Egyptian, Dalia AlFaghal, who in the summer of 2017 came out on Facebook by stating that she was in a relationship with a woman and that her father gave her his blessing.
It's worth noting that in Jordan and Lebanon all sexual orientations are legal, in Egypt, female homosexuality is legal, but in some other countries around the region, they are not.
The video has invoked strong reactions from people on social media. See what they have to say below.
#LGBTQI is a taboo for generations, regardless to where you are from. Countries represented in this video are considered more tolerant in comparison to Gulf area. Younger generations started to be more aware of the dimensions of the topics, thus more aware and understanding.— Shehab Anwer, MD (@ShehabAnwer) April 17, 2018
Brave :)— Kieran Le Cam (@KieranLeCam) April 16, 2018
no one, ever should have to hide their humanness.
— Mary O'Neill (@NeillKob) April 17, 2018