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Denial is not just a river in Egypt

Dec 2009 - CLEO Report

Blogged confessions of the gay Egyptian communityBlogged confessions of the gay Egyptian community

When I started to rearrange my thoughts to write about that controversial issue, I was bearing very much in mind how shocking the content will be. Especially in a Mideastern society like ours which is still surrounded by traditions and conservations that are engraved in our minds and hearts and are basically formed out of our religious beliefs as well as our cultural background.

The internet is a refugee for hidden desires, even though it offers only virtual relief. By entering the term "sex" into Google Trends, one obtains a ranked list of cities, countries and languages in which the term was entered most frequently. According to Google Trends, the Pakistanis search for "sex" most often, followed by the Egyptians. Iran and Morocco are in fourth and fifth, Indonesia is in seventh and Saudi Arabia in eighth place. The top city for "sex" searches is Cairo. When the terms "boy sex" or "man boy sex" are entered (many Internet filters catch the word "gay"), Pakistan, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Egypt are the first four countries listed.

Homosexuality is more than just a taboo in our world. In fact it is considered a crime, punishable by imprisonment or even the death penalty. "As a result, very few gays even attempt to reconcile their faith with their sexual orientation. Most", says George Assi, a spokesman of Helem, the only gay and lesbian organization in the Arab world, are in despair over the fact that they cannot be as virtuous as their religion prescribes. "Many talk about us as if we were sick people who must either be healed or abandoned," says Assi.

Helem, a Lebanese organization neither completely legal nor prohibited in Beirut a city that offers greater political and sexual freedom than any other place in the Arab world.

Blogged confessions of the gay Egyptian communityMEEM is a group for lesbian, bisexual, transgender (including male-to-female and female-to-male) From Lebanon, Meem is based on values of equality, support, confidentiality, and respect. The group was created on the idea that women should be encouraged to empower themselves and each other through mutual support. Their goal is to create a safe space in Lebanon where lesbians can meet, “Meem from my view is a seed for new groups working in the Middle East in different countries. They dong that from a lot of ways, one of the ways is supporting for projects to promote the positive values for lesbians! They saying “Our work at Meem is all about supporting the members, and part of our support is also financial. We welcome any and all proposals for lesbian-led projects that benefit the LBTQ women’s community in Lebanon. These could be film or theater projects, art exhibitions, books or other publications, small businesses, and other such initiatives.” an opinion from an Egyptian homosexual blog spot. Unlike Lebanon, Egypt is a place where freedom of opinion is always in jeopardy but not in those days I think... Have you ever, while browsing, met a blog written by a desperate Egyptian homosexual young man or a young lady telling his/her story, how he/she became like this and how the story all began? If your answer is yes, then how did you feel about him/her? Did you sympathize or the story just made you sick?

Finally, I managed to catch some blog spots about the new acclaimed virtual freedom of the gay Egyptian community and thought that sharing them would shed light on a fact that does exist vastly no matter how much we deny it.

Blog 1:

"To be gay it’s not a culture, so I’m not trying to spread the gay cult through this blog! I’m not more than a normal Egyptian that you can meet at school, work, bus or theater! NOT part of the American- Zionist Project LOL! Not trying to find a love or a one night-stand partner through this page. I believe in liberalism as a way to make the world better".

“Well, it’s 12 midnight now and as everyday when I’m done with my life, I’m going online to check out what’s going on!
I went to the Man Jam, the most famous gay social network in Egypt and the Arab area, in other words it’s the eastern Adam for Adam“
I find in Egypt more than 490 guys online in Egypt and 320 of them in Cairo... Anyways I’m not about counting right now, but the point that means there are more than at least 300 guys who have internet, logging in, and can use this kind of sites! Who are looking for a partner exactly like me! In the best view not more than 10 % of them can get it tonight and meet with some good guy! In other words: around 90% are going to the bed lonely!

Blogged confessions of the gay Egyptian communityI know some of you guys will say it’s not necessarily to be sad night... and there’s no necessity for sex in order to have happy nights. Ok I do agree with you... but also ask yourself: did you get your best night, whatever your age is, without a partner you can have sex with? Huh? In the happiest nights there’s something missed. I think now you know what it is!

Those 320 guys in Cairo or the whole 490 in Egypt, all are exactly looking for their f*****g’ something they missed in their most happy nights ... like I do! Life is awesome? I’m not only looking for sex. I’m looking for love”

“From almost one year! I was outside Egypt, and when I got back I received a message in my Man Jam account from some empty profiles, and most of time I’m not into empty profiles “ it’s a matching site not a networking one “ but I opened the message and it was like “ I really would like to know you more, and sorry if I have no pictures here but I have in msn “ I added him we started chatting and spent chatting more than two hours and then another two hours on the phone, we spoke about everything, we said a lot of nice and silly jokes, then we made a deal, to meet the next day, I met him in some coffee in Mohandseen, he was with his straight friends, we were talking by eyes, for me it was the best first meeting ever ! He was so kind and his friends were cool too!
Anyways, we went to one of his friends place. I’m totally not into this kind of hanging out and he was too. I think he’s not the kind who can meet anyone and go to some place for gathering and stuff like that, some of the guys were drunk and the others were on drugs “ how awesome! “ and we both were fine! Then we found ourselves alone in the apartment. I can’t say we had sex, but I can say we had fun! An hour went by, and we weren’t done! Because we didn’t like to jump into the sack the first time we met, it was more than a one night stand!
Anyways, for me it was a night in my life, but I tried to call him again, he never answered my calls, and I never met him again!

Blogged confessions of the gay Egyptian communityMy explanation that he was worried to fall in love with someone he doesn’t know well! Especially he was just out from a bad experience!
After one year, I just emailed him to tell him “ I miss you “ and the email has been sent”
Man Jam confirmed: “The e-mail has been sent” by another Egyptian gay blogger.

Blog 2:

By an Egyptian female homo blogger entitled “One straight diet & a family combo plz”

*Hello -Good Afternoon sir, thank you for calling pseudo-hetero restaurants, how can I help you today?
*Hmm ..I don’t know, I’m confused what to order.
-Would you like to have something cold & vicious or something warm & happily ever after?
*I’ve been ordering the cold & vicious meals from pseudo-homo, your sister restaurant, for the past years so I guess I’m done with it and will take the warm & happily ever after meal for change!
-Perfect choice sir, let me revise the order with you please.
-You’ve ordered one straight diet and one family combo.
-Do you want some extra children with the order?
*No, thanks.
-Okay sir that will cost you all your gay friends, your gay life and identity.
*Okay, no problems.
-30 minutes and your illusion, ahem sorry your order will be delivered, thank you for calling pseudo-hetero restaurants and waiting for your next call.
*Welcome, bye.

Blogged confessions of the gay Egyptian communityI’ve nothing to say after what I’ve heard last night. I never saw it coming. I’d have believed it if they told me that my sister was a lesbian but would never believe it if they told me that my LEO Jordanian friend became straight!!!!

Few days after not answering my calls or SMSs, he switched his mobile off but oh, to be fair, he picked up one time & immediately hung up when he heard my voice! I didn’t give it much thought in the beginning as I thought maybe he’s busy or something, until I bumped into a mutual friend’s status on Facebook and found that he likes her status so I thought of check- ing his news feed but little did I know that he f*****g removed me from his list!!

I quickly texted my friend “S.” & explained the situation wondering if he knows anything about him, so he checked and found that he removed all of his gay friends and gay acquaintances from his friend list. I instantly sent him a message on Facebook checking on him and wondering what’s going on and I also sent the same message to our mutual friend(the one with the status).

So C’est tout?! That’s all I get? No bloody explanation? If I went to his apartment, would he slam the door in my face?! I’m so disappointed, we shared a lot together and he already passed the whole “Sexuality confusion” phase long time ago! But still, if he chose to be the S (straight) word, why would he cast me away of his life in a blink of an eye like that?!! Was our sexual orientation the only thing we had in common?! OMG!

common?! OMG! I know that the gay scene and society in Egypt is not encouraging at all, but if you get fed up with it, you just leave the country or stop meeting guys or whatever!

But NO, I won’t surrender, I’ll go to his apartment, I’ll do my best to get his ex boyfriend’s contacts and call him. I SHOULD MEET HIM and I deserve at least a F*****g goodbye!

Straight Opinions

When I asked Ahmed, a 29 years old banker, he says: “well, anyone in my place will feel bad about that man/woman at first sight, then I will try to think what may take someone like him/her to that abnormal and unethical way. I knew that those people usually had experienced a sexual abuse when they were kids. that may be one reason.”

Heba, a 25 years old English teacher commented: “Some people like to be different, so they intend to do unusual things just to attract attention. I don’t think I would sympathize”
And about blogging sexual stories, I asked Soha in her opinion why do they expose their personal lives? she said: “I think they miss the company and like to speak up with other people not to feel abandoned or discriminated hoping that someone may be interested in their stories and consequently in them.”

Last Word

“The more repressive a society is, the more desperately it seeks an outlet,” says Nedjma, a Moroccan novelist and the author of “The Almond”, who conceals her real name.

The problem is not just our society’s outlook about blogging or confessing their sexual and the homosexual experiences throughout the web pages in Egypt in a proud and loud manner. It is how to deal with that phenomenon!
deal with that phenomenon! Is it really something they suffer they want their voices to be heard? Or they are just playing around and publishing their exciting stories attracting people who are just curious as well as people who are seriously interested?

Eventually I could say that Egypt is not the shy red-cheeked country any more, there has been many channels for these people to speak up to the whole world other and the online blogs are just one way.


January 2010

December 2009