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If Life is a bitch..I am the Diva of all Bitches!!

Welcome at Habibi Ana the first gay arab bar in the World!

Habibi Ana (Arabic for: 'My sweetheart') is the first and only Arab gay bar in the world.

Habibi Ana is located in the middle of the exciting nightlife of Amsterdam,Holland.

You are welcome for a drink and for meeting men and boys who are just like you.  There is a friendly atmosphere, it is cosy with Arabic couches around the dance floor. You can dance on the Arabic music of dj Ahmed, but there is also room for a good conversation. The bartenders and the owner Atef offer you a place where you will feel comfortable.

Habibi Ana               

 

Our address is:

Habibi Ana
Lange Leidsedwarsstraat 4-6
1017 NL AMSTERDAM

Opening hours:

From Sunday untill Thursday 19.00-1.00

Friday and Saturday 19.00-3.00

 

 

Helem

 

 

About Helem

Mission Statement
Helem leads a peaceful struggle for the liberation of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community in Lebanon from all sorts of legal, social and cultural discrimination.

Identity
Helem (the Arabic acronym of "Lebanese Protection for Lesbians, Gays, Bisexuals and Transgenders"), is a non-governmental non-profit organization registered in Quebec (Canada) as of February 11th 2004. As mentioned in Helem's constituting act, our action encompasses Lebanon and Canada. Helem has also established support groups in Australia, France and the United States, in addition to Canada. Although it focuses on gay and lesbian issues, Helem membership is open to any person who shares our values based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Helem is also strongly opposed to any kind of segregation, both in the services it offers or in the struggle it leads.

Goal
Helem's primary goal is the annulment of article 534 of the Lebanese Penal Code which punishes "unnatural sexual intercourse". This law is primarily used to target the LGBT community by violating the privacy of its members and by denying them basic human rights. The abolishment of this law will help reduce state and societal persecution and pave the way to achieving equality for the LGBT community in Lebanon. Helem's other main objective is to counter the AIDS epidemic and other sexually transmitted diseases while advocating for the rights of patients.

Field of action
Helem, a group previously known as Club Free, has been working on LGBT issues in Lebanon for the past 4 years. Our activities have included social and cultural events to bring the gay community together, extensive work on HIV/AIDS related issues, advocacy for prosecuted LGBT individuals and lobbying with other human rights organizations for the advancement of human rights and personal freedoms in Lebanon.

Plans
Helem's immediate concern is to empower the LGBT community in Lebanon through rights and health awareness. Shielding LGBT individuals from persecution and discrimination also involves systematic monitoring of human rights violations and thorough follow up on individual cases. Helem.net and a planned on-location community center are formidable tools for the empowerment of LGBT individuals by offering useful information, and for the struggle against homophobia through visibility. Helem will also take part in all civil society activities deemed necessary to attain its goals. After all, the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community is an intrinsic part of the Lebanese social fabric.

 

Barra Magazine
The first quarterly Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersexed and Queer magazine in the Arab world.


 
 
 


Exist,
Helem

www.Helem.net

 

 

 

Al-Fatiha Foundation for gay and lesbian muslims

 

 

 

Al-Fatiha Foundation is dedicated to Muslims who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex, questioning, those exploring their sexual orientation or gender identity, and their allies, families and friends. Al-Fatiha promotes the progressive Islamic notions of peace, equality and justice. We envision a world that is free from prejudice, injustice and discrimination, where all people are fully embraced and accepted into their faith, their families and their communities. Founded in 1998, Al-Fatiha Foundation is a registered US-based non-profit, non-governmental organization.

Meaning & Significance of Al-Fatiha

Al-Fatiha is the name of the first surah (chapter) of the Holy Quran. In Arabic, Al-Fatiha means "The Beginning" or "The Opening." When the organization was formed in 1998, its founders believed that Al-Fatiha was the first organization of its kind. Al-Fatiha represented the beginning of a new movement of dialogue, education and action by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and questioning (LGBTIQ) Muslims. In essence, Al-Fatiha was opening the doors and creating the path for LGBTIQ Muslims to come together, build support and create a community, that never existed before.

History of Al-Fatiha Foundation

Al-Fatiha started in November of 1997 when its Founder, Faisal Alam, started a listserv (internet-based email discussion group). The listserve called Gay-Muslims was the first-of-its-kind and created a "virtual" safe space for LGBTIQ Muslims to "meet" one another and find support amongst one another. More than one year later, with one hundred members on the listserve, subscribers decided to meet in person. A group of four members met in Washington DC in March 1998. These individuals who had all "met" online never knew any other LGBTIQ Muslims. The weekend get-together in DC was so moving and inspirational that Faisal Alam decided to organize a much larger event.

At what became known as the First International Retreat for GLBT Muslims, held in Boston, Massachusetts, USA, in October 1998 - more than 40 participants attended representing thirteen ethnicities and nationalities. Participants came from all parts of the US and from four other countries - South Africa, Belgium, the Netherlands and Canada. At the end of the three-day retreat participants decided that an international organization needed to be formed in order to address the specific challenges facing the "gay" Muslim community. Al-Fatiha, Arabic for "The Opening," which was the theme of the retreat was thus adopted as the name of the organization to be established.

Within months of the International Retreat in Boston, Al-Fatiha's first chapter was formed in Toronto, Canada. Since then, chapters have started across the United States in cities including New York City, Atlanta, Philadelphia, Washington DC, Houston, Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco. Al-Fatiha, which became a US-based organization in 2000 has sister-organizations in three countries - Imaan in the United Kingdom, Salaam in Canada and Al-Fitrah in South Africa.

Since the retreat took place in 1998, eight chapters of Al-Fatiha have started in North America (in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York City, San Diego, San Francisco, Toronto , Vancouver, and Washington DC). In November of 1999, Al-Fatiha established its first chapter outside of North America, in London, England. In 2002 Al-Fatiha plans to start future chapters in cities around the US, UK, and Canada. Chapters of Al-Fatiha hold social events, discussion groups, parties, regional retreats, and participate in local events. In addition Al-Fatiha has listserves (email groups) for other cities where chapters do not exist, allowing individuals to communicate and meet one another.

Mission of Al-Fatiha

Al-Fatiha is an international organization dedicated to Muslims who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgendered, those questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity, and their friends. Al-Fatiha's mission is to provide a safe space and a forum for LGBTQ Muslims and their friends to address issues of common concern, share individual experiences, and institutional resources. Al-Fatiha aims to support LGBTQ Muslims in reconciling their sexual orientation or gender identity with Islam. Al-Fatiha promotes the Islamic notions of social justice, peace and tolerance, to bring all closer to a world that is free from prejudice, injustice and discrimination.

Goals & Objectives:

  1. Support Muslims who identify themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, and those who are questioning their sexual orientation or gender identity.
  2. Foster spirituality among LGBTQ Muslims.
  3. Provide a supportive and understanding environment for LGBTQ Muslims who seek to reconcile their sexual orientation or gender identity with Islam.
  4. Empower LGBTQ Muslims by creating safe spaces to share individual experiences and by providing information about institutional resources.
  5. Advocate on behalf of LGBTQ Muslims in national and international forums
  6. Encourage and initiate dialogue with Muslim communities around issues of sexuality and gender.

Board of Directors and Volunteer Leaders

Board of Directors (as of June 2006)

Suha Faitha - Atlanta, GA
Ra-ed G. - Baltimore, MD
Mike Karim - San Diego, CA
Soraya Sabzikar - San Francisco
Mina T. - Washington, DC

Volunteer Leaders

Johanna - Administrative Support
El-Farouk - Spiritual Counseling & Support
Imam Daayiee Abdullah - Spiritual Counseling & Support
Aamer Ibrahim - Spiritual Counseling & Support

Al Fatiha Chapters

Al Fatiha comprises of seven chapters in the United States, which act as primary places of social support for LGBTIQ Muslims. It is often the first place that many LGBTIQ Muslims have the opportunity meet others who face similar cultural and religious struggles, in a safe environment. Our chapters also act as a conduit for our members to interact with others from their city and region, often creating life-long friendships and partnerships.

Al Fatiha Retreats and Conferences

Al-Fatiha's major events which occur once every year in cities across the United States, serve as a vital place for LGBTIQ Muslims to gather and learn from each other, gain institutional resources from different organizations (including HIV/AIDS and asylum/immigration groups), and to meet other LGBTIQ Muslims from around the world. Al Fatiha retreats and conferences also serve as the venue for meetings between the board of directors and the chapter coordinators. Al Fatiha retreats and conferences also serve as the venue for publicizing the organization and its work to the larger mainstream LGBT movement.

Asylum Support

Al Fatiha regularly receives requests for information on seeking asylum based on sexual orientation from individuals who are living in the United States as well as LGBTIQ Muslims living in Muslim countries. These individuals who are often under very strenuous conditions write to Al Fatiha for help with their asylum cases. To date, Al Fatiha has worked on more than two- dozen asylum cases. We have written letters of support, legitimizing claims made by individuals about harsh conditions for sexual and gender minorities in their home countries, and we have also helped by sending "expert witnesses" to testify in individual cases. Additionally, Al Fatiha has developed an excellent relationship with the Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force (LGIRTF) and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC). Al Fatiha often refers clients to LGIRTF who in turn provide individuals with contact information for pro-bono lawyers who work on sexual orientation and gender identity asylum and immigration issues. Meanwhile IGLHRC helps both LGBTIQ asylum and immigration cases by providing country packets that describe human rights conditions for sexual and gender minorities for the country in question.

In a post 9/11 world and as the INS cracks down on Muslims in the United States, Al Fatiha's caseload of asylum and immigration cases has increased dramatically.

Family/Community

Al Fatiha continues to support family members who discover their children's sexual orientation or gender identity. An Al Fatiha board member also sits on the Families of Color Network, a project of the national office of PFLAG (Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays). Al Fatiha hopes to work with PFLAG to develop culturally and linguistically appropriate brochures and resources for LGBTIQ Muslims who come from diverse communities.

HIV/AIDS

The HIV and AIDS epidemic continues to ravage across the Muslim world, while the majority of the Islamic community in the United States remains silent on the issue. People living with HIV/AIDS in the Muslim community are often stigmatized and those that pass from complications are often not given proper Muslim burials. Al Fatiha has begun to work with HIV/AIDS organizations in various cities to include concerns of Muslims who are gay, bisexual or those men that have sex with men, to ensure that an Islamic approach to the HIV/AIDS epidemic is incorporated in the wider HIV/AIDS movement.

Social Justice

Al Fatiha has adopted a clear social justice vision and perspective into its work. It was the first queer religious organization to include transgender and bisexual people at its inception. The organization also incorporates racial justice, economic justice, and gender equity into its work. The vision of Al Fatiha is to make the connections between homophobia, racism and sexism clear to the LGBTIQ Muslim community, to fight injustice and oppression on all levels.

Al Fatiha Brochure

Muslim countries continue to be some of the oppressive towards sexual minorities and other marginalized communities. Unfortunately under the guise of religion, authoritarian regimes across the Muslim world use colonial sodomy laws to crackdown on sexual and gender minorities. Since 2001, when the Egyptian government launched a very public crackdown on the local gay population, Al Fatiha has found itself in a very unique position to confront human rights abuses across the Muslim world, by speaking out and advocating on behalf of sexual and gender minorities in these countries. Working with organizations like Amnesty International, Human Rights Watch, and the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, Al Fatiha continues to be the queer Muslim voice, often when human rights are dismissed as western imports. As the "war on terrorism" looms over the Muslim world, marginalized communities including sexual and gender minorities face more injustice and prosecution. Al Fatiha will be ready to speak out against this oppression when this happens.

Theological Work

Scripture and Theology is perhaps the biggest barrier to dealing with the mainstream and orthodox community. To counter the spiritual violence that so many LGBTIQ Muslims face, which is perpetuated by anti-gay scripture and theology, Al Fatiha has brought together LGBTIQ and queer friendly Muslim theologians and religious academics to its major events (including retreats and conferences). These individuals offer alternative interpretations of the Quran, while also serving as spiritual resources to the LGBTIQ Muslim community. Al Fatiha has also created a "scholarship committee" comprising of twelve individuals who will put together a booklet and resource manual for the LGBTIQ Muslim community. This booklet serves to counter the anti-gay rhetoric faced by many, while also challenging traditional interpretations within the mainstream and orthodox Muslim community.

Interfaith Work

Al Fatiha continues to reach out to other faith-based organizations that do work around sexual orientation and gender identity. Members of the board sit on the National Religious Leadership Roundtable, an interfaith network of LGBTIQ religious leaders in the United States. Additionally Al Fatiha representatives have spoken at numerous queer interfaith services and participated in dozens of LGBTIQ interfaith panels across the country. Work has also started on developing relationships with the LGBTIQ Jewish and Christian communities, to create dialogue around peace and justice, especially as it relates to the conflict in Israel and Palestine.

Education and Advocacy

Al Fatiha often finds itself in the unique position of educating the mainstream LGBT community on the religion of Islam, a religion that continues to be misunderstood in the Western world. Advocacy on behalf of LGBTIQ Muslims continues to be a priority for Al-Fatiha, as the only organization in the United States dealing with the concerns of Muslims who are sexual and gender minorities. Meanwhile Al Fatiha has also started doing outreach to the mainstream Muslim community to initiate dialogue around issues of sexuality and gender. In the future Al Fatiha hopes to create a curriculum and develop a workshop to implement in mosques, Islamic schools and other Muslim religious institutions.


www.al-fatiha.org

 

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