Richard Ammon,
Laguna Beach, CA December 16, 2009

Gay Travels in the Muslim World‘ editor Michael Luongo will be signing the new Arabic translation of his book at the Beirut Book Fair in BIEL on Tuesday, December 22, at 6pm, at the Arab Diffusion (Al Intishar al Arabi) Publisher’s stand, number G18.

This is the first time a gay American book has ever been translated into Arabic and the first time a gay book has ever been presented at a Middle Eastern book fair.

The book is a collection of first person essays by gay Muslim and non-Muslim authors, featuring stories on Iraq, Afghanistan, Egypt, Morocco and other Muslim countries, serving as a bridge between cultures. The English language version of the book is published by Routledge Press. One of the chapters was written by owner/writer Richard Ammon.

After Lebanon, Michael Luongo will travel to Syria, Jordan, Egypt and other locations in the Middle East. More on the book is at

Luongo has been blogging about his time in Beirut for the Huffington Post:

From that blog, he said:
I had already been told by Georges Azzi of HELEM, Lebanon’s gay rights group, that the publisher had given the book prominence, a large poster of its cover on the wall. I found the poster was next to one on a book about the CIA, making me a little skittish in what kinds of conspiracies my own book might be considered a part of…
The book was also everywhere in the stand, piled in a corner and on the aisle as everyone walked by. I wandered around to get a feel for the Fair, looking also for people at the various Middle Eastern publishing houses I had met at other fairs around the world. In contrast to New York or London, the Beirut Book Fair is rather calm, but plenty of Arabic writers were around, surrounded by fans and cameras…
I feel my first day here was successful, and Mr. Mroue had sold quite a few books, and Mohammed, the friendly greeter I met on the way in, even made sure to say goodbye. The real test comes with the official signing event for the book, Tuesday December 22 at 6pm Beirut time. I don’t know how many are likely to come, but word is certainly getting around. More…

Luongo is also the author of the Frommer’s Guide to Buenos Aires.
He can be reached at and +1-917-270-6390 and in Lebanon at +961-70-560-970.