Middle East




Gay Saudi Arabia 2007-16: The Kingdom in the Closet

Sodomy is punishable by death in Saudi Arabia, but gay life flourishes there. Why it is “easier to be gay than straight” in a society where everyone, homosexual and otherwise, lives in the closet?

What’s it like to work in the Middle East as a gay person?

Would you ever consider relocating to the Middle East for work purposes? And is the situation different for gay people who move there as opposed to nationals?   6 May 2015 By David Hudson http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/whats-it-work-middle-east-gay-person060515/#gs.xU3gDWw   Countries in the Middle East are among the worst in the world when it comes to laws relating to… Read more »

Gay Syrian Asylum Seekers Face Threats From Fellow Refugees in Europe

As if fleeing from tyranny and war are not enough, Syrian LGBT refugees face continued abuse and hostility from other non-gay refugees in Europe.   By Anthony Faiola Washington Post October 24, 2015 https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/gay-asylum-seekers-face-threat-from-fellow-refugees-in-europe/2015/10/23/46762ce2-71b8-11e5-ba14-318f8e87a2fc_story.html   Dresden, Germany Rami Ktifan made a snap decision to come out. A fellow Syrian had spotted a rainbow flag lying… Read more »

Gay life in Dubai 2015

This may seem, at first glance, to be a contradiction. Homosexuals in a highly Muslim country? Of course this is an exaggerated and superficial observation. LGBT people are everywhere in every culture, including the United Arab Emirates.

Gay Syrians In Lebanon–Refugees from ISIS

If caught by jihadis, Syrian gays may be thrown from rooftops, or ransomed. And many live in fear of their own families. But Lebanon’s not the safe haven they hoped.   Reporting from Beirut by Amelie Zaccour Two young men we’ll call Karim and Tareq were walking through the streets of Raqqa, Syria, in September… Read more »

No Place For Gays in Yemen

A report from 2013 describes the situation for LGBT citizens in Yemen. Since that time little has changed for gay people in this war-torn country where Houthi rebels have taken over the government in 2014-15. Life for homosexuals is dangerous and deadly ; virtually no one reveals his sexual preference in public.   By Shuaib… Read more »

Lesbian and Gay Life in Beirut, Lebanon

By Richard Ammon GlobalGayz.com Updated 15, 2014 Stories, Photos, News & Reports for Gay Lebanon In contrast to a New York Times story on party-time gay males in Beirut, Lebanon, a more realistic portrait of Lebanese LGBT life is portrayed in a 2009 book Bareed Mista3jl (not misspelled) published by Meem (2009). A GlobalGayz blog… Read more »

Gay in Syria During a War

The revolution in Syria has put thousands of gay people at high risk of torture and death from all fighting sides–Islamist extremists, Assad loyalists and opposition rebels. It is currently one of the most dangerous places in the world to be a LGBT person. There is no mercy from any of these warring parties. The… Read more »

Gay Life in Syria: an Interview with a Gay ‘Refugee’

  Introduction The Middle East in the 21st century is a boiling cauldron of political and social change. Rebellions and revolutions have taken down long ruling dictators and corrupt governments. But the transition to Arab democracy is fraught with conflicting issues, mainly how to define and integrate the new democracy with the deep influence of… Read more »

Gay Life in Yemen: One Man’s Story of Destiny and Choice

Introduction: The following story was sent to GlobalGayz by a thoughtful Yemeni gay man who was willing to share his observations and feelings about gay life in his country.   Also see: Gay Life in Yemen Original story: February 2012 Update: September 2015 The current turmoil in Yemen has become an international war with a… Read more »

  Syria Country Photos

Syria in 2011-12 is in upheaval, rebellion and civil war with hundreds of thousands of ‘rebels’ battling against government military forces to end the dictatorial repressive regime of the ruling Assad family. The land itself is beautiful with historic Roman ruins and peaceful valleys. In the market souks of Aleppo and villages life continues as… Read more »

  Lebanon Country Photos

Lebanon is known for its unique efforts in the Middle East to guarantee civil rights and freedom to its citizens, ranking first in the Middle East and 26th worldwide (out of 66 countries) in the The World Justice Project’s Rule of Law Index 2011. Due to its tightly regulated financial system and the highest gold… Read more »

  Bahrain Country Photos

Bahrain has a reputation as a relatively liberal and modern Persian Gulf. The government  has encouraged tourism development which is a significant source of income. Despite a recent period of political liberalization including some changes in the criminal code, in 2011 during the ‘Arab Spring’ major protests against government policies led to massive street protests.… Read more »

Bahrain-financial-trouble-behind-calm-facade photo: telegraph.co

  Kuwait Country Photos

Kuwait is a constitutional emirate with a parliamentary system of government, with Kuwait City serving as the country’s political and economic capital. The country has the world’s fifth largest oil reserves. It is the eleventh richest country in the world per capita. In 2007, it had the highest human development index (HDI) in the Arab… Read more »

Kuwait city students (photo-nildayjeffrey)

  Saudi Arabia Country Photos

Saudi Arabia is a complex, mysterious, fundamentalist country with much wealth from vast oil fields. It boasts the most modern standards for the middle and upper classes. However the form of Islam practiced there is backward and repressive that does not allow much personal freedom of expression, especially for women. Salafism, also known as Wahabbism… Read more »

Gay Arabs: It Gets Better–From an Arab Teen

By Moussa Dailyvoiceofreason.com 13 Jan 2012 This is an article by Moussa, a Lebanese young man of 19 who speaks from his own experience of coming out and how life gets much better once we own our sexuality and accept one another. The world we live in can seem like an absolutely terrible place. Worse… Read more »

  UAE/Dubai Country Photos

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is a federation of seven states situated in the southeast of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf. The seven states, termed emirates, are Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah, and Umm al-Quwain. Dubai is the most well known due to its progressive financial policies and daring architecture.… Read more »

Dubai - locals at ski house photo credit-telegraph.co

  Palestine Photo Gallery

Palestine is both a historic settled culture and a territory in transition and conflict. Situated at a strategic location between Egypt, Syria and Arabia, and the birthplace of the Judaism and Christianity, the region has a long and tumultuous history as a crossroads for religion, culture, commerce, and politics. The region has been controlled by… Read more »

  Qatar Country Photos

Qatar has been ruled as an absolute monarchy by the Al Thani family since the mid-19th century. Formerly a British protectorate noted mainly for pearling, it became independent in 1971, and has become one of the region\’s wealthiest states due to its enormous oil and natural gas revenues. In 1995, Sheikh Hamad bin Khalifa Al… Read more »

photo credit: habayinow.wordpress.com

Gay Life in Qatar

By Richard Ammon GlobalGayz.com January 2012 Photos, News & Reports for Gay Qatar Much like other small Gulf States in the Arabian peninsula finding recent and in-depth stories about gay life is not easy. The biggest public kerfluffle about homosexuality in Qatar in recent years has not concerned any gay executions, witch hunts, persecution or… Read more »

  Oman Country Photos

Oman is a quiet prosperous, modern and progressive Arab sultanate where life has settled into a quiet place in the Middle East. Little is heard of it in the modern world except as a peaceful land of rugged beauty and friendly people. It is ruled by a benevolent Sultan who since his reign began in… Read more »


Gay Life in Oman

(Updated January 2017) Information and insight about LGBT life in Oman is neither plentiful nor scarce. GlobalGayz has not yet been to Oman so we have been researching the internet for some inside ideas and experiences. What is noticeable is that the lengthier commentaries posted online come from expats who live or have lived in… Read more »

  Yemen Country Photos

Yemen has a land area of 555,000 square kilometers and a population of approximately 24 million (2010). Its capital and largest city is Sana’a. Yemen’s territory includes over 200 islands, the largest of which is Socotra, about 415 km to the south of mainland Yemen, off the coast of Somalia. It is the only state… Read more »


Gay Life in Yemen–An Introduction

Introduction: It’s difficult to write an informed and useful report about something unseen and unheard. In Yemen, homosexuality is both because no one is willing to speak or write about it in public or in the media, despite the inevitable presence of a gay underground that is kept well hidden from the scrutiny of the… Read more »

Gay Life in UAE (United Arab Republic)

Introduction Very little LGBT news comes out of the Emirates gulf states because it is such a closeted culture, but the recent removal of an anti-gay video from YouTube, made in the United Arab Emirates, has evoked some dialogue around lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender issues in the Emirates. In this report, Dan Littauer  of… Read more »