First Published: 2010-08-16

 

New Arabic online magazine to include gay writers

 

Online magazine in Israel to feature articles by gays and lesbians, may offend 'sensitivities'.

 

Middle East Online

Qadita.net

JERUSALEM - Arab and Palestinian writers and intellectuals on Monday launched a new online magazine in Israel that aims to challenge taboos, including by featuring articles by gays and lesbians.

"Our site will be like a cultural oasis to which a person can escape to read a short story or watch a cultural event via YouTube," said Alaa Hlehel, founder and editor of Qadita.net and an Arab citizen of Israel.

The site is named for his ancestral village, which was destroyed during the 1948 war that attended the creation of the Jewish state, but its target is the limits of free speech in Arab and Islamic societies.

"Rebellious or 'non-conservative' writing should not fall victim to erasure just because its dissemination angers some people or offends 'sensitivities,'" the website's founding statement says.

"We believe the margin of freedom in Arabic-language publishing is under siege, because of political and social tensions and various groups."

The site will publish contributions from a wide range of Arab and Palestinian writers and, in an historic first, will have a special section devoted to gay and lesbian writers, most of whom will write anonymously.

Homosexuality is highly frowned upon in Arab and Islamic society and is criminalised in many countries in the region.

"We are doing this to allow gays to speak out, to leave their ghetto and to become a natural part of Palestinian and Arab culture," Hlehel said.

When asked if he feared attacks by religious or extremist groups, Hlehel insisted that the quality of the writing would speak for itself.

"It will be easy to attack us over the issue of gays, but because of this we will ensure that all our writing is of the highest quality," he said.

Israel's Arab citizens make up around 20 percent of the population. They comprise the Palestinians who remained in the Jewish state after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war that attended its creation and their descendants.

 

Turkey detains top generals, prominent journalists in widening purge

Russia ‘far from US positions’ on Syria

Libya demands explanation over presence of French troops

Arab summit in Mauritania cut to single day

Cheers in Abu Dhabi as solar plane completes round-the-world trip

Hamas 'summer camp' trains dozens of young people for war

Palestinians seek to sue Britain over 1917 Balfour Declaration

UN hopes Syria peace talks can resume late August

Israeli authorities destroy 11 Palestinian homes in Jerusalem

ISIS claims attack on French church in Normandy

Erdogan accuses EU of not paying up under migrant deal

Study: Height down in some MENA countries

Iran denies presence of three Al-Qaeda operatives

Iran caps salaries in bid to end scandal

Kerry says US-Russia talks on Syria 'making progress'

Erdogan to visit Russia on August 9

More than 3,000 lost in Mediterranean in 2016

13 killed in Somalia suicide bomb attacks

Panama Papers reveal Italian bribes' paid to Algerian officials

Syria regime advances on rebels in Aleppo

Turkey detains veteran female reporter

ISIS claims second German attack in a week

France calls for immediate humanitarian truce in Aleppo

Dozens dead in 5 days of Yemen fighting

Israel advances plans for 770 settlement homes

Libya conflict keeps 279,000 children out of school

After week of attacks, Germany warns of backlash against refugees

Iraqi charged with having 'trace' explosives in Poland

UN Syria envoy, US, Russian officials to hold talks Tuesday

Kuwait top court acquits IOC powerbroker Sheikh Ahmad

Air strikes, rebel fire kill 19 in Aleppo

12 killed in suicide bomb attack north of Baghdad

Egypt policeman killed in Sinai attack claimed by IS

Turkey cracks down on journalists after coup

Syrian migrant blows self up near German music festival

ISIS suicide bomber kills at least 15 in northern Baghdad

Turkey readies first cross-party rally to condemn coup

Libya loyalists seize ISIS bomb factory in Sirte

Tunisia dissident, Mohsen Marzouk, opens new party congress

Air raids jeopardise much-needed medical care in Aleppo

Saudi delegation in Israel to promote stalled peace initiative

At least 61 people dead as ISIS claims twin blasts in Kabul

Iraq PM seeks to speed up death penalty implementation

Munich shooting had 'obvious link' to Breivik, not ISIS

EgyptAir flight broke up in midair after fire, evidence suggests