ADDED ON: 05/15/2018

Inside Georges Azzi’s Brave Fight for LGBT Rights in the Middle East

05/15/2018 | Daily Beast

When Georges Azzi co-founded Helem, the first LGBT advocacy group in the Arab world, in 2004, he quickly got used to visits from Beirut’s police force. “They would come to the office and drag me to the station,” said Azzi. “They would say, ‘We need to interrogate you,’ or call me and ask me to come down to see them. They would question me for one and a half hours. They would ask, ‘What kind of activities do you do?’ ‘Do you organize orgies?’ They would ask personal questions.” Later, realizing Helem—which means “Dream” in Arabic—had support among the media, the police would “shift their strategies” and inform Azzi that they had heard other people wanted to kill him, he said. “It was psychological pressure,” Azzi said. “Another way to try to scare me.”


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