Arab-Americans Delight In Miss USA Victory

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Arab-Americans rejoiced Monday over the crowning of raven-haired beauty Rima Fakih, a 24-year-old Lebanese immigrant from Michigan, calling it a victory for diversity in the United States, especially at a time when Arabs suffer from negative stereotypes in this country – and anti-immigrant sentiment is in the news.

Meanwhile, some harsh critics wondered if Trump’s Miss USA organization was trying to send a message, sniping that the victory amounted to “affirmative action,” or implying the first runner-up, Miss Oklahoma USA, suffered unfairly because of an answer she gave supporting Arizona’s new immigration law.

All this comes, of course, a year after 2009 runner-up Carrie Prejean and her views on gay marriage dominated the headlines. Suddenly it seemed like the pageant had become a battleground, albeit in bikinis and flesh-baring gowns, for the hot-button political and social issues of the day.

If all that weren’t enough, photos emerged of Fakih pole-dancing in skimpy shorts and a tank top in a radio show contest in 2007. The show’s producers said they’d been contacted by representatives of the Miss Universe contest requesting more photographs and information. But the show also noted – correctly – that the photos were no more provocative than anything on the Miss USA website.

In any case, Arab-Americans were elated by the victory of Fakih, who was born into a powerful Shiite family in southern Lebanon and whose family said they celebrate both the Muslim and Christian faiths.

“With all the stigma that goes around – especially after 9/11 and how people portray Muslims and Arab-Americans – it’s just a great way to knock down all those barriers,” said Dewnya Bakri-Bazzi, 22, a Muslim law student from Dearborn, Mich., who uptated her Facebook status to read, “woot woot who knows maybe I can be the next Miss America?”

Abed Ayoub, the legal director for the Washington-based Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee, called the win significant. “It shows our country’s diversity and the opportunity it offers all citizens.”

He decried the negative blog postings as “disgusting.”

“Rima had a great event,” he said. “Her religion and race was not an issue during the competition, and I hope not during the judging either. She won on beauty, elegance and eloquence.”

Not that Fakih and her family hadn’t been prepared for negative publicity. Even before the pageant, Ayoub said, when Fakih had won her state pageant, his group had helped prepare the family.

“We told the family they should expect this,” Ayoub said. “We told them that some people spew hatred. But she was strong. She held her ground.”

Pageant officials said their records were not detailed enough to show whether Fakih was the first Arab-American, Muslim or immigrant to win the Miss USA title. The pageant started in 1952 as a local bathing suit competition in Long Beach, Calif.

A winner in the 1980s may have had a Lebanese parent, Ayoub said, but having a winner of Arab descent was exceedingly rare nonetheless. The group’s regional director in Dearborn, Mich., Fakih’s hometown, said the victory was especially sweet given the current political climate.

“We did not choose to be in the hot seat,” Imad Hamad said in a telephone interview. “But the tragedy of Sept. 11 put us in the hot seat and imposed a new reality. Also, we have the background of anti-immigrant sentiment, in Arizona, and efforts by some to pass a similar law in Michigan. So this victory is a reaffirmation that America is America, the land of the brave and the land of opportunity. Rima now she can be a role model for all our young people.”

Some noted that Fakih had stumbled when, in a question about birth control, she called it a “controlled substance.” And she nearly stumbled, quite literally, on her gown because of its long train. But she stayed upright.

As for Morgan Elizabeth Woolard of Oklahoma, she was asked a question – by actor Oscar Nunez of NBC’s “The Office” – about Arizona’s new immigration law. She said she supported the law, which requires police enforcing another law to verify a person’s immigration status if there’s “reasonable suspicion” that the person is in the country illegally.

“I’m a huge believer in states’ rights. I think that’s what’s so wonderful about America,” Woolard said. “So I think it’s perfectly fine for Arizona to create that law.”

Conservative bloggers like Michelle Malkin suggested the question was a trap. The pageant’s judges, who included skater Johnny Weir and NBA star Carmelo Anthony, were unavailable for comment Monday, as was Trump, whose office said he was too busy to speak about the pageant.

Fakih was born in Srifa, a village in southern Lebanon that was heavily bombed during the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war. She moved to the United States with her family in 1993 and attended a Catholic school in New York. Her family moved to Michigan in 2003.

Her sister, Rana, who moved back to Lebanon a few months ago for a new job, said she had spent the night exchanging messages with her father, Hussein, and another sister, Ruba, who were attending the competition.

“It was a beautiful surprise,” she said from Srifa. “It was not easy for Rima to reach this title. We’re very proud as Lebanese Americans and as Lebanese that Rima reached this point despite all the pressures and stereotyping about Arabs and Lebanese. She made it. She fought and reached her goal.”

Huge Arab Cock

I was almost 12 when my father decided to build an apartment about our
garage and at that time there was a number of petty thefts going on in
our neighbourhood. So on recommendation from the building foreman he
hired a night watchman. Tarak was huge arab who on arriving in
America and being uneducated found he had to take what ever job came his
way. He had worked the docks, construction, delivery and night watch,
so he had survived practically hand to mouth and being a man of little
needs he was quite content.

I lived with my father since my parents had divorced when I was about 4
years old. My father was devoted to me and I usually always got my way
99% of the time. I often showered with my father when I was younger
and he allowed me free access to his body, he figured I was just a very
curious child but from when I can remember I’ve been cock crazy and his
big thick cock and balls were a constant intrigue for me until I turned
8. He decided I was becoming obsessed (little did he know) and banished
me from his bathroom, although I spied on him and observed him wanking
his big stiff cock many a night when he thought I was fast asleep.
I taught myself to wank and had indulged in wanking and sucking at my
private all boy school.

So when Tarak knocked on our back door one hot afternoon it was love at
first sight. This huge dark skinned swarthy man with a foreign accent
stammered he would like to speak to the man of the house. I ogled the
huge arab starting at his smooth shaved head, his rough weather beaten
features and huge bull neck that ran into huge muscular shoulders, big
muscular arms and a slightly portly stomach. He wore a loose cotton
shirt and loose cotton trousers.

I informed him that my father was in the study and proceeded to lead
the way, turning to make sure he was following and as I turned I
suddenly noticed the massive cock swinging against his leg and without
realising it I stopped dead in my tracks and gaped openly. Tarak
stopped with a puzzled look which instantly turned to a big toothy
smile of recognition, he slowly cupped his huge bulge and drawing the
cotton fabric tight he outlined his huge cock and balls.
“You make sure Tarak get job and you have new toys!” Whispered the
dark arab as he fondled himself.

I nodded vigorously and led him into the study, where I introduced him
to my father and quickly sowed the seeds, commenting on his mere
height, build and looks. Mentioning that they alone would scare anyone
in their right mind and trying desperately to conceal my bulging pants
which Tarak eyed and winked at me when my father wasn’t watching him.
Eventually my father conceded and Tarak got the job and was to start
that evening. As I walked the big 6 ft. plus arab back out through the
house I suddenly felt a huge and on my shoulder and in the hallway he
stopped me and taking my small hand in his giant sized one he placed
my hand on his huge bulge.

“Feel, they are yours now, you like?” He stammered quietly.
I groped the huge flaccid cock and my hand couldn’t quite grip around
the girth. A door slammed and Tarak leapt back nervously, smiling he
looked around.

“We play tonight my little one!” Whispered the giant as he
left through the kitchen.

I charged upstairs and yanking off my pants I proceeded to wank myself
hard and fast until my very watery cum flew through the air and landed
on my school books. I had never felt so randy before and as I collapsed
on my bed I began to conjure up images of that giant arab and his huge

He was 38, unmarried and had been in America about 8 years. The rest
flew over my head as he had answered my father and I had studied him
from head to huge feet.

Five o’clock arrived and I watched as Tarak ambled up the drive way
and my father and I walked out to greet him and show him where he would
be taking watch. My father inquired as to whether he had eaten and
when Tarak produced his box my father offered him the use of the
kitchen to warm his food and make himself tea or coffee. Tarak thanked
my father and explained he had been watchman for many years and not to
worry, everything and everyone was safe. With that my father left and
I lingered. When he was out of sight Tarak motioned me to follow as
he made like he was inspecting the layout and as he climbed the stairs
I followed until we were in the half constructed building, the walls
were up but no windows. Tarak turned and facing me he dropped his
pants and lifted his tunic, exposing his dark skinned torso to me.
My eyes drank in his dark skin, (almost black but not quite) and his
hairy body, starting at the huge pec’s and hairy nipples, down over
his paunch which had thick hair swirls covering it and down to his thick
bushy pubic hair which crowned his huge thick flaccid cock that
although flaccid was easily 7 ” long and as thick as my father’s cock
when it was pumping jets of cum across his bedroom. Beneath the huge
cock lay a pair of balls the size of lemons, I stared at the mass of
flesh and noted the heavy forskin the capped the huge cock-head.
“You like your new toys?” Asked the dark man as he thrust his hips
forwards towards the thin boy.

I nodded my head and stepped forwards, reaching for the huge cock,
it was so thick I could hardly close my hand around the fleshy sharft
and the veins running the length were almost pencil thick.
Igrasped it and began drawing the forskin backwards, exposing a huge
purple cock-head. It was the size of a plum and the slit was puffy, I
pushed the skin backwards exposing the head completely and felt the
shaft pulse and begin to thicken. I began wanking slowly and the giant
arab groaned quietly.” I know you like as soon I see your eyes, he tell
me all.”

The huge meat in my hands jerked and began throbbing as I handled it,
it lengthened and swelled.

Read full story

Luke, Leroy & Seth

Comments Off on Luke, Leroy & Seth
12 May 2010
Canal Street never lets our bait-bois down! Outside one of the street's top bars the crew come across a stunning traveler from America, Seth Roberts. A chat and the promise of cash and our Bait-bois talk Seth in to coming back for some hot boy-boy-boy action! Stripped naked Seth was hot, hot, hot so it didn't take our Bait-bois long before Seth's ass was fucked, cock was sucked and cum was shot everywhere. Wanting more, our Bait-bois keep Seth on the edge for them to enjoy round two!

Queer for Al Jazeer

“I feel Al Jazeera English is a reliable source of information, and I think what they are offering is a perspective from the Middle East region, but the professionalism of the reports, including on [lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans] topics, has global standards,” says Hossein Alizadeh, Middle East and North Africa program coordinator at the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC).
Gay activist El-Farouk Khaki says Al Jazeera English’s entry into Canada is good news for the representation of queers in media.

“What we suffer from is invisibility in Canada within the larger Muslim community,” says Khaki. “Some of the more traditional, conservative groups do not recognize our existence.”

Al Jazeera English regularly reports on gay issues. In recent months, its coverage included segments about the gruesome murders of close to 100 gay men by al Mahdi Shi’ite militias in Iraq in 2009, the killing of gay youths in a Tel Aviv club last summer and India’s court decision to decriminalize gay sex.

But Al Jazeera’s Arabic network “is not interested in covering gay rights issues the way Al Jazeera English does,” says Alizadeh. Comparing Al Jazeera Arabic with Al Jazeera English “is like comparing apples and oranges.” Al Jazeera Arabic is geared towards a Middle Eastern audience and does not challenge cultural values or orthodox religion, he says.

“Gay activist El Farouk Khaki”–now where have I heard that name before? Oh yeah, it was here:

On May 23, 2009, Khaki made the opening remarks at a Queers Against Israeli Apartheid event to “reignite Toronto’s queer community in the fight against apartheid”.[15] Shortly after, B’nai Brith condemned him and implied that he is “part and parcel of the anti-Israel machinery that continues to churn out hateful and divisive propaganda.”[16]

B’nai Brith executive vice-president Frank Dimant said Khaki should be subject to “disciplinary action” by Pride Toronto. Khaki is the 2009 parade grand marshal for Toronto’s pride parade.[16]

In retort Khaki with his partner Troy Jackson formed the Human Positive foundation, an organization which stands for Justice, Freedom and Dignity for All peoples to speak above the “anything said in critic of Israel is antisemitism” propaganda movement. Khaki a Human Rights Activist believes that no country is above critique. As a result his Human+ Float was the recipient of Best Embodiment of the LGBTTIQQ2S award from Pride Toronto

Quel honor. I salute Mr. Khaki. Oh, not for his prize-winning float, which I’m sure was a beaut. No, I’d like to thank him for shedding light on a little discussed phenomenon–i.e., that you can be a bona fide “moderate” and still be every much an enemy of Israel as any fire-breathing radical.
In “honour” of float boy and A-J English’s Canadian debut, I’m reviving one of my favorite parodies:

Come on, babe, why don’t we paint the news?
And Al-that-Jaz.
We’re gonna praise some ‘rabs
And then we’ll slam some Jews
And Al-that-Jaz.
Start your day with scenes of lots of gore
It’s sure to stir the blood and leave you wantin’ more.
But then we’ll say again
It’s just like CNN
And Al-that-Jaz.

Don’t you love those scenes from Palestine?
And Al-that-Jaz
That ghastly Gaza stuff has gotta blow your mind.
And Al-that-Jazz.
Who’s to blame?
You know it’s hard to tell
If it’s America or if it’s Is-ra-el.
But you will never lose if you just blame the Jews
And Al-that-Jaz.

Oh, we’re first to scoop with those Osama tapes
And Al-that-Jaz.
Then it’s great to show you who decapitates
And Al-that-Jaz.
Poke some fun at Arab despots.
See who shows up in our guest spots:
Someone who you’ll wanna boo
And Al-that-Ja-az

Don’t you think it’s kind of like the Ceeb?
And Al-that-Jaz.
Oh, look, there’s Avi L., who is our token Hebe.
And Al-that-Jaz.
Sure, we know that we cannot go far
Broadcasting Hockey Night in sunny, hot Qatar
Don Cherry–Mr. Big–ain’t gonna do that gig.
And Al-that-Jaz.

Oh, just tune us in and then turn off your brain
And Al-that-Jaz.
You will soon be hooked and singing this refrain
And Al-that-Jaz:
“Golly, it’s so good to see ya,
Better than al-Arabiya.
We’re so queer for al-Jazeer’
And all that jazz.?

Equality in Israel

* Welcome to my [Turkish, Turkey, Turk, Türk, Morocco, Moroccan, Maroc, Turkish/Arab, Arab, Arab world, Arabs, Arabian, Arabic, Middle East, Middle Eastern, Beur, bear] gay [blog, web log, site, page, galleries, movies]. [Check out, Watch, View] [Turkish, Turkey, Turk, Türk, Morocco, Moroccan, Maroc, Turkish/Arab, Arab, Arabs, Arabian, Arabic, Middle East, Middle Eastern, Beur, bear] gay [pictures, pics, galleries, porn, arab sex,] and [videos, movies, films, flicks, porn movies, porn videos, hardcore videos] featuring the [hottest, cutest, sexiest] [Turkish, Turkey, Turk, Türk, Morocco, Moroccan, Maroc, Turkish/Arab, Arab, Arabs, Arabian, Arabic, Middle East, Middle Eastern, Beur, bear] [guys, men, gay men, boys, gay boys, studs, hunks, males, gays, twinks, gay twinks, young men] with [monster, huge, giant, gigantic, thick, big, large] [cocks, dicks]. Don’t forget to bookmark my [blog, web log, site, page]. [Have fun!, Enjoy!] *

UIC Pride is essentially a group with two main goals: to create a community in which LGBT individuals can feel safe and accepted and to educate UIC and the wider community on LGBT issues that may be overlooked or ignored. It is the second of the above goals that is being fulfilled in this piece.

The Middle East isn’t exactly the best place in the world for human rights in general and LGBT rights in particular. Homosexuality is illegal in Bahrain, Iran, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Gaza, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen, with penalties ranging from three years in prison to death. In Iraq, homosexuality was illegal until 2003, after the US invasion. In Egypt and Jordan, homosexuality is technically legal but there is absolutely no protection from hate crimes or honor killings; gays are often persecuted under lewd conduct laws, and there are reports of gays seeking asylum elsewhere. The Palestinian Authority has legalized homosexuality and there are even LGBT organizations for West Bank Palestinians . . . However, these organizations are located in Israel.

Amidst all of this oppression, one nation stands up for what is right: Israel. In Israel, homosexuality has been legal since 1963 de facto and since 1988 de jure. Israel is the only nation in the Middle East that allows same-sex couples full adoption rights. It is the only nation in the Middle East that allows gays to serve openly in the military, something even our nation has yet to allow. Israel even recognizes same-sex marriages performed abroad, as there is no civil marriage in Israel.

In 1951 Israel signed the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees covenant, guaranteeing asylum for anyone persecuted on the basis of sexual orientation. In concordance with this, Israel’s Interior Ministry has said that any gay Palestinian can apply to remain in Israel indefinitely, making Israel one of the few options available to desperate and oppressed gay Palestinians. Gay Palestinians in the territories are often accused of collaborating with Israel and arrested and/or are pressured into becoming suicide bombers to purge their moral guilt. We showed a film with the UIC Levine Hillel Center this past year with a plot along those lines.

Israel is not perfect. Last year there was a fatal attack at a Tel Aviv gay and lesbian center when an extremist gunman entered and opened fire. Though this attack drew condemnations from all across Israeli society and the highest levels of government, it shows that there are still obstacles to overcome in Israel. That’s what’s so amazing about Israel though; the obstacles can, and likely will, be overcome. Furthermore, although gay Palestinians are able to apply to stay in Israel, many do not. It could either be that they’re unaware of their rights or they fear they’ll be deported if they go through the authorities. They know what will happen to them if they’re sent home and they grew up learning to mistrust the Israeli government.

Despite Israel’s flaws, it is still amazingly progressive when it comes to sexual freedoms. Some organizations that claim to fight for gay rights would do well to remember that. Many of them end up fighting on the side of Israel’s enemies, their enemies, the enemies of freedom, those who would kill them sooner than look at them. While hating on Israel may be fashionable these days, we have decided to stand on the right side of history.

We choose to stand with freedom and democracy, with the only chance for a prosperous Middle East. We stand with those in Arab countries who long for the same rights we have won in America, and even more so in Israel. We stand with the best hope Middle Eastern LGBT individuals have. We stand with Israel.

We pray for peace in the Middle East. We pray for all those throughout the region and the world who are forced to hide who they are and for all those who will be unable to do so and have to face the consequences.

And finally, we wish Israel a very happy sixty-second birthday with many more to come

‘Homosexuality is a disease’ says Turkish minister

8 March 2010

Sunday, March 7, 2010
ISTANBUL – Daily News with wires

State Minister Aliye Kavaf continues to make controversial comments on morals and values that raise reactions. Following her criticisms on the love scenes in Turkish soap operas, she shared her opinions on homosexuality and gay marriage. The state minister said she believes homosexuality is a biological disorder that requires treatment

The state minister responsible for the affairs of women and families has declared that she believes people who are gay are sick.

“I believe homosexuality is a biological disorder, a disease,? said S. Aliye Kavaf in an interview with the daily Hürriyet’s Sunday supplement. “I believe [homosexuality] is something that needs to be treated. Therefore I do not have a positive opinion of gay marriage.?

Kavaf said her ministry does not have an agenda for gay marriage and there is no demand for such a thing anyway. “We are not saying that there are no homosexuals in Turkey, these cases do exist? she said.

The comments come shortly after Kavaf was criticized last week for saying she is disturbed by love scenes in Turkish soap operas and that she believes they are inappropriate for Turkish family values.

“When reporters asked me about kissing scenes in ‘Aşkı Memnu’ (Forbidden Love) soap opera, I said: ‘In Europe [and] America that type of program is broadcast under control. They are encrypted, people who want to watch them buy them.’ But they crucified me by saying ‘Censor Minister seeks encryption,? Kavaf told Hürriyet.

During a speech at a foundation meeting last week, Kavaf said: “Every day, scenes of an erotic nature are being broadcast freely on television, compromising family values.?

Kavaf said in the Hürriyet interview that she does not approve of broadcasting that is solely focused on ratings. “That scene may not be important for 45- to 50-year-old people in terms of degeneration, but it might have a different effect on children aged 4-10.?

After her attack on soap opera love scenes last week, many criticized the minister for trying to drawn strict borders around Turkish family values. Mehmet Güler, TV critic for the daily Habertürk, said if the definition of the appropriate Turkish person or family is “people who have built their whole lives on dignity, morals and justice and never think about betraying their spouses,? then he would have to ask if such people really exist and who would want to watch series that is boring.

Other criticisms against the minister included her seeming tolerance for violence. Kavaf provided fire for the canon in her Hürriyet interview. “I only watch ‘Kurtlar Vadisi’ (The Valley of Wolves). I do not know if it is wrong or right, but the messages offered in the show attract my attention,? she said. “Kurtlar Vadisi? is a popular soap opera about mafia and “deep state? affairs in which scenes of murder and torture are common.

Also in the same interview, Kavaf said she is the first female deputy and minister ever from the province of Denizli, which has its good and bad sides. Kavaf said she was raised in a home where politics was discussed a lot. “I was in university when I started to be interested in politics,? Kavaf said. “Margaret Thatcher was the prime minister of Britain. I liked Thatcher, the Iron Lady.?

Winter Frolic – Turkish Gay Story

Winter Frolic

Interracial Turkish Gay Twink Porn

Interracial Turkish Gay Twink Porn

December in Istanbul can be quite cold. In fact, the last few years the city has even been getting snow. Some say it is because of global warming, climate change.

Sitting and warming up in the coffee shop, cups of steaming black coffee cradled in their hands to warm them, the three men discussed the weather, politics, tourists (and the lack of them in winter) and their profession.

Only the young, active and adventure-seeking Tabari was a full-time rent boy. Hasad and Rauf, both older men, only worked as rent boys evenings and weekends. Rauf even had a wife and family in the old section of the city. He said he did it for the money. Hasad claimed it was to practice his English. Tabari laughed and admitted he was a rent boy because he loved men and might as well get paid for it.

Hasad and Rauf smiled at him, indulgent of the younger man with his beautiful face, smooth skin, and dancing eyes. Rauf was tall and very dark, his muscles wiry and knotted from physical labor. A little gray even sprinkled his short, kinky black hair.

Nothing had ever come easy for Rauf, born into a poor household, undereducated, hard working. He was a good man. This bit of luxury, a warm coffee shop on a cold day, a good cup of coffee, pleasurable male company, this was all he asked for and he enjoyed every moment of it. Soon enough he would have to return home to his tired wife and screaming children.

Hasad fell right between them in age. Although he was not from a rich family, they were well to do enough that they had supported him through college and allowed him to study abroad. Of the three of them, he was the best traveled in both Europe and Asia, and had even spent a year in America. His dressed and spoke like a European, sleek and sophisticated in his manners and looks.

Rauf had never been out of Istanbul, and never wanted to be. Tabari, well, he was full of dreams. With luck, some of them might come true.

“Look!” Tabari exclaimed, “It is snowing!”

And so it was. He rushed from the shop to stand outside and watch the delicate flakes falling on the old streets and buildings. New lighted signs reflected from the damp surfaces. Their breath made puffs of smoke in the soft, gray dusk.

Tabari played; trying to scrape enough snow together from a window ledge for a snowball, but it was too dry and fell apart even as he threw it at Hasad. Caught up in the spirit, Hasad captured the younger man and playfully bent him over his knee.

“Here, Rauf, help me with this little ruffian!” he cried, and Rauf, laughing, made as if to spank the struggling Tabari.

With such good cheer they made their way together to a place they all knew, rented a dim room, splitting the cost, and tumbled into bed.

Ever eager to serve, Tabari sat up between Hasan and Rauf, a hard cock in each hand. He grinned widely and stroked them both together. Hasan took Tabari’s firm young dick into his fist and stroked slowly, teasing, while Rauf reached below to caress his balls. Tabari sighed and tilted his head back, eyes closed. Being sandwiched between the two strong men was his idea of bliss.

Rauf ran a calloused hand up the smooth, young chest and tweaked a nipple between hard fingers. Gasping, Tabari bent over and took Rauf’s bittersweet chocolate dark cock into his hot, talented mouth. With a moan of pleasure, Rauf ran a hand through the young man’s thick dark hair. Hasan watched stroking himself and Tabari, as the golden youth stroked the thick prick with his lips and tongue.

Rolling up onto his knees, Hasan cupped the tight, young ass and brought Tabari into a doglike position, rocking between the two older men. Tabari knew what was coming and spread his legs wider, relaxing his ass in anticipation and invitation. Wetting his thick cock, Hasan poured himself inside the sweet chocolate tunnel, feeling Tabari’s heat and excitement throbbing through him.

Tabari moaned with pleasure and rocked steadily between the two – Rauf’s cock in his mouth, Hasan’s thick dick filling his ass. Closing his eyes, he gave himself totally to the moment, to the sensation. Growling with pleasure, the tanned, stocky Hasan cupped one hand beneath the young man’s belly, taking his throbbing dick into his hand and allowing it to rub up and down his palm with the motion of the three of them rocking together.

Feeling himself coming closer to climax, Rauf pumped up into Tabari’s welcoming throat. The heat and wet felt good, but he wanted that tight ass. He nudged the young man up. Tabari grinned at him, bright white teeth in a wide smile. Hasan allowed him to slip away, turn, and then seat himself slowly, taking Rauf’s long, hard pole deep inside of him. His legs tucked beneath him, he was able to make easy, short strokes, taking Rauf deep and squeezing hard with his ass.

The rather unkind thought crept through his head that Rauf’s wife was surely not as tight as he, after all those children. Tabari smiled in secret pleasure and squeezed tighter as he rubbed himself down into Rauf’s scratchy pubic hair.

Hasan stood at the foot of the bed, his thick dick in his hand. Tabari leaned forward enough to take it into his mouth, the width of it stretching his jaws painfully, yet the fullness excited him. Once again, he was stuffed, front and back, and loving it. With care he made small movements to excite the two older men as they fucked him from below and in front, thrusting inside of him.

Filled with male flesh, surrounded by the heat and smell of men, Tabari grabbed his own hard dick and began to stroke himself fast and hard. His excitement made him even tighter, painfully so with Rauf so deep within him and yet in the pain was even more pleasure as the dark man thrust even deeper into him. Hands on his hips held him down and steady as that long pole ripped into him.

Hasan choked him with that thick cock, filling his mouth as the head swelled and then in a gush, released hot, creamy sperm. Tabari managed to moan, gulp and gag all at once, reveling in the taste and smell of cum, the feel of it dribbling down his face. He let some of it drool down his chin, wiped his face and then used it to slick down his own cock.

Then, best of all, Hasan knelt and took that hot, young dick into his own mouth, stroking and sucking as Tabari bounced from Rauf’s hard, deep thrusts. Rauf began to growl deep in his chest, ramming his dick deeper and deeper into the young man until with a final snarl he released a hot load into Tabari’s asshole.

The hot cum in his ass, the taste of cum on his lips, and Hasan sucking his dick was too potent a combination for the young man. Tabari cried out, his hands on Hasan’s head, and pumped excitedly into that hot, wet, sucking cave, releasing a stream of cum so heavy that it ran down Hasan’s face and neck as he struggled to swallow it all.

Tabari’s shudders squeezed Rauf’s long dick unmercifully so that he cried out and thrashed and found another few ounces of cum to give up into that tight young ass.

Tabari shuddered and let himself fall backwards to lay on Rauf’s lean chest. Hasan crawled up beside them and they lay together for a few precious, warm moments before going out into the snow again.

A humane, character-driven vision of Islam

23 February 2010

BERLIN: Immigration has provoked plenty of European film. American cinema is rife with migration stories too but, where America’s founding myths are premised on in-migration, European countries have historically been depicted as sources of emigration rather than hosts to immigrants.

Such portrayals defy Europe’s geo-political location near – and its historical role as a colonizer in – the Middle East and North Africa. With so many immigrants from the Muslim world lured to Europe in the 20th century, filmmakers have made scores of films about secular Europe’s encounters with “immigrant Islam.?

The volume of such films spiked after the events of September 11, 2001, with filmmakers, more or less politically engaged and of various aesthetic sensibilities and abilities, drawing upon immigrant stories to inform a wide range of work – from social realism to commercial and art house fare.

Fatih Akin’s “The Edge of Heaven? (2007), for instance, and Abdellatif Kechiche’s 2008 feature “The Secret of the Grain? use immigrant experiences in Germany and France to explore the edges of naturalistic storytelling convention. Rabah Ameur Zaimeche’s “Adhen? (2008) uses a pallet factory as a synecdoche for the relationship between migrant alienation, Islam and violence. Jacques Audiard’s “Un Prophète? (2009), on the other hand, pairs Franco-Maghribi characters with stylish visuals to retool the “prison picture? genre.

Many films appear to be made with pedagogical goals in mind, specifically to dispel the mass media’s, oftentimes crude, representations of Muslims. It’s not difficult to place Burhan Qurbani’s “Shahada? (“Faith?) within this category. One of three German-speaking films to compete for the Golden Bear at the Berlinale’s 60th edition, “Shahada? makes an effort to speak to popular audiences. Unfortunately the film wasn’t very convincing for the Berlinale’s jury, as it emerged unscathed by prizes.

The film follows the stories of three clusters of characters. All live in proximity to Berlin’s Muslim community, ranging from secular to devout.

Maryam (Maryam Zaree) walks into the frame while meeting her girlfriend Renan (Nora Abdel-Maksoud) for a night at an after-hours nightclub. Secular herself, Maryam lives with her widowed father Vedat (Vedat Erincin), the tolerant and humane imam of a local mosque. Though the imam is Turkish, his mosque caters to Muslims from all over the world.

Pregnant by the thuggish Sinan (Burak Yigit), and wanting to avoid the public humiliation of going to the hospital, Maryam has turned to Renan to help her abort the unwanted foetus. The medication causes a miscarriage while the girls are clubbing and she continues to haemorrhage the next day.

Afraid to go to either the hospital or her father for help, she begs God to “just make [the bleeding] stop.? Sliding from despair to delirium, Maryam gradually mutates from a fun-loving rebel to a crazed, hate-filled fundamentalist.

The secular Ismail (Carlo Ljubek), meanwhile, is a Turkish police detective happily married to Sarah (Anne Ratte-Polle). He’s racked with guilt for having accidentally killed the unborn child of Leyla (Marija Skaricic), an illegal immigrant with whom he strayed into adulterous relations. He’s reformed his ways when the film opens, but, weighed down by anguish and desire, he leaves his secular wife and son for Muslim Leyla.

The son of a Nigerian immigrant, Sammi (Jeremias Acheampong) is a devout Muslim who works in a food-processing facility with his mother and the redneck Sinan. The three also attend the same mosque, the one presided over by Vedat.

At work, Sinan amuses himself by abusing Sammi’s openly gay pal Daniel (Sergej Moya) and Sammi must routinely come to Daniel’s assistance. Sammi is gay too, it turns out, and his relations with Daniel provoke a spiral of self-loathing and inner turmoil.

“Shahada? is not quite the German answer to “Coronation Street? that this sketch suggests. Clearly, though, the decision of Qurbani (and his co-writer Ole Giec) to have the ensemble cast navigate its way through such emotionally fraught waters does give the film a patina of television melodrama.

This is Qurbani’s first feature-length film, it being his graduation project from the Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. A child of Afghan migrants, the writer-director has described his first feature as an “attempt at reconciling the contradictions of the two cultures I grew up in. To see the German and the Islamic parts of me combine on film.?

He also evinces a desire to do this with as little didacticism as possible, focusing instead on his characters’ stories. This explains his decision to work with melodrama. Distasteful as the form is for some audiences, melodrama is of great utility for filmmakers wanting to reach a popular audience with a message – here, that German Muslims are human beings, not indecipherable ghouls.

Given the tenor of the films that took prizes at this year’s Berlinale – the Golden Bear went to “Honey,? a sumptuously shot, quietly acted, utterly apolitical art house film by Turkey’s Semih Kaplanoglu – it’s not really surprising that “Shahada? was excluded from the winners’ circle.

The cinematography of Yoshi Heimrath is workmanlike, compared to the other films in the competition, but it’s more than adequate for television, where the film will likely find purchase.

Among the cast, Marija Skaricic steals every scene she inhabits, imbuing the brooding Leyla with an earthy sensuality somehow not in the least at odds with her hijab-adorned devotions. When she matter-of-factly informs her lover Ismail that he shouldn’t feel guilty for killing her child – because she never wanted to bear it, and actually prayed for god to rid her of it – she is utterly believable.

The most difficult role in the ensemble fell to Maryam Zaree. Convincing as an emotionally fragile young woman pantomiming a self-possessed secularist, she struggles with the task of steering her character from this point to Maryam’s stern (ill-informed) fanaticism – a passage that for many people in the audience is unfathomable.

Carlo Ljubek’s Ismail and Jeremias Acheampong’s Sammi are played relatively close to the chest, keeping the film within the bounds of decorum for audiences averse to undue displays of emotion. In terms of originality, in fact, this mav be the principle virtue of Qurbani’s script.

While Maryam and Leila embrace a cold-hearted deity, the film’s male characters seem utterly uninterested in jihad. Perhaps this reflects the nature of German assimilation as much as Islam.

In Israeli Army, Gays Are ‘No Big Deal’

20 February 2010

JERUSALEM (Feb. 2) – When Eli Kaplan had his initial psychological assessment when being inducted into the Israeli military eight years ago, he wasn’t asked about his sexual orientation, but he told the interviewer anyway that he was openly gay. In Israel, it wasn’t a problem then nor is it now.

“The army practices an inclusionary policy,” said Yagil Levy, an expert on the army and society and a professor at the Open University. “It doesn’t have any options to exclude any Jewish group that wishes to join.”

Once Kaplan was accepted into the Israeli navy, he faced a further interview to determine his security clearance level. “The interviewer started asking me a lot of questions about whether I had come out to my family and friends,” he said. “He basically wanted to know if my being gay was something that could be used to blackmail me. But it really wasn’t such a big deal.”
Israeli soldiers near the West Bank town of Burin on Jan. 29, 2010

Kaplan ended up in one of the navy’s most elite units, where he served as a drill sergeant for incoming mechanics. He said that while he was a little less open about his sexual orientation with recruits than he was with his commanders, he never encountered homophobia during his three years in the Israeli military .

In light of that experience, Kaplan, who now works in theater design in New York, finds the current U.S. policy of “don’t ask, don’t tell” ridiculous.

“It’s a reminder of how America still has so many racial and other issues going on,” he said in a phone interview. “It makes me really proud of Israel. I think Israeli society is much less homophobic than other countries.”

The right to be openly gay has been acknowledged in the Israeli military since 1993, and there is little evidence that policy has caused any problems. Even beyond the army, Israeli law is generally progressive on issues of sexual orientation. Even though marriage is controlled by the ultra-Orthodox rabbinic establishment, Israeli authorities recognize same-sex marriages performed abroad, and same-sex partners receive the same economic benefits as married couples.

“Out” magazine has named Tel Aviv the gay capital of the Middle East in acknowledgment of its thriving gay culture.

Military expert Levy said the editor of the primary army newspaper, Bamachane, is openly gay. He estimates the percentage of gay soldiers at 10 percent in general and somewhat less in field units.

Former soldier Kaplan said certain intelligence and naval units were known for having a large proportion of gay soldiers.

Asking and Telling in Israel

20 February 2010

I began my mandatory service in the Israel Defense Forces in the summer of 1994, just a year after the government decided that gays could serve openly in the military. At the time, I had not yet solidified my sexual orientation, having had encounters with both men and women. I was generally confused.

Asking and Telling in Israel

Asking and Telling in Israel

One thing I did know was that I wanted to join an infantry unit and also serve as a paratrooper—like a “real man.” Basic training was grueling, with sleepless nights, agonizing exercises, and long runs in full battle gear. Those hardships taught me the value of friendship: men struggling together, bleeding together, and supporting one another while pushing themselves to the limits of their abilities. They also taught me that there’s a flip side to military machismo: a helping hand when times are tough or a brotherly hug when missions are accomplished successfully. These friendships enabled me to open up to the other men and talk about my sexual identity. The reactions were always supportive; regardless of whom you share your bed with, these friends would say, we know you are a good fighter and a member of the team.

And so, oddly enough, it was my military service that helped me make sense of my sexual orientation. By the time I became a young officer, I’d come out of the closet to my family and friends and had a steady partner. I did not pin a gay-pride flag on my duffel bag or hang one at my base; I don’t think that would have been appropriate in the military, given the diversity of opinions and beliefs. But I never lied about my preferences, and by the time I became a senior officer in an elite unit, most of my fellow officers knew my story. Yes, I was a gay officer in a special-forces unit—and a damn good one, at that.

As Israelis, we are taught from a young age to admire the United States. The American dream offers an alternative to the somewhat harsh reality of life in the Middle East. But that dream has been betrayed by the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that governs gay and lesbian service in the U.S. military. Repealing it will help America fall in line with what many other countries have already accepted—that, in the 21st century, sexual preferences should not be a matter of shame or secrecy, not even in the military. The thought of living a lie while serving—of not being able to share one’s personal life with fellow fighters and commanders—is hard to bear. (And it’s ridiculous: if Israel, a nation that is forever on high alert, can defend itself just fine with open homosexuals in its defense forces, then any other nation’s army should also be able to integrate.)

I was lucky—I had the distinction of serving under a two-star general with an extremely open mind. To him, my sexual orientation was never an issue. He believed that work and personal life are separate matters. In this environment, I felt comfortable bringing my partner to various events. And just as before, the other members of my unit, in general, reacted positively.

More recently I have served the Israel Defense Forces as editor in chief of its weekly magazine, Bamachane. Less than a decade ago, before my tenure began, the magazine caused a public outcry when it put a photo on the cover of an out-of-the-closet officer waving a gay-pride flag. The military responded by suspending publication for a few weeks; the establishment didn’t think the image was becoming of someone high-ranking. But last June, during Israel’s gay-pride week, the IDF asked me to appear in front of foreign reporters and share my story—a sign of even further cultural acceptance of gays in the military since the early ’90s. That week, for our main feature, we profiled a gay officer named Josh who wed his partner in Canada (gay marriage is not yet legal in Israel). In the piece, we wrote about a recent promotion he’d received. His new rank was bestowed on him with his Orthodox commander on one side, and his partner, Lior, on the other.

Afghanistan’s Male Soldiers Are Having Sex With Other Guys. But Don’t Call Them Homos

18 February 2010

America’s gay soldiers have a unique struggle on their hands: Whether to hide or be open about their sexuality, and invite the risks and rewards that come along with that decision. But Afghanistan’s “gay” soldiers have a different battle: Despite regularly having sex with other men and shunning women, many of these male soldiers refuse to identify as gay. Which can get in the way of, say, preventing STDs.

You need only watch the CNN clip below, where three gay American troops speak of the need to repeal Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, to understand the difficulties of being gay in the U.S. armed forces. For these Afghan soldiers, however, having sex regularly with other men is no big deal. Just don’t call them gay.

An unclassified study from a military research unit in southern Afghanistan details how homosexual behavior is unusually common among men in the large ethnic group known as Pashtuns — though they seem to be in complete denial about it.

That’s what a new unclassified study of Pashtun men reveals. These men “admire other men physically, have sexual relationships with boys and shun women both socially and sexually — yet they completely reject the label of ‘homosexual.’ The research was conducted as part of a longstanding effort to better understand Afghan culture and improve Western interaction with the local people. The research unit, which was attached to a Marine battalion in southern Afghanistan, acknowledged that the behavior of some Afghan men has left Western forces ‘frequently confused.’ The report details the bizarre interactions a U.S. Army medic and her colleagues had with Afghan men in the southern province of Kandahar. In one instance, a group of local male interpreters had contracted gonorrhea anally but refused to believe they could have contracted it sexually — ‘because they were not homosexuals.’ Apparently, according to the report, Pashtun men interpret the Islamic prohibition on homosexuality to mean they cannot ‘love’ another man — but that doesn’t mean they can’t use men for ‘sexual gratification.’ … The U.S. army medic also told members of the research unit that she and her colleagues had to explain to a local man how to get his wife pregnant. The report said: ‘When it was explained to him what was necessary, he reacted with disgust and asked, ‘How could one feel desire to be with a woman, who God has made unclean, when one could be with a man, who is clean? Surely this must be wrong.'”

To many, that’s not logic, but fiction. But to conclude as much would be to ignore Afghan culture and tradition, and the gross lack of education about sex. Two men who have sex with each other, as any Big Love viewer knows, don’t necessarily call themselves “gay.” (See: Downlow phenomenon.) But what they are doing is, of course, a gay act.

But we’re not going to pass judgment: We know how good it feels to get your rocks off with someone of the same sex, and if you need to get through the day without calling yourself a fag, so be it.

Afghanistan Soldiers

Afghanistan Soldiers

Moroccan Slave

7 February 2010

Moroccan Slave

He monopolizes me.

I gave him control of my daily life. We live in monotony. The monotony of love. The monotony
of him and me at his place: a Parisian apartment.

I am with him, I love him, I have no choice. I exist in France only because of him, only because
he cares for me. I am his boy, his love, his lover. He is my master.

I adore his name: Marlon! Like Marlon Brando. I love calling out: “Marlon, Marlon, Marlon,
come to me… Marlon Marlon Marlon take me with you… in you…?

He is American. From New York.

I am Moroccan, from Rabat, the capital. I don’t speak English very well, I make mistakes all the
time. In my country I have learnt French as a foreign language. I came to Paris to finish my
Doctorat in French literature at the Sorbonne. But then I met Marlon. Everything changed. I am
not me.

Now I learn English, alone, everyday. I want to tell Marlon everything about me, my feelings, my
country, my home town, my body, my skin… I want to be capable to understand all his words. He
is from another world- a world far away. I was prepared to live only in the Arab and French
worlds. I have never dreamt of myself in America. America came to me, two weeks before I left

I was at the Oudaya Castle in Rabat. Alone. Sad. I was drinking tea with mint at the famous Café
Maure. I was thinking of my mother M’Barka: she didn’t want me to leave Morocco. She had her
plans about my future life, about my job, my house, and even about my wife and my children. I
love M’Barka. I read somewhere that to be an adult one must be far as possible from one’s
mother. I always thought of myself as a child. Somebody else’s child. First M’Barka’s. And now

I am Marlon’s child. I like to repeat this to convince myself that it’s true. The repetition keeps me
feeling secure. Marlon loves me and protects me. He swore that he would never leave me. He
took the first step in my direction. He simply asked me: “At what time will the café Maure
close?? I looked at him: a man, a real man, big, so big, giant, white, bleu eyes, black hair, no
moustache. I looked at him for a long moment. He asked me again: “At what time will this café
close? Do you speak English?? I understood the second part of his question. I had the answer, a
little one. “No!?

“Et le francais? Tu parles le francais??

Thank God! He could speak French, not fluently but with a charming and virile accent.

“I am American. I have lived in Paris since last year. It’s my first time in Morocco, in Rabat. I
like this town. Can I join you??

Little sentences told with a big and warm voice. I was completely fascinated with him. He spoke
to me naturally. He expressed what he wanted easily. He liked me, but he didn’t say it with
words. His eyes, his hands, his head approaching mine did.

“ – Yes, you can join me… with pleasure!
– Are you from Rabat?
– Yes, I am… Do you want mint tea like me?
– Yes. Why don’t you speak English?
– Oh! I have learnt it at the Lycee, but I have forgotten everything… everything. Now I am
concentrating my whole energy only on French… because I am going to Paris.
– Good! In Paris you should start learning English again… seriously… you’ll need it, I’m
– With who?
– With me… only with me!?

He seemed serious. Somehow I was already in love with him.

He liked the Moroccan tea.

“ – You know, I suppose, how to prepare this kind of tea?
– No.
– You should ask your mother how to make it, because I really like it and I want you to
prepare it for me… in Paris.
– I will ask her before my coming to Paris… I promise…
– Good boy! A great future is waiting for you in Paris.
– With you?
– Yes, with me! Only…
– … with you!?

Two years later, here I am in Paris, la Ville des Lumieres. The apartment of Marlon is typically
bourgeois-parisien. It is at Saint-Germain, near a lot of well-known publishing houses, le Seuil,
Actes Sud, Stock… Every time he enters this apartment, he finds me waiting for him, my heart
and my head pounding as the first time I saw him. I run to him, saying always, like Nina
Simone, the same phrase: “ Hi you! I’m here for you… I’m completely yours!’

I do all I have to do before his return at 7:00 pm. I prepare his favorite tagines and arrange
everything in the apartment. Everything clean, in its place. He is happier that way. So we can
eat Moroccan food, drink mint tea and make love for a long time in peace. No clouds on the
horizon. I don’t like him angry: I’m scared when he gives me a bad look sometimes, I don’t
know what to do, what to say, I forget even the few English words I could use to defend myself.
But I won’t. I want him happy, satisfied, in love with me all the time.

Yes, Nina Simone, I am completely his thing. You are the only person with whom I can speak
clearly about my love, without shame, without regrets. I am his slave in the name of love. Your
songs, Nina, talk about this, you understand me, that’s why I love you. One day, when I can
read English easily, I will buy your autobiography, I PUT A SPELL ON YOU. I don’t want to
read it n French. I prefer to meet your life with your own words, own rhythm, inspiration and
voice. Marlon offered me your records soon after I moved in. He said, I still remember his
words exactly: “This Grande Dame is for you, one day you’ll understand why…? He was right.
He gave me his love and a confident, you, in the same time. Very generous, wasn’t it? “Tell me
more, and more and then some? was the first song of yours we heard together, in the bedroom,
our bodies joined, inseparable, after lovemaking.

“ – Tell me… you… your life in America!
– Me?
– Yes, you, like Nina Simone singing her days, her story, her History.
– It will take much more time than you think…
– I have all my life just to hear you, to discover your American Life.?

It’s always like this: romantic! I want it to stay romantic. No war between us, no disagreements,
just love. Just him and me in Paris.

He told me about his life. It was brief. I didn’t understand all his words.

Born in Boston. A Political Science Major from NYU. Job in The United Nations, in NYC too.
No brothers, no sisters. Mother and father dead. Alone in the world, as he says when he is sad.
One big love affair with… a woman: he was 26 years old, they have lived together for 10 years.
Now he is 40 and I am his first gay love. He has always liked sport, jazz and cinema. He didn’t
have a lot of friends in New York (same situation in Paris!). He could live anywhere, no
problem for him, even, one day, in Morocco. He is not gay. He is in love with a boy. There is a
difference, of course.

That’s all I know about Marlon. He is very mysterious. Maybe he is a spy, a dangerous double
agent. He laughed at me when I told him about these bad ideas. He laughed from the bottom of
his heart. He is irresistible… Big… So present in my eyes… He filled a void inside me. I met
him in Rabat. In my mind we are still there drinking our first Moroccan tea, discovering each
other and looking for a cheap hotel in the old city, the Medina, where we could make love
intensely, a place where to offer myself to him, my body, my soul and to go completely naked
inside him.

Yesterday he surprised me again.

“I want you to teach me Arabic… I want to hear your voice in Arabic…?

A great proof of his love! I accepted, I will be his professor.

We start today September 11. The first lesson.


The Cairo Stop: New Ideas in an Ancient World

It’s been a month since I checked in on my Middle East tour for the Arabic version of Gay Travels in the Muslim World, when I was still in Beirut. I have been to several places doing book events and talks since, but I am writing this now from the last official stop: Cairo. Some of the countries I have previously been in, I am revisiting, and will file from again before finally leaving the region.

I timed my trip for the Cairo Book Fair, the second largest book fair in the world, after Frankfurt. It’s an amazing event — vendors sprawl through more than two dozen exhibition halls on the Cairo Fair Grounds, and families come in droves. If only Book Expo America were like this. It’s a mix of famous Egyptian writers doing events, like Alaa Al Aswani, of The Yacoubian Building, to a strong showing of Koran publishers from across the region. Images of President Mubarek hang from buildings and stands, including his sunglass covered face superimposed over the pyramids.

Cairo is different from Beirut, as my publisher, Nabil Mroue of Arab Diffusion reminds me when I come to visit him at his stand and ask about whether he brought copies of Gay Travels in the Muslim World in with him, knowing I would be at the book fair. He has not, he tells me, fearful that this book in his shipments might lead to all of them being seized. I hear similar sentiments from other publishers I know about the strong censorship problems. Some have told me their books are sitting in the airport, and they’ll have to take them back when they leave, unseen by the Cairo public.

I am disappointed, but understanding. I have been here a few days in Cairo I had already told bookstores and others that they’ll be able to talk with Nabil about distribution. He might not have brought copies with him, so I give him one of my own to keep as a sample for people I have sent his way.

Knowing of the censorship problems, and indeed the severe repression of gay rights issues in Egypt — anyone who can recall the arrest and torture of the 52 Egyptian men from the Queen Boat in 2001 knows what I am talking about — I never expected to hold a reading here. However, at the Beirut Book Fair, I met Mohammed Sharkawi, a publisher and activist.

He asked me to have an event in his bookstore which has books by his publishing house Malamih and other publishers. By the time I reach Cairo, we decide instead to hold it in El Balad Books, in their branch off Tahrir Square, next to the American University of Cairo’s downtown campus. We make the choice after finding out the bookstore has done well with the gay themed Egyptian book “In the World of Boys,” by Mostafa Fathi, a clear breakthrough book in the country, published by Shabab Books.

In just a few days, the event is set, with a date, some publicity and a Facebook page with 2,000 people invited. About 70 RSVP, with plenty of maybe’s. I had been told this could never happen in Egypt, and I am still warned the government could shut down the event. To the contrary, the day arrives, and I have a turn out of 30-40 people, many of whom came early.

It’s a mix of Egyptians, American and European ex-pats, and a few journalists, eager to cover the event, along with a gay couple from my hotel who recognized me from my C-Span Book-TV talk. I tailor my spiel for Egypt, covering the much discussed possible homosexuality of Mohammed Atta, the Egyptian terrorist who flew one of the planes into the Twin Towers on September 11, to the Queen Boat and the Cairo 52, to the state of gay rights in the country now, some locals commenting crackdowns seem an up and down issue over the past several years. We also talk about the several stories touching on Egypt in the book, especially that by the gay Egyptian American actor Remy Eletreby who writes on coming out within his community after playing a gay Arab in a stage production. At first the audience is hesitant to ask questions, but once a local journalist starts it rolling, the Q&A lasts more than an hour, touching on issues everyone told me could never be discussed in a public forum in Egypt. Through it all, the audience jokes about whether State Security has sent a spy. Of course, it could always be the case, or perhaps, they have chosen to simply ignore I am here.

The tough thing about the event was that I had no books to sign, just copies of Gay Travels in the Muslim World in both English and Arabic to show. This of course is the heart of the censorship issue in Egypt – my own publisher’s fear, and the fact that distribution in a place like Egypt is not as simple for any foreign book touching on an even slightly controversial theme as it is in the West. El Balad will carry the book once it gets its hands on copies, as will Malamih. Since the English version of the book came out in 2007, I have had talks with American University about carrying it in their stores, and now, proving what can be done, I have continued the discussion.

I go out after the night is over with my friend Ruth, an American who has moved to Egypt to bellydance, under the Arabic name Aleya. She and her dance troupe performed at my Los Angeles event in 2008. Another American friend joins us, along with Mohammed, and we head to dinner on the Nile, in one of the many nightclub boats anchored in the eternal river. It’s a beautiful evening, with music, a full moon, and a sense of accomplishment. Still, the men known as the Cairo 52, arrested in a similar boat on a perhaps equally beautiful evening, come frequently into our conversation. I know in spite of what seems the success of my talk this evening, I am under no illusions. Egypt still remains a place with problems for the local LGBT community.

Speech Reignites Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Debate

1 February 2010

WASHINGTON – The Pentagon is preparing to end a ban on homesexuals serving openly in the military– the first step toward President Obama’s renewed call to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

With the eyes of the nation watching during his State of the Union address, Obama vowed at working to get the policy overturned.

“This year, I will work with Congress and our military to finally repeal the law that denies gay Americans the right to serve the country they love because of who they are,” he said.

The pledge drew solid support from Democrats, who say the military cannot afford to lose the training and skills of gay service members who get kicked out.

Republicans were quick to pounce.

“I think that this way may be done with an eye toward certain political constituencies that he wanted to appeal to and not what is in the best interest of our military,” Rep. Bob Goodlatte claimed.

“In the middle of two wars, we’re going to start forcing people who are homosexuals to come out of the closet and make it clear to those who may be sharing the foxhole or the bunker with others,” GOP Rep. Louie Gohmert added. “And the last thing people need to be thinking about are sexual thoughts when they’re in a combat zone.”

Those who support the repeal believe it’s long overdue.

“There have been thousands and thousands of men and women who have been discharged from the military for no reason other than their sexual orientation,” Winnie Stachelberg of the Center for American Progress said.

They say the change won’t hurt the military and point to America’s NATO allies serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. All but the U.S. and Turkey allow gays to serve openly.

“Put men and women in the armed services are fighting and dying with openly gay and lesbian service members and it is not a problem,” Stachelberg continued. “And so quite frankly this discussion about breaking the back of the all-volunteer armed forces is a little bit of hyperbole.”

But critics say when it comes to setting an example, the U.S. sets the bar for service.

“We should not be modeling after ourselves after these militaries,” said Tommy Sears of the Center for Military Readiness. “We are the gold standard. They should be modeling themselves after us.”

The chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee says he’s unsure whether the repeal could pass, but he plans to schedule the first hearing on “don’t ask, don’t tell” with testimony from the Pentagon’s top brass next month.

Jason Crew & Ryan Raz

22 January 2010
Energetic Jason Crew (who has one of the world's best cocks) and the adorable, blond twink Ryan Raz (who has America's finest asshole) kiss on the couch. Ryan's cock is rock hard when Jason goes to work on him, moaning and groaning over a thorough blowjob. Soon Ryan is on his back as Jason rims Ryan's ass, darting his talented tongue in and out of Ryan's hole. Jason shoves his cock all the way in and out of Ryan's open ass until Ryan is covered in both their gooey loads.
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