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Around The World in 5

Against all odds, love thrives.  This week, Document Women gathered stories on love; in the face of religion, incarceration, for womankind and for ambition. 

  1. United States of America 

As the holy month of Ramadan draws to a close and Muslims prepare to celebrate Eid al-Fitr, LGBTQ Muslims say they often feel left out, ostracized or forgotten.

USA Today spoke with Marwa Eltahir and Hamzeh Daoud about being queer and Muslim. Eltahir is the founder of  “Our Political Home,” a series that brings together queer African first-generation community members through storytelling. 

She discusses how there is a myth that homosexuality is something that was imported or brought to the Muslim community, which is “historically false.” 

“Queer Muslims have always existed. Queer Africans have always existed. Queer Arabs have always existed. Queerness and queer people, Two-Spirit people, gender non-conforming people, all these identities are so historical and so embedded in our cultures.”- Marwa Eltahir

Read more here;

  1. Morocco 

Homosexuality is illegal in Morocco, Article 489 of the country’s penal code of 1962 notes that it is punishable by up to three years in prison and a fine. A survey carried out in 2020 of the country’s LGBTQIA+ community revealed that the “social environment […] generally marginalizes and rejects them.”

However, Ghali Eden has continued fighting for trans rights in Morocco. He is the founder of the Instagram account Moroccan Transgender Community, which has over 1,000 followers and receives dozens of enquiries every week. Eden says he has never seen another African trans man document their transition publicly.

Read more here;

  1. Ireland 

Dublin saw the launch of Women by Women, a photography exhibition showcasing professional female photographers from all over the world. The event was sponsored by ActionAid. 

All images on display are taken by women and feature a range of women from across the world. Each photo tells a unique story and highlights climate change, feminism, and war.

“As part of our new strategy, we are aiming to bring an anti-racist, feminist perspective to the way women and girls living in poverty are represented,” says Karol Balfe, chief executive of ActionAid Ireland.

Read more here;

  1. Pakistan 

In a bid to make healthcare accessible to Pakistanis, Iffat Zafar Aga and Sara Saeed Khurram’s platform enables female medics to provide e-consultations from their homes to patients in mostly rural communities. The two entrepreneurs wanted to use the untapped potential of tens of thousands of so-called “doctor brides” – women doctors who quit their medical practice after marriage. 

Read more here;

  1. South Africa 

A play titled Born Naked, seeks to highlight the LGBTQ community experiences in the country. It tells the story of two young drag queens, Blaq Widow and her drag mother, Queen Bling, as they unpack their relationship on a train, in drag pageants and in dressing rooms.

The story also pays homage to the life of Thapelo Makhutle, who was murdered in the Northern Cape in 2012. Makhutle was killed because he identified as gay in the conservative community of Kuruman.

Read more here;

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